Well…this should be interesting. The U.S. Open Golf 2023 tournament begins today at Los Angeles Country Club. It comes on the heels of last week’s bombshell news that the PGA and the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, which currently controls the LIV Tour, will now combine and join forces.
This is obviously controversial for many reasons and right at the top is the fact that both tours have been engaged in legal battle and contentious rivalry for the last two years. LIV players seemed to be thrilled with the news, as they should be. After all, they took life-changing, generational wealth kind of cash and will still be allowed to play on the most prestigious tour in the world. On the other hand, the PGA players stayed loyal to their tour and turned down that same money just for their organization to go behind their backs and make a deal that was announced via social media.
So, this all sets up for the U.S. Open which will be the first time that all the players will be back together since the news broke. This is the third major of the year after the Masters Tournament and the PGA Championship. The Masters tournament was won by Jon Rahm (loyal PGA member) and the PGA Championship was won by Brooks Koepka (LIV player).
I am looking straight at Rory McIlroy. He has been the most outspoken member of the PGA Tour throughout all the LIV drama and he seems to be impacted emotionally by this new deal. It would be a storybook ending for McIlroy to win this tournament after all the arguments and back and forth. It would likely catapult him back to number one in the world and it would give him another win in a U.S. Open.
How will these guys fare at Los Angeles Country Club? This is the first time that a major championship has been hosted at this course so it will be a first for most of the guys on the tour. I would assume the only guys who have played it are the ones who grew up in the area or live there now. A few guys have played it in the Walker Cup but it’s so prestigious that many PGA pros can’t even get on to play.
Max Homa. He has the course record at Los Angeles Country Club because he is from the area and grew up playing around there. Homa hasn’t had as good of a season as he had a year ago, but he seems to play extremely well in front of a home crowd, as evidenced by his second-place finish at the Hyundai Genesis Open.
Scottie Scheffler. This dude is impossible to bet against. He has finished in the top 20 in every single start since November 2022. He has finished in the top three in his last three starts and it’s only a matter of time before he is the last one standing. He has a knack for showing up big in Majors.