This weekend, Trump National (Old) will play host to the third LIV Golf event, with axed Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson, its new prized asset, making his debut.
Paul Casey will also be making his first LIV Golf start, while the main cast of Dustin Johnson, Bryson Dechambeau, Patrick Reed, Brooks Kopeka, and Phil Mickelson will once again tee it up on the boxes and answer awkward questions at the pressers.
The Stenson and Trump angles will compete for the headlines, but if you were to place a bet, it is likely that the Trump furore will win out. The tempting away of Henrik Stenson from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, and the subsequent stripping of his Ryder Cup captaincy is old news now as well.
How To Watch
Once again the tournament will be shown live on the LIV Golf YouTube channel.
Trump National is situated in Bedminster, New Jersey. On the LIV Golf website, it claims that the course is ranked in "The Top 100 Courses In The World", however it does not feature on any of the most noteworthy and popular course rankings. The club's website does not make this claim either, despite listing its other accolades.
It is a top-class course however, and played host to the 2017 U.S. Women's Open, and was in place to host the 2022 PGA Championship before it was moved to Southern Hills, when the PGA of America ended its relationship with Donald Trump.
Prize Money And Teams
Prize money will remain the same for each tournament. There is a $25m prize fund, with the winner receiving $4m and last place getting a guaranteed $120,000. $5m will be split among the three top teams.
The most notable teams are Smash GC; Brooks Koepka, his brother Chase, Richard Bland, and Jason Kokrak; Portland winners the 4 Aces; Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Taylor Gooch, and Pat Perez; Majestics GC; Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter, and Sam Horsfield; Crushers GC (it is starting to feel surreal to type these ridiculous names); Bryson Dechambeau, Paul Casey, Charles Howell III, and Shaun Norris.
Charles Barkley on LIV outrage:
“I just think it’s funny they are more interested in civil rights in Saudi Arabia, a place 99.9% of the people in the US have never been… why don’t you all worry about the civil rights of the people here in the United States.”#LIVGolf
— LIV Golf Latest (@LIVGolfLatest) July 26, 2022
9/11 Families Criticism
The Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour will once again come in for another round of heavy criticism, not just from critics of Saudi Arabia's appalling human rights record, but it will also face continued opposition from the families of 9/11 victims.
Earlier in the week, the chair of 9/11 Families United, Terry Strada, tore into Trump and LIV Golf members, as he reminded them of the close distance between Trump National and 'Ground Zero'.
"How can I shame the shameless PGA defectors? Maybe by pointing out: when you agree to join LIV Golf, you are partaking in the (Saudi) Kingdom's effort to cleanse their responsibility for their murder of Christine Lee Hanson, the youngest victim of September 11 who was just two years old, killed on United Flight 175 travelling to Disneyland with her parents.
"Just 50 miles from where they will tee off on Friday is a national museum on hallowed ground, ensuring visitors from around the world never forget, and a repository safeguarding charred remains of 40 per cent of the victims, who have never been identified or returned home for a proper burial – including my husband."
A fellow Families United member, Matthew Bocchi, accused players of accepting 'blood money'.
Tomorrow will bring new quotes from the players for the media to lap up, and they will add to the ever growing library in the ongoing war between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour. The Trump, Stenson, and 9/11 narratives will further draw people's attention away from the actual golf, which begins on Friday at 18:15 (Irish time), with its traditional shotgun start.
And while the LIV members will try and keep the focus on the game itself, we really don't think they care.