May 2, 2024

More than 94,000 people turned up to LIV Golf Adelaide over the weekend to watch Australian Cam Smith’s Ripper GC take home the team victory on home soil.


LIV Adelaide was hyped up to be LIV Golf’s answer to the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and aside from one ugly scene in which Lucas Herbert’s caddie got hit by a bottle of water, the event looked like the ideal blend of tournament golf and party vibes.


The atmosphere at LIV Adelaide was electric, with music pulsating and drinks flowing, creating a unique blend of golf and entertainment that both fans and players fully embraced.


Since its inception, LIV has been marketed as ‘golf but louder’, and thanks to the addition of thumping music throughout every event, it has certainly lived up to the billing.


However, what we saw at LIV Adelaide was slightly different to the other events on the calendar.


LIV Adelaide has it’s own party hole coined the “Watering Hole” which is effectively a like for like remake of the famous Par-3 16th at TPC Scottsdale.



The Watering Hole

This clever addition was a clear hit with the booze soaked Australian fans, and much like in Scottsdale, punters were keen to shower the turf with a selection of liquids when anyone came close to a hole in one.


From the outside looking in, the tournament appeared a huge success. Big crowds, the right blend of respect and rowdyness, and a home favourite winner. What’s not to love?


Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry.

On the other side of the world, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry were lifting silverware at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.


The team event saw the the two friends go wire to wire with McIlroy securing his 25th win on the PGA Tour and Lowry making it a hat trick.


On the face of things, a big name winner means it’s was a great week for the PGA Tour, and god did they need it. The PGA Tour’s viewing figures have seen a considerable drop in 2024, with a variety of events seeing viewing numbers dip by close to 25% compared to last year.


Now, let’s get one thing clear, the Zurich Classic was by no means a vintage event. Look further down the leaderboard and you have to go as far as T11 and Matt Fitzpatrick to see any household names.


So what did we take away form this weekend’s golf?


LIV is closing the gap on the PGA Tour much quicker than we thought possible two years ago.


Thanks to big name additions like Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton, the breakaway tour now has an aggressively star studded leaderboard at every event.


People pay to watch the big names, and when it comes down to it, aside from the elevated events and majors, the PGA Tour has really suffered from a lack of star power this season.


On top of that, LIV is now producing a spectator experience that the PGA Tour simply can’t match week in week out.


LIV matches their star studded golfing lineup’s with superstar DJs each week, and that’s on top of additional entertainment and music that’s laid on over all three days.


LIV Golf Adelaide

Now if we’re totally honest, there have been some fairly meagre crowds at some LIV events this year, Jeddah hardly looked like a sell out from the coverage we watched.


But even with that considered, we are now willing to say we would rather watch and attend a LIV event than a standard PGA Tour one.


Elevated events are slightly different, as they offer the chance to see all of the big dogs on the North American circuit going head to head, but aside from that the regular season schedule on the PGA Tour has been remarkably bland this year.


LIV is closing the gap, and it appears clear from viewing figures that we aren’t the only ones having our heads turned by the noisy neighbours.


Will we see a merger between the two tours? Only time will tell, but until then the PGA Tour has its work cut out to keep it’s nose ahead in the hotly contested popularity contest.

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