Do you care?
That’s it, right? The reason we are into our sports, at any level. One question. Do you care about the Green Bay Packers? You watch the Green Bay Packers. Do you care about the high school volleyball team? You watch the high school volleyball team. If you don’t, you don’t. You don’t waste your time. And neither will we, so let’s dig right in and ask the question you, the pro golf fan, may have been asking yourself since June or so.
Do you care about LIV Golf?
Do you care about the 4 Aces? The Crushers? The Fireballs? Any of the 12 teams?
Do you care about the 54-hole format? Or the shotgun start?
Do you care that each cashed significantly in every event they played this season, no matter where they finished in the 48-man, no-cut fields?
Do you not care where the money comes from?
If you answered yes, you found your way to YouTube this weekend and watched the Saudi-backed series’ season finale. If you didn’t, you may still have; four-month-old LIV is still a curiosity, and other start-up leagues have needed years to find their following, and minds can change. In this space today, we won’t persuade or dissuade.
But if you’re still asking the question we wrote at the top, there’s maybe a reason why.
Did you see what LIV Golf was up against this weekend?
Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship
Harrison Crowe was your winner here. Our story summed up well what else was earned.
“In grabbing a victory at the Asia-Pacific Amateur, Crowe joins a short but notable list of winners, including Hideki Matsuyama (a two-time APA champ) and last year’s winner, Keita Nakajima. The event, for which Augusta National and the R&A are ‘founding partners,’ was created just 13 years ago in an effort to strengthen the amateur game across Asia and the South Pacific. In order to entice competitors, each year, the winner of the tournament is guaranteed entrance into both the Masters and Open Championship.
“‘When I wake up in the morning, it’s going to be pretty surreal,” Crowe said after the victory. “Knowing I’m playing the Masters and the Open Championship.’”
In short, if you care about golfers earning global breakthroughs, you were able to watch golfers earning global breakthroughs.
DP World Tour’s Portugal Masters
Jordan Smith was your winner here. But first a word on one of the men who tied for fifth.
A day earlier, Sebastian Heisele had shot six-under 65, and that had followed rounds of 67 and 64. But that had come after a season in which he was 206th in the DP World Tour standings, and a career in which he had never won on the formerly named European Tour, and so after Sunday, he was done. Regardless of whether he would win, Heisele was going to teach.
And then they put a camera in his face.
“How do you reflect on your time on tour then?”
Heisele paused. His next words crackled.
“I’d say I’m more of a journeyman than anything. And um … And I just … Sorry.”
He stepped away.
“Just means a lot to walk off with a good week.”
Back to Smith. The 30 year-old’s won once, five years ago.
And then they put a camera in his face.
“Jordan, you’ve waited over five years for the second one to arrive. Just how special is this moment?
He started to cry.
“Yeah, take your time.”
He didn’t answer for 45 seconds. He eventually dedicated the win to a friend who had died.
In short, if you care about golfers playing for something that brings them to the point to where they can’t speak, you were able to watch golfers playing for something that brings them to the point to where they can’t speak.
Seamus Power was your winner here. But first a word on one of the men who tied for third.
A day earlier, Ben Griffin had shot a five-under 66, and that had followed rounds of 65 and 65, and he was tied for the lead. But he had already done what Heisele was about to. A year and a half ago, Griffin was behind a desk, but he was back and here he was.
And then they, too, put a camera in his face.
“Just a year ago, you walked away from this game. Would you have imagined here you would be a year later atop the leaderboard in a PGA Tour event?”
Griffin smiled at the start.
At “here,” he shook his head.
“It’s, uh, pretty crazy, honestly. A lot of really, really special people helped me, um, come back to golf.”
On Sunday, Griffin was five-under through 11 holes. He finished this way: bogey-bogey-bogey-bogey-double bogey-par-par.
Back to Power. He was three-under through 12 holes. He finished this way: bogey-birdie-bogey-bogey-birdie-bogey. On 18, up two, he chipped short on his second shot from below the green and watched it run back, before recovering and winning for the second time on the PGA Tour.
Power’s a journeyman, too, and a day earlier, he talked about that journey, in response to a question about Griffin.
“Look, it’s a tough game, and look, it’s an individual sport and individual sports have their ups and downs. When it’s going well, it’s great, but when it’s going against you, it’s tough.
“But I’ve always loved the game. I love kind of competing, trying to figure it out. You have some low points, absolutely. Stretches you just feel like making a cut is just an absolute achievement, but I think that’s what makes it such a fun game. It’s days like today where things go your way and that makes up for those days.
“I’ve never come to that point, but I can certainly see and I’ve known guys, I played mini tours for four years, and I had players I saw much better than me, and just ups and downs are tough going. It’s not for everyone. As I said, I’m kind of lucky enough. You can just try to stay optimistic and remember the good times because you have plenty of those, but it’s easy to get stuck on the downside.”
In short, if you care about golfers playing for something that brings them to the point where they struggle to close when it’s oh so close, you were able to watch golfers playing for something that brings them to the point where they struggle to close when it’s oh so close.
And that brings us back to LIV.
In Miami, the 4 Aces were your winners, and Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Talor Gooch and Pat Perez each earned $4 million.
And we’ll ask this:
Do you care?