PGA Tour and DP Tour vs LIV Golfers at British Open

Phil Mickelson, 2022 Open Championship, St. Andrews,Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Phil Mickelson, 2022 Open Championship, St. Andrews,Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports /

Since LIV has been pushing itself into the headlines with CEO Greg Norman’s barbs and insults to the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour, and anybody who disagrees with him and the LIV concept, it seems like a good idea to see how the LIV employees are faring compared to the PGA Tour and DP World Tour players and other actual independent contractors in the British Open field.

Looking back at the end of round one, it was Cameron Young from the PGA Tour leading the British Open. He was at 8-under, followed closely by Rory McIlroy and Players champ Cameron Smith, who never saw a windy day he didn’t like.

Out of the field of 156 golfers, the LIV employees – because that’s what they are – number 23 players.

The other 33 LIV players didn’t qualify for the British Open because they didn’t play well enough in the last year to earn a spot in the season’s last major. Or they tried to qualify and failed to get through it.

The best-placed LIV golfers were at 4-under par, and that list included Dustin Johnson, Lee Westwood, and Talor Gooch, whose lone PGA Tour victory in six years on the and PGA Tour was the 2021 RSM Classic.

LIV, PGA Tour, DP World Tour, Greg Norman, Open Championship, British Open
Dustin Johnson, 2022 Open Championship, St. Andrews, Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports /

They were followed by Scott Vincent, Ian Poulter, and Bryson DeChambeau at 3-under par.  Vincent is from Zimbabwe and has three victories on the Japan Tour.

From there, we drop down two strokes to some familiar names from their many years on the PGA and DP World Tours.

Louis Oosthuizen, a former British Open champ, veteran Paul Casey and Abraham Ancer, whose lone victory was the FedEx St. Jude in 2021, were all at 1-under par.

The next group was a fivesome at even par.  It included a gaggle of golfers, most notably Phil Mickelson, who was one of the world’s most popular golfers until he made disparaging remarks about the Saudis and then became their number one employee.

( Bygones?) Phil was joined by Patrick Reed, Kevin Na, Bernd Wiesberger, and Laurie Canter of England.

Now, we have the nine LIV golfers who were over par, starting with Brooks Kopeka at 1-over.

Shaun Norris and Justin Harding were at 2-over, followed by Sergio Garcia and Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal at 3-over.

Sihwan Kim, who hails from California, has been playing on the DP World Tour and the Asian Tour. He’s 33 and has won twice on the Asian circuit. Both he and Sam Horsfield from England were at 4-over after the day one action.

Richard Bland, the long-suffering DP World Tour player who finally won on the European Tour in 2021 at age 49, was at 6-over par.

Bringing up the end of the LIV group was Jediah Morgan from Australia at 7-over par.

It is no surprise to see Dustin Johnson doing well, even though his results on the PGA Tour were not outstanding after winning the Masters.

He is a 24-time winner.  And Lee Westwood, who turns 50 next year, is a 25-time winner on the DP World Tour and has won twice on the PGA Tour.

Now, as the rhetoric continues to get turned up, and the winds whip across the North Sea, adjacent to The Old Course, it will be interesting to see how this group does against the rest of the field.

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The differences this year, if the LIV-ers are even allowed to play in 2023, will likely not be as great as they will be next year since those who have played regularly on tours around the world are still somewhat tournament tough.

But when they continue to play silly season golf, as some have called the LIV series, their skills are sure to decline.

Here’s how the Liv Employees stood after the first round:

Lee Westwood                 -4
Talor Gooch                       -4
Dustin Johnson                -4
Scott Vincent                   -3
Ian Poulter                        -3
Bryson DeChambeau    -3
Abraham Ancer               -1
Louis Oosthuizen            -1
Paul Casey                        -1
Phil Mickelson                  E
Patrick Reed                      E
Bernd Wiesberger           E
Kevin Na                             E
Laurie Canter                    E
Brooks Koepka              +1
Shaun Norris                  +2
Justin Harding               +2
Sergio Garcia                 +3
Pablo Larrazabal          +3
Sihwan Kim                    +4
Sam Horsfield               +4
Richard Bland                +6
Jediah Morgan               +7