Dustin Johnson of the United States moves up to 18th place during the fourth day of the 150th Open at St. Andrews Old Course - Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

LIV rebels get a glimpse of their future in the golfing wilderness in feud where no one wins

Dustin Johnson of the United States moves up to 18th place during the fourth day of the 150th Open at St. Andrews Old Course - Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Dustin Johnson of the United States moves up to 18th place during the fourth day of the 150th Open at St. Andrews Old Course – Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Dustin Johnson took charge of the final day to claim a booty from fellow American Bryson DeChambeau and secure his first win of the season, emerging victorious from a dramatic final round as the world’s best toe on the grandest course of all. Gone till As we know it did not happen in the 150th Open Championship. That’s what happened at the LIV Golf Open Championship.

Johnson, a two-time major winner, recorded an impressive six-under round of 66 on Sunday to top the artificial overall leaderboard created by the Saudi-backed rebel series, which has become one of the more comical spots of the weekend. But what the LIV Golf Series won’t tell you is that two of its biggest names, Johnson and DeChambeau, were seven and eight shots away, respectively, at the business end.

This is a glimpse of their future. The lack of star names means players will emerge victorious at LIV events in the near future by playing in a canter, as opposed to the high-stakes pressure game between Cameron Smith, Cameron Young and Rory at the top of the leaderboard. McIlroy – All committed PGA Tour members.

The expected hostility towards LIV players was not as harsh as expected. Lee Westwood faced criticism from the crowd and Patrick Reed was harassed with the “Get in the Bunker” call on various occasions over the weekend, but in the grand scheme of things this was modest compared to what had been feared before the tournament began. .

Ian Poulter, who complained about the media’s underestimation of the negativity received by himself and his LIV colleagues, mesmerized the crowd at the opening hole as he walked down the fairway, where Thursday’s boo was chanted with “go” slogans. was replaced with. Polt! , Realistically though, the 46-year-old’s real prospects of challenging him in the Majors are behind him, and it was never going to be any different.

But a man who had already earned a reputation for being a rebel even before he joined LIV, it seems he will be sorely missed in terms of competing for the majors, as well as having the ability to appeal beyond golf. . Smith, with his Australian “bogan” image, fueled much lively debate about his mullet on the Old Course, but DeChambeau has built a brand that surpasses only McIlroy and Tiger Woods in terms of turning the dial beyond golf. is behind. He has a Marmite quality, but it tends to get people talking.

The 28-year-old Californian was the clubhouse leader for a short time and on his way to 18th Green in St. Andrews, selfie hunters standing on a railing desperately tried to snap a shot with the physics graduate in the background. They did not disappoint, with DeChambeau registering three closing birdies to finish the day at six-under and 12-under overall.

There was a real sadness from the younger demographic that he might not be eligible to play at next year’s Open in Hoylek. The DeChambeau, with its revamped heavy frame, highly scientific approach and touch of irreverence, is beloved by teen and Gen Z golf fans. As Ollie, one of a trio of 18- and 19-year-old fans from Manchester who traveled to St Andrews, explained: “Bryson is awesome because he’s a total geek and people our age don’t think of a geek or a nerd. A bad thing, it shows that you are sentimental.

DeChambeau in St. Andrews - Richard Sellers / PA Wire

DeChambeau in St. Andrews – Richard Sellers / PA Wire

“But he looks like a giant back row in rugby and that’s really good for me and my friends because he’s an academic nerd that people call a jock. It shows you can be both. I will be very sad if I don’t see you at the Open next year.
That’s the response DeChambeau wants and LIV wants to capitalize on. The 2020 US Open champion, like Poulter, was also a knowledgeable ambassador for the controversial venture, with his navy thistle-patterned shirt pulling on the heartstrings reserved for the Old Course.

Old fans like Debbie of Aberdeen applauded it. “I thought it was respectful the way Bryson had thistle on his shirt, I wouldn’t boo any LIV golfer, even if I think what they’re doing is wrong because that’s what golf is about.” No,” she said.

LIV is divisive and most golf fans are uncomfortable with it, however, looking at this weekend, DeChambeau could be its biggest asset.

But being eight shots behind Smith is not the ad that the Saudi-backed tour was expected to do. And the spirit of the LIV anticlimax was there for all to see when “the winner” Johnson, seven shots at pace, missed his putt on the 18th green. Nothing can be better than “LIV OPEN”.

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