As golfers were grinding it out for a cut of LIV Golf’s record $50 million purse on a steamy afternoon at Trump National on Friday, an energetic crowd seemed more interested in the party than the scores.
Branding itself as “Golf, But Louder”, LIV certainly appears a perfect fit for Miami with non-stop music providing a thumping soundtrack to the Saudi-backed venture’s season finale that will decide the first team champion.
A quick sampling of spectators found few knew the golfers and even fewer the format or the teams like Punch GC, Cleeks, Smash and Majesticks who all advanced out of Friday’s quarter-finals. The winners of Saturday’s semi-finals will face off for the $16 million winner’s prize on Sunday.
Such details seemed unimportant for a largely younger crowd that did know Donald Trump and how to spot a fun time. The scene was far more relaxed than what spectators and golfers experience at most PGA Tour stops.
Former President Trump teeing off in the LIV Golf Pro-Am today at his course in Doral
— Yianni Kourakis (@WPBF_Yianni) October 27, 2022
You will not see marshals at LIV events holding up “Quiet Please” signs when players are ready to tee off or putt.
Golfers lining up putts on the ninth and 18th greens on Friday did so with music pounding from a wall of speakers on the main stage just a chip shot away.
Teeing off at the first and 10th also offered up unusual challenges with the tee boxes surrounded by open bars.
“It’s good, it’s fantastic, we love it, the fans love it,” said Majesticks captain Ian Poulter. “We always hit balls with music playing anyway. It’s a really good vibe, it’s a good vibe for us and good vibe for the fans. They (LIV events) are all the same, we have music playing at every single event.”
LIV does not provide attendance figures but the crowd appeared slightly larger than what the average LPGA event might pull in.
While it is LIV Golf’s grand finale, it is having to share the Miami spotlight with Trump, whose supporters are everywhere at gold gilded Doral.
— LIV Golf (@LIVGolfInv) October 28, 2022
Many seemed more excited about catching a glimpse of the former-president than two of LIV Golf’s biggest attractions in six-time major winner Phil Mickelson, captain of Hy Flyers and Punch GC leader Australian Cameron Smith, the reigning Open champion.
Mickelson and Smith lived up to their top billing in an entertaining match that came down to the final holes decided when the Australian drained a 10-footer at the 17th for a 1-up win to put his team through to the semi-finals.