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LIV Golf’s Talor Gooch Advocates For Maintaining 54-Hole Format Amid OWGR Concerns

Suchita Chakraborty

Talor Gooch

There had been suggestions by LIV stars Phil Mickelson and Jon Rahm to revamp the 54-hole format of the Saudi-funded league to get OWGR recognition, but fellow LIV golfer Talor Gooch isn’t onboard with the idea. LIV Golf’s uncanny format and player selection system had been a major reason behind the league’s request for the OWGR getting rejected from by the association last year

Following that, the LIV circuit introduced a promotional event for selecting golfers, but that wasn’t enough to get OWGR recognition. Ultimately, LIV CEO Greg Norman stepped back from his OWGR plea and decided to continue the league with its original format. But that caused problems for several LIV golfers who couldn’t qualify for the majors, like Sergio Garcia, who wouldn’t appear at the Open, the PGA Championship, and the US Open.

Thus, the only possible solution was changing the format. But Talor Gooch thinks that making 54 holes into 72 was arbitrary.

“It’s just funny to me, this arbitrary number of 72. Why is it not 90? Why is it not 108? We just decided to make that number the number, for what reason?”

Gooch continued to vouch for 54 holes saying that this format matches the preferences of the audience, and golf needs to think about what its fans really want.

“Everyone’s talked about world ranking points and all this stuff, but no one’s talked about what do the fans enjoy more? People want something that’s going to be more exciting. And I personally think that the 54 holes is more exciting for the fans.”

Phil Mickelson and Jon Rahm, on the other hand, think that it’s time for a format change for the Saudi-backed league, and only then can the sport advance and move forward.

Phil Mickelson And Jon Rahm’s Stance On The LIV Golf Format Change 

When Phil Mickelson was asked whether he preferred a 72-hole format or not, the golfer reinstated the fact that he loves competition, and he’d very much want the 72-hole format.

“We’ve got mini-tours playing 54, Champions Tour playing 54. I wouldn’t be surprised if some or all of LIV events went to 72. I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter. I enjoy the competition.”

When asked about his preference, Rahm also had a similar ideology:

“I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but I definitely wouldn’t mind going back to 72 holes.”

Moreover, we saw Peter Dawson of the OWGR asserting that they didn’t want to wage war against LIV nor did they underestimate the players, but only wanted the circuit to play in the right format. 

So, keeping all the matters in retrospect and the experience out of which Phil Mickelson and Jon Rahm claimed to have 72 holes, it’d be interesting to understand whether the LIV league really needs a change in its structure, and is it ok for its golfers to keep playing without a proper ranking in place.

About the author

Suchita Chakraborty

Suchita Chakraborty


Suchita Chakraborty is a senior golf writer at The SportsRush. She did her post-graduation at St. Xavier's University. For a year now, she has developed a riveting inclination toward golf, with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy being her top-tier motivational figures to indulge in the sport. She even lives by the words of the Hall of Famer, "You can always become better", which impels her to excel every day. Her strong suit in golf is covering the LPGA Tour, especially the nooks and crannies of the international event, the Solheim Cup. As a pastime amusement, Suchita also engages herself in reading about golf controversies. Her favorite pick is ‘LIV and Let Die’ by Alan Shipnuck, which covers the PGA-LIV beef.

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