The LIV Golf Invitational Series begins its first of five events in the United States this weekend with a 54-hole tournament at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon.
Since the inaugural event in London earlier this month, there have been a handful of well-known names that made the jump from the PGA Tour to the LIV and will be teeing it up for the first time away from the PGA.
The 54-hole, no-cut event will again feature a field of 48 players with 12 teams of four. The top two individual scores from each team count toward the team total, while the top three on the final day of play will count for the team tally. The $25 million purse will be split into $20 million for the individual finishes and $5 million divided among the winning team.
Let’s take a look at four names to target this weekend.
Abraham Ancer (+1100)
The Mexican native will tee it up for the first time in a LIV event this weekend. Ancer picked up his first PGA Tour victory last season at the FedEx St. Jude Invitational. The 31-year-old is the fourth-highest ranked player in the world heading into the Portland event, ranking 22nd in the current official world golf rankings.
Ancer continued that success in the fall with a trio of top-25 finishes, including a T7 at Mayakoba. Since, the game has slipped a bit for the Oklahoma grad, but a T9 at the PGA Championship last month shows signs of promise.
Brooks Koepka (+1200)
Some might find Kopeka’s jump to the LIV a surprise, given his past remarks about the breakaway circuit. However, Brooks has been vocal in the past that he doesn’t get motivated for tournaments that aren’t majors, so that payoff of playing less but making more money eventually won him over.
The four-time major champion has had a handful of recent injuries that have derailed his game, but the competitor in him is still there, and he will be highly motivated to take home the payout that the winner receives. The former world no. 1 is currently the 19th ranked player in the world.
Talor Gooch (+1200)
One of the original defectors to the LIV Series, Gooch, is back for round two this week in Portland. The 30-year-old Oklahoma State product finished ninth in the inaugural event in London, earning a decent $580K check.
Gooch was considered one of the up-and-coming players on Tour, so his jump to the LIV was a surprise. The winner of the RSM Classic last fall, Gooch, has the skills and talent to be able to have a high finish this weekend.
Kevin Na (+1800)
Another LIV original, Na, posted an uninspiring T33 at the Centurion Club in the opening event. A five-time winner of the PGA Tour, Na knows how to get it done on the course and should always be a favorite at these events.
After a rough go at it in London, watch for the 38-year-old to bounce back this week in Portland. Na’s last victory came at the QBE Shootout with teammate Jason Kokrak in 2021.