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Brandel Chamblee: Why the format of LIV prevents anyone from judging the talents of the players

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While speaking with GolfWRX, Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee explained why he believes the LIV format makes it impossible to determine if a LIV player is playing well.

Describing the format as “stupid”, Chamblee stated

“The format for LIV is just stupid. There’s no other word for it. 54 holes, 54 players start. Willy nilly here and there.

Nobody winning a golf tournament should finish on the third hole on some par three while his closest competitors finish on the 17th hole or the 18th hole.”

When we asked Brandel if LIV players should be in majors, Chamblee indicated that it would be tough to do with no way to truly measure their performance.

“It’s just a laughable concept. There’s no way to judge the talents of these players out there. You look at their data, and again, their data is laughable. It’s very hard to hit 75% of your greens and it looks like everybody on their tour is hitting 75% of greens. Who’s keeping their stats? Who’s doing their data? They haven’t gotten their act together.”

Brandel then compared the current situation to the when the European Tour was at its peak.

“There was a way to judge the European Tour. Guys are playing 72-hole events, tough conditions, windy and they shoot fifteen under par. You think ‘good gosh, is Ian Woosnam really that good?’ He shows up at the Masters, Berhard Langer, Jose Maria, Jose comes over to the world series and wins by 12. You think, ‘these guys are amazing’.”

Chamblee concludes that if LIV players want to get in majors they “need to find a way to qualify”.

“They went to play on a Tour that they knew didn’t qualify for world ranking points. So, if they want to get in majors, they’re going to have to figure out a way to qualify, the way Joaquin Niemann did. Go play some events that we can clearly judge the kind of player that you are.

The format of LIV is just not conducive to judgement.”

16 LIV players will be teeing it up at this week’s PGA Championship. Chamblee will be part of the broadcast team for the event.

Check out the full interview with Chamblee below:

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Brandel Chamblee says this is the primary reason why Rory McIlroy hasn’t won a major in 10 years

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It’s been ten years since Rory McIlroy won his last major championship. When he walked off the green of Valhalla in 2014, many golf fans thought the Northern Irishman would win a handful more by the time 2024 came around. However, McIlroy has come up short in the decade that’s passed since that day.

While speaking with GolfWRX, Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee gave his opinion as to why McIlroy has come up empty.

“I just think he can’t find a place mentally where he plays his best golf.”

“If you go back and look at what he did from 2011-2014, in that stretch, he led roughly 20% of the rounds he played in major championships. His game has not fallen off, not one bit.

He’s, on paper, pretty much the same player he was. He’s not quite the ball striker he was 2011-2014, not quite, but he’s made up for it with his short game around the greens and on the greens. He’s almost the same player.

Yet, he’s led just two rounds beginning with the 2015 Masters to the 2024 Masters. I just think that tells you he can’t find the proper way to prepare, the proper way to ease into a round. When he’s needed to play his best, he’s played his worst. When he’s played his worst, he’s then followed it up with his best golf. That’ll tell you that he’s just not in the right place mentally.”

Chamblee did say that he believes his win at Quail Hollow last week may have a positive impact on McIlroy’s chances going forward.

“I said last week, and I believe it, that beginning in the final round on Golf Central that I thought that round could echo. It could influence how he plays not just this week but the rest of this year and going forward. He needed to go out and dominate.”

McIlroy will look to end the major drought this week at Valhalla.

Check out the full interview with Chamblee below:

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‘I thought it was a bot, but it’s just somebody who’s been bought’ – Brandel Chamblee’s stinging assessment of Anthony Kim

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Last Friday, LIV Golf’s Anthony Kim took to his X account to lambaste Golf Channel analyst, Brandel Chamblee.

Kim said (in reference to Chamblee saying the PGA Tour should now accept a deal with the Saudi PIF) “ur such a pu**y 4 beating on ur chest & basically saying never retreat & hypocritically retreat.”

Chamblee responded, saying that Kim’s post was “inaccurate as some of Phil Mickelson’s drives”.

“This is about as inaccurate as a lot of Mickelson’s drives and sadly ironical coming two tweets after you asked for advice on raising your daughter that you would refer to someone as a female body part in a juvenile attempt to denigrate them. It’s clear that you were not offered disability for your pithy takes. As for your criticism of me saying a deal with the Saudis is the best deal for golf right now, it’s something I’ve said recently, because I don’t think the Saudis are going to turn away from the game and they will continue to be a poaching threat and dilute the product of the PGA Tour. It’s the sad reality of you and your brethren on the LIV tour willingly dealing with a murderous dictator for profit so that he can hide his atrocities, that golf has had to try to figure out how to mitigate the influence of MBS, PIF and LIV in the otherwise philanthropical and merit based world of professional golf. Now why don’t you get back to doing what you formerly did best, which is to wow the world with your talent. I don’t like LIV for a lot of reasons, but I certainly enjoyed your golf and would love to see you playing anything like the semblance of the golfer you used to be.”‘

On Tuesday during an interview with GolfWRX, Chamblee addressed the feud between Kim and himself.

“At first, I thought it was a bot. But it’s not, it was just somebody who’s been bought.

I thought it was juvenile. Social media is a perfect place for juveniles to go behave like children, like the ball pit at McDonalds without adult supervision.”

Chamblee added:

“I’m sure Anthony Kim scrolls and gets positive comments and says ‘yeah, these people get me! I’m doing the right thing’. And it’s just juvenile and sad is what it is.

I feel sorry for him”.

Brandel Chamblee is in the booth this week for the 2024 PGA Championship from Valhalla that will feature 16 LIV pros but no Anthony Kim.

Check out the full interview with Chamblee below:

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Vincenzi’s 2024 PGA Championship betting preview: Rising star ready to join the immortals at Valhalla

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The second major of the 2024 season is upon us as the world’s best players will tee it up this week at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky to compete for the Wanamaker Trophy.

The last time we saw Valhalla host a major championship, Rory McIlroy fended off Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Rickie Fowler and the creeping darkness that was descending upon the golf course. The Northern Irishman had the golf world in the palm of his hand, joining only Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as players who’d won four major championships by the time they were 25 years old. 

Valhalla is named after the great hall described in Norse mythology where the souls of Vikings feasted and celebrated with the Gods. The course is a Jack Nicklaus-design that has ranked among Golf Digest’s “America’s 100 Greatest Courses” for three decades. 

Valhalla Golf Club is a par-71 measuring 7,542 yards with Zoysia fairways and Bentgrass greens. The course has rolling hills and dangerous streams scattered throughout and the signature 13th hole is picturesque with limestone and unique bunkering protecting the green. The 2024 PGA Championship will mark the fourth time Valhalla has hosted the event. 

The field this week will consist of 156 players, including 16 PGA Champions and 33 Major Champions. 

Past Winners of the PGA Championship

  • 2023: Brooks Koepka (-9) Oak Hill
  • 2022: Justin Thomas (-5) Southern Hills
  • 2021: Phil Mickelson (-6) Kiawah Island
  • 2020: Collin Morikawa (-13) TPC Harding Park
  • 2019: Brooks Koepka (-8) Bethpage Black
  • 2018: Brooks Koepka (-16) Bellerive
  • 2017: Justin Thomas (-8) Quail Hollow
  • 2016: Jimmy Walker (-14) Baltusrol
  • 2015: Jason Day (-20) Whistling Straits
  • 2014: Rory McIlroy (-16) Valhalla

In this article and going forward, I’ll be using the Rabbit Hole by Betsperts Golf data engine to develop my custom model. If you want to build your own model or check out all of the detailed stats, you can sign up using promo code: MATTVIN for 25% off any subscription package (yearly is best value).

Key Stats For Valhalla

Let’s take a look at five key metrics for Oak Hill to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their past 24 rounds.

1. Strokes Gained: Approach

Valhalla will play as a true all-around test of golf for the world’s best. Of course, it will take strong approach play to win a major championship.

Strokes Gained: Approach Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Shane Lowry (+1.25)
  2. Scottie Scheffler (+1.09)
  3. Jordan Smith (+1.05)
  4. Tom Hoge (+.96)
  5. Corey Conners (+.94)

2. Strokes Gained: Off the Tee

Valhalla will play long and the rough will be penal. Players who are incredibly short off the tee and/or have a hard time hitting fairways will be all but eliminated from contention this week at the PGA Championship. 

Strokes Gained: Off the Tee Over Past 24 Rounds:

  1. Bryson DeChambeau (+1.47)
  2. Scottie Scheffler (+1.11)
  3. Keith Mitchell (+.90)
  4. Alejandro Tosti (+.89)
  5. Ludvig Aberg (+.82)

Strokes Gained: Total on Nickalus Designs

Valhalla is a classic Nicklaus Design. Players who play well at Nicklaus designs should have an advantage coming into this major championship. 

Strokes Gained: Total on Nicklaus Designs over past 36 rounds:

  1. Jon Rahm (+2.56)
  2. Scottie Scheffler (+2.48)
  3. Patrick Cantlay (+2.35)
  4. Collin Morikawa (+1.79)
  5. Shane Lowry (+1.57)

Strokes Gained: Tee to Green on Very Long Courses

Valhalla is going to play extremely long this week. Players who have had success playing very long golf courses should be better equipped to handle the conditions of this major championship.

Strokes Gained: Total on Very Long Courses Over Past 24 Rounds: 

  1. Scottie Scheffler (+2.44)
  2. Rory McIlroy (+2.24)
  3. Will Zalatoris (+1.78)
  4. Viktor Hovland (+1.69)
  5. Xander Schauffele (+1.60)

Strokes Gained: Total in Major Championships

One factor that tends to play a large role in deciding major championships is which players have played well in previous majors leading up to the event. 

Strokes Gained: Total in Major Championships over past 20 rounds:

  1. Scottie Scheffler (+3.14)
  2. Will Zalatoris (+2.64)
  3. Rory McIlroy (+2.49)
  4. Xander Schauffele (+2.48)
  5. Tommy Fleetwood (2.09)

Strokes Gained: Putting on Bentgrass Greens

Valhalla features pure Bentgrass putting surfaces. Players who are comfortable putting on this surface will have an advantage on the greens. 

Strokes Gained: Putting on Bentgrass Greens over Past 24 Rounds:

  1. Ludvig Aberg (+1.12)
  2. Denny McCarthy (+1.08)
  3. Matt Fitzpatrick (+0.99)
  4. Justin Rose (+0.93)
  5. J.T. Poston (0.87)

Strokes Gained: Total on Zoysia Fairways

Valhalla features Zoysia fairways. Players who are comfortable playing on this surface will have an advantage on the field.

Strokes Gained: Total on Zoysia Fairways over past 36 rounds: 

  1. Justin Thomas (+1.53)
  2. Will Zalatoris (+1.47)
  3. Xander Schauffele (+1.40)
  4. Brooks Koepka (+1.35)
  5. Rory McIlroy (+1.23)

2024 PGA Championship Model Rankings

Below, I’ve compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the key statistical categories previously discussed — SG: Approach (25%), SG: Off the Tee (22%), SG: T2G on Very Long Courses (12%), SG: Putting on Bentgrass (+12%), SG: Total on Nicklaus Designs (12%). SG: Total on Zoysia Fairways (8%), and SG: Total in Major Championships (8%). 

  1. Brooks Koepka
  2. Xander Schauffele
  3. Rory McIlroy
  4. Scottie Scheffler
  5. Bryson DeChambeau
  6. Shane Lowry
  7. Alex Noren
  8. Will Zalatoris
  9. Cameron Young
  10. Keith Mitchell
  11. Hideki Matsuyama
  12. Billy Horschel
  13. Patrick Cantlay
  14. Viktor Hovland
  15. Adam Schenk
  16. Chris Kirk
  17. Sahith Theegala
  18. Min Woo Lee
  19. Joaquin Niemann
  20. Justin Thomas

2024 PGA Championship Picks

Ludvig Aberg +1800 (BetMGM)

At The Masters, Ludvig Aberg announced to the golf world that he’s no longer an “up and coming” player. He’s one of the best players in the game of golf, regardless of experience.

Augusta National gave Aberg some necessary scar tissue and showed him what being in contention at a major championship felt like down the stretch. Unsurprisingly, he made a costly mistake, hitting it in the water left of the 11th hole, but showed his resilience by immediately bouncing back. He went on to birdie two of his next three holes and finished in solo second by three shots. With the type of demeanor that remains cool in pressure situations, I believe Ludvig has the right mental game to win a major at this point in his career.

Aberg has not finished outside of the top-25 in his past eight starts, which includes two runner-up finishes at both a “Signature Event” and a major championship. The 24-year-old is absolutely dominant with his driver, which will give him a major advantage this week. In the field he ranks, in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, and has gained strokes in the category in each of his past ten starts. Aberg is already one of the best drivers of the golf ball on the planet.

In Norse mythology, Valhalla is the great hall where the souls of Vikings feasted and celebrated with the Gods. The Swedes, who are of Old Norse origin, were the last of the three Scandinavian Kingdoms to abandon the Old Norse Gods. A Swede played a major role in the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla, and I believe another, Ludvig Aberg, will be the one to conquer Valhalla in 2024. 

Bryson DeChambeau +2800 (BetMGM)

Bryson DeChambeau is one of the few players in the world that I believe has the game to go blow-for-blow with Scottie Scheffler. Although he isn’t as consistent as Scheffler, when he’s at his best, Bryson has the talent to beat him.

At The Masters, DeChambeau put forth a valiant effort at a golf course that simply does not suit his game. Valhalla, on the other hand, is a course that should be perfect for the 30-year-old. His ability to overpower a golf course with his driver will be a serious weapon this week.

Bryson has had some success at Jack Nicklaus designs throughout his career as he won the Memorial at Muirfield Village back in 2018. He’s also had incredible results on Bentgrass greens for the entirety of his professional career. Of his 10 wins, nine of them have come on Bentgrass greens, with the only exception being the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. He also has second place finishes at Medinah and TPC Summerlin, which feature Bentgrass greens.

Love him or hate him, it’s impossible to argue that Bryson isn’t one of the most exciting and important players in the game of golf. He’s also one of the best players in the world. A second major is coming soon for DeChambeau, and I believe he should be amongst the favorites to hoist the Wanamaker Trophy this week.

Patrick Cantlay +4000 (FanDuel)

There’s no way of getting around it: Patrick Cantlay has been dissapointing in major championships throughout his professional career. He’s been one of the top players on Tour for a handful of years and has yet to truly contend at a major championship, with the arguable exception of the 2019 Masters.

Despite not winning majors, Cantlay has won some big events. The 32-year-old has won two BMW Championships, two Memorial Tournaments as well as a Tour Championship. His victories at Memorial indicate how much Cantlay loves Nicklaus designs, where he ranks 3rd in the field in Strokes Gained: Total over his past 36 rounds behind only Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm.

Cantlay also loves Bentgrass greens. Six of Cantlay’s seven individual wins on the PGA Tour have come on Bentgrass greens and he also was one of the best putters at the 2023 Ryder cup at Marco Simone (also Bentgrass). At Caves Valley (2021 BMW Championship), he gained over 12 strokes putting to outduel another Bentgrass specialist, Bryson DeChambeau.

Cantlay finished 22nd in The Masters, which was a solid result considering how many elite players struggled that week. He also has two top-ten finishes in his past five PGA Championships. He’s undeniably one of the best players in the field, therefore, it comes down to believing Cantlay has the mental fortitude to win a major, which I do.

Joaquin Niemann +4000 (BetMGM)

I believe Joaquin Niemann is one of the best players in the world. He has three worldwide wins since December and has continued to improve over the course of his impressive career thus far. Still only 25, the Chilean has all the tools to be a serious contender in major championships for years to come.

Niemann has been the best player on LIV this season. Plenty will argue with the format or source of the money on LIV, but no one can argue that beating players such as Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Cameron Smith is an unremarkable achievement. Niemann is an elite driver of the golf ball who hits it farther than just about anyone in the field not named Bryson DeChambeau or (arguably) Rory McIlroy.

Niemann is another player who has been fantastic throughout his career on Bentgrass greens. Prior to leaving the PGA Tour, Bentgrass was the only green surface in which Joaco was a positive putter. It’s clearly a surface that he is very comfortable putting on and should fare around and on the greens this week.

Niemann is a perfect fit for Valhalla. His low and penetrating ball flight will get him plenty of runout this week on the fairways and he should have shorter shots into the green complexes than his competitors. To this point in his career, the former top ranked amateur in the world (2018) has been underwhelming in major championships, but I don’t believe that will last much longer. Joaquin Niemann is a major championship caliber player and has a real chance to contend this week at Valhalla.

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