The LIV Golf League will head to Orlando, Florida this week. If you are a resident of the United States, you can watch all action live on the CW Network or stream live from the CW App or website. If you are outside of the United States, be sure to check Livgolf.com for details on streaming options.
This week the LIV Golf League will hold this week’s event at Orange County National, in Winter Garden, Florida. Orange County National features two championship level courses as well as a nine-hole par three course. This week’s event will be played on the Crooked Cat Golf Course.
The Crooked Cat will play as a 7297-yard par-71, featuring Bermuda grass fairways and Champions Bermuda Ultra Dwarf Turf Grass greens. According to the course website, the course features significant elevation changes, rolling fairways and large, contoured greens. The Crooked Cat has a links style look with fewer trees and mounding in the fairways. Because of the openness of the course, wind often becomes a factor. In addition to the wind and elevation changes, players will be tested by the magnitude of grass bunkers that will be in play this week.
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LIV Golf Orlando Course Breakdown
Below is the official round one scorecard provided by LIV Golf.
Similar to the LIV Tucson event, I do not believe that this course favors one type of player over another. There are a variety of ways to play this course and have success. Due to the lack of trees and openness of the course, longer and less accurate hitters will be able to spray the ball a little off the tee and still have the ability to have an unobstructed section shot. Many reviews of the course describe the Crooked Cat as a “grip it and rip it” style of course.
On the contrast, I believe there could be an advantage for the players who are more accurate off the tee as well. Between the wind, elevation changes and links feel of the course, players will have to do a good bit of shot shaping this week. Players who play out of the fairway will have a big advantage of being able to control their approach shots into the greens.
Regardless of how players choose to navigate the course off the tee, the key stat I will be looking at this week will be Greens in Regulation. If players aren’t controlling their approach shots well into the greens, they will be in for a long week. While the weather is subject to change, the links style and openness of the Crooked Cat Golf Course leads me to consider how players perform in the wind as well. Due to the shotgun start, there will be no wave advantage to worry about so all players will have to deal with the same elements all week.
In addition, one of the biggest factors to consider this week is what is around the corner for nearly half the field. 18 of the 48 players in the field this week will be teeing it up next week at The Masters. This will be the final tune up for them before Augusta and as a result, I expect the big dogs to flood the top of the leaderboard this week.
LIV Golf Betting Odds – Orlando
Below are the current odds to win as presented by Bovada. Odds on different sportsbooks are subject to change.
LIV Golf Betting Strategy & Selections – Orlando
It is hard to deny that the first two events of the season haven’t exactly produced the leaderboards LIV was hoping for. Dustin Johnson, Cam Smith, Abraham Ancer and Joaquin Niemann have combined for just one top ten finish so far in LIV’s 2023 season. That changes this week. Dustin Johnson and Cam Smith are among the favorites to contend next week at Augusta, and neither is exactly hot coming in. Look for the three favorites Johnson, Smith and Niemann to all be locked in this week and contend.
While LIV has produced a good amount of long shot winners thus far, I don’t believe this is the week to get greedy. I personally won’t be going much further down than 50-1 on the odds list. Due to the timing of the event, the top players simply need to find form more this week and I expect the cream to rise to the top as a result.
Dustin Johnson +1100
It’s been a slow start to the 2023 season for Dustin Johnson, the 2022 LIV individual season points winner. Johnson finished T35 in Mayakoba and T13 last start, in Tucson. The veteran seemed to turn a corner over the weekend in Tucson, however. He carded back-to-back 68’s on Saturday and Sunday after shooting +1 in round one.
The irons seemed to get going for DJ last start as he finished the week T2 in the field in Greens in Regulation. It’s safe to say the putter kept Johnson out of the top ten, finishing T31 in total putts. While I wouldn’t call it encouraging to see a bad putting performance, putting is the most volatile stat week to week and we could easily see that flip this week. If Johnson keeps the irons going, I expect him to have a chance to win on Sunday.
As I mentioned earlier in the article, this will be the final tune up before the Masters. Johnson is currently listed as +3200 to win The Masters and is a perennial contender at Augusta. He has finished inside the top-12 in six of his last seven starts at Augusta, including a win in 2020. I expect DJ to be locked in this week and have his feeling good before playing for a green jacket in ten days on Easter.
Peter Uihlein +3300
Peter Uihlein is quickly turning from an underdog to one of the most consistent players in the LIV Golf League. Uihlein now has four top ten finishes in his last five starts, including three runner ups. He was the longest hitter in the field last event and finished top ten in both total birdies and total putts.
While he doesn’t fit the tune up for The Masters narrative, his current form is too good to ignore. The 33-year-old is gaining more and more reps in contention and is bound to close one of these out soon enough. Living in Jupiter, Florida, Uihlein should be comfortable hitting off the Bermuda fairways and putting on these surfaces.
Brooks Koepka +4000
It’s hard to decide what to make of Brooks. On one hand his irons have been fine, and he finished last week T6 in total birdies. On the other hand, his driver has been horrendous and putting him in spots where he just can’t avoid bogey or worse. Last week marked the second straight LIV start where Koepka was one of the worst in the field in driving accuracy. He was plagued by the same issue during his missed cut in Oman as well.
The open style of the course should play to the advantage of Koepka this week. Even inaccurate tee shots won’t force him to punch out of trees or leave him dead for the hole. In addition, he’s notoriously good on links style golf courses. Being a Florida native, he should be very comfortable playing on Bermuda grass and putting on these style greens. There is a ton to like this week in terms of course fit.
Despite lack of form, I’m not going to hop off the Brooks train yet. We saw him win a LIV event last season and he’s far too talented to be listed at this number. A big question mark week to week for Brooks is focus. I think you can make the case that it won’t really be an issue this week with Augusta just ten days away. Koepka hasn’t produced a good result since winning in Jeddah and I think he’s going to be locked in on finding some confidence before the first major of 2023.
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