UK: 18+ USA: 21+ | Begambleaware.org | T&Cs apply | Play Responsibly
This weekend, the eighth LIV Tour event of the season takes place as the series heads to Valderrama for three days of golfing action. Going into the event, Talor Gooch leads the way in the individual standings while 4 Aces GC top the team standings.
Given the recent merger signed by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund and the PGA Tour, the future of LIV beyond this season is up for debate. With that in mind, the opportunity to potentially sign off as the final winner of the series is something that all those involved will be keen to accomplish.
Heading into Valderrama there are several big names who are in need of some form and momentum before the final major of the year next month, while there are also some lesser-known players who are looking to make a name for themselves in the world of golf.
With all 48 players set to tee it up at Real Club Valderrama on Friday, here are some tips and predictions to consider.
The best LIV Valderrama tips and predictions
Cameron Smith to win the tournament – 8/1
Cameron Smith was a late signing by LIV Golf at the end of last season meaning this has been his first full season on the Saudi-backed tour. The Australian was ranked inside the top four in the world when he made the move to LIV, but things haven’t quite worked out as expected for the reigning British Open champion.
This season, Smith is yet to taste success in LIV which has appeared to have knocked his confidence at golf’s major tournaments, too. However, in recent months there has been an upturn in form and he put in an impressive showing at LIV Tulsa in May where he lost the individual event to Dustin Johnson in a dramatic playoff.
In his last four liv events he has four top-eleven finishes while he also performed well at the US Open two weeks ago. The signs are there that Smith is back to his best and we believe that he will confirm that this weekend with a win in Valderrama.
Talor Gooch to finish in the top five – 10/3
As the standings show, Talor Gooch is the man to beat in LIV Golf this year. While he has performed admirably all season, his best results came in April when he secured back-to-back victories in Adelaide and Singapore.
The 31-year-old followed those two victories up with a disappointing display in Tulsa where he finished 36th in the standings but was better again in Washington DC at the end of May. Since then, Gooch has enjoyed a month away from competitive golf after he failed to qualify for the US Open but the break should have done him some good.
We expect Gooch to put in another good display in Valderrama as we reach the business end of the season to solidify his position at the top of the individual LIV standings.
— Luckiest Golfers On Earth (@luckiestgolfer) June 27, 2023
Brooks Koepka to finish in the top ten – 4/5
Brooks Koepka became the first man in LIV history to win two separate events earlier this year when he won LIV Orlando. It followed up his victory in Jeddah at the end of last season and it gave him some much-needed momentum and confidence prior to major season.
This confidence clearly did the trick as the 32-year-old spectacularly added his fifth major championship not long after at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill and will still have his eyes set on challenging Gooch for the top individual prize in LIV.
Failing that, this is a man who is driven by major championships, and with the fourth and final major of the season fast approaching, he will be desperate to get another win under his belt for momentum before heading to the UK.
We expect Koepka to play super aggressively and to comfortably finish inside the top ten in Valderrama, making this our safest prediction for the weekend.
Top European: Sergio Garcia – 6/4
As far as LIV Golf goes, it’s been a very disappointing season for Europeans with all seven events so far being won by Americans and Australians. Thomas Pieters was a big LIV signing from Europe at the start of the season but the Belgian has struggled massively since making the move and hasn’t come close to winning an event thus far.
In fact, the only European who has shown any kind of form this season has been Sergio Garcia. The experienced Spaniard came second at LIV Singapore following a tense playoff with Talor Gooch and he did okay at the US Open a fortnight ago.
Considering the lack of form amongst other Europeans competing this weekend, Garcia the logical option here.
Subscribe to Punditfeed on Google News for all the latest updates from the world of sports!