Top LIV Golfer at the PGA Championship 2023

Top LIV Golfer at the PGA Championship 2023
Phil Mickelson on the 4th green during day one of the LIV Golf Invitational Series at the Centurion Club, Hertfordshire. Picture date: Thursday June 9, 2022. - Photo by Icon sport

The 2023 PGA Championship is set to get underway on Thursday, May 17th at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. There are 156 golfers taking part in the event, which is one of golf’s most prestigious events, and 16 of them are from the controversial LIV Golf Series.

As LIV golfers are no longer eligible to pick up ranking points, in LIV events at least, this number is expected to drop in the coming years but for now, there is a healthy contingent from LIV at the PGA Championship. Let’s take a look at five LIV players who have a legitimate shot at winning the event this week.

Best LIV Golfers at the 2023 PGA Championship

Brooks Koepka

Brooks Koepka is arguably in the best position out of any LIV player to mount a serious challenge this week after his fantastic showing at the Masters in April. Although LIV players on the whole performed better than expected at Augusta National, Koepka was comfortably the pick of the bunch and led the tournament after three rounds.

Although he eventually had a miserable final round, Koepka’s second-place finish was a message to the rest of the golfing world that LIV golfers were still a force to be reckoned with despite their lack of competitive action. Koepka has enjoyed some decent results in LIV events since the Masters and comes alive at major tournaments. We expect another strong performance from him at Oak Hill.

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson is a former world number one and a tw0-time major champion. Johnson has finished second on two occasions at the PGA Championship and would love to get his hands on the trophy this weekend to put those two disappointments behind them.

At the age of 38, Johnson is probably past his best but that doesn’t mean he can still turn it on over four days at a major champion. He comes into the tournament with momentum after winning LIV Tulsa last weekend and will be hoping that the recent taste of success leads him to glory. Brooks Koepka won the last LIV event prior to the Masters and it seemed to serve him well so Johnson will be full of belief going into this week.

Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith only defected to LIV Golf this season meaning he is still ranked inside the top ten in the official golf world rankings. Smith is incredibly talented and won his maiden major trophy last season when he won the Open Championship at the famous Old Course at St. Andrews.

Smith is yet to win an event on the LIV Golf Series but he put came very close last weekend in Tulsa. After an astonishing round of 61 in the third and final round, Smith forced his way into a playoff with Dustin Johnson for the trophy but ultimately lost out to the 38-year-old. Regardless, the round of 61 indicated just how talented the Australian he is and proves that he is playing well enough to compete this week in New York.

Phil Mickelson

You can never write Phil Mickelson off regardless of form and age. The 52-year-old, who is bullish about the future of LIV Golf, became the oldest major champion in history when he won the PGA Championship two years ago and will believe that he can beat that very record this week at Oak Hill.

Mickelson hasn’t done anything of note in any LIV events this year but he played sensationally at the Masters in April with a chip on his shoulder. The six-time major champion shot a final-round score of -7 to finish in a tie for second at the tournament alongside Brooks Koepka. Can he go one better here? You’d be foolish to rule him out.

Talor Gooch

Unlike the other four men on this list, Talor Gooch isn’t a big name in the world of golf. However, that hasn’t stopped him from making big moves this season on the LIV Tour. He is the only man across both years of LIV Golf to win back-to-back events after winning in Adelaide and Singapore across April and May.

Despite being an outsider, if he can play anything like he did across those two tournaments then he is absolutely in with a chance of winning his maiden major championship this week.

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