Written by
Mike McAllister
Jan 02 2024
- 6 min

The opening round of the 2024 LIV Golf League season is a month away. Several big names have changed teams – and one huge name will make his debut in Mayakoba. Plus, four newcomers have earned their spots through the International Series and LIV Golf Promotions. Not all team lineups have been set, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make a few fearless predictions for a season that promises to be full of drama and intrigue.

JON RAHM WILL WIN AT LEAST 2 INDIVIDUAL TITLES. OK, so maybe you think this win total is low. But I’m taking the conservative approach simply to allow Rahm to adjust to playing tournaments that require a 54-hole sprint mentality rather than the traditional 72-hole slow cooker. Multiple LIV golfers say not having the luxury of bouncing back from a bad round is among the biggest mindset modifications upon joining LIV. For three-round events, it’s step on the gas immediately or lose ground. Talor Gooch showed in 2023 that winning three times in 13 regular-season starts is doable, but two wins seems like more of a likely number against LIV Golf’s strong fields. Rahm hoisting a third individual trophy as the season-long champion would, of course, shock no one.

LIV GOLFERS WILL WIN AT LEAST 2 MAJORS. When the LIV Golf League starts in Mayakoba, two of the four reigning majors champions will be in action – Masters winner Jon Rahm and PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka. No surprise if both players add to their major totals again this year. Throw in other recent major winners such as Cameron Smith, Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson, who are always threats in golf’s most prestigious events, and it looks more promising. Plus, along with the annual trip to Augusta National, LIV players should have good vibes at the other venues on the major schedule this year. The U.S. Open is at Pinehurst; Martin Kaymer won the last time it was played there, in 2014. (Also, watch out if Andy Ogletree can get in the field through qualifying; he won the 2019 U.S. Amateur there). The Open Championship is at Royal Troon; Henrik Stenson won the last Open played there in 2016, outdueling Phil Mickelson. And the PGA Championship is at Valhalla; Mickelson, a two-time PGA winner, was the runner-up there in 2014.

HYFLYERS GC WILL WIN AT LEAST ONE TEAM TITLE. The league’s most decorated captain, Phil Mickelson, has yet to pop a champagne bottle on a LIV Golf stage, and his HyFlyers didn’t even produce a podium finish in 2023. But they’ve shown competitive flashes, and the addition of International Series top gun Andy Ogletree will give Mickelson his most competitive team. Cameron Tringale and Brendan Steele were sneaky solid last year, as both finished inside the Lock Zone. And Mickelson, who turns 54 in June, surely has one more turn-back-the-clock performance. When that happens, expect the HyFlyers to break through.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU WILL SHOOT ANOTHER SUB-60 ROUND. His 12-under 58 on the final day to win LIV Golf Greenbrier was easily the best round of any player during the 2023 season. But after finding his game in Andalucía – and his driver in Greenbrier – DeChambeau posted four other rounds of 63 or better in the last six regular-season starts. Presumably back in form for a full season, he should be able to threaten 60 at any event with low scoring conditions (and yes, he’ll get three chances again when the League returns to Greenbrier in August).

PATRICK REED OR SERGIO GARCIA (AND POSSIBLY BOTH) WILL FINALLY WIN AN INDIVIDUAL TITLE. Reed is unquestionably the top LIV golfer without a win through the first two years; the 4Aces GC star was the top non-winner point producer in 2023, finishing sixth overall. Garcia, the Fireballs GC captain, lost in a playoff to Talor Gooch in Singapore and has three other top-5 finishes. With the League returning to Sentosa the first week of May, he must like his chances on a course that’s been fruitful for him.

ANDY OGLETREE WILL FINISH TOP 12 IN POINTS. He led the International Series season-long standings in 2023, which is how he earned his ticket to the League in 2024. And he showed in Tulsa last year as a final-round substitute for Majesticks GC co-captain Lee Westwood that he’s more than capable to stepping up in class, shooting an 8-under 62. Now with a full ride, he’s going to make the most of it. Don’t be surprised if he leads the HyFlyers in most points.

RIPPER GC WILL WIN LIV GOLF ADELAIDE. There was plenty of pressure on Cameron Smith and his crew to perform in LIV Golf’s first event in Australia. There were also plenty of time demands off the course. It seemed to impact the Rippers the first two days at The Grange, but in the final round, they produced the second-lowest team score of the day to finish eighth overall. They’ll be better prepared to handle the home-team demands in 2023, and having the incredible support from their hometown fans may prove to be the difference. Plus, Cam now has a wife to cheer him on!

MATTHEW WOLFF WILL BE THE BOUNCE-BACK STAR OF 2024. There’s no denying his talent, but obviously playing for Smash GC was not a fit for Wolff last year (he still finished 27th in points, by the way). Now under the warm embrace of RangeGoats GC captain Bubba Watson, who has a shared perspective of the challenges Wolff faces, the big-hitting 24-year-old has landed in the kind of spot that should bring out the most in him. In addition, he’ll have another Oklahoma State star, Peter Uihlein, for additional support and guidance. That leads us into the next prediction …

RANGEGOATS GC WILL BE BETTER THAN YOU THINK. Yes, on the surface, taking away the league’s 2023 Individual Champion (Talor Gooch) and another 2023 tournament winner (Harold Varner III) should knock the RangeGoats back. It’s not going to be easy to replace those four individual victories. But captain Watson will play better now that he’s got a full season in the books following his knee surgery in 2022. Uihlein has been one of the League’s steadiest performers and seems on the verge of a win. Wolff, for the reasons mentioned above, will perform at a higher rate. And Thomas Pieters has a year to adjust after joining the Goats just before the 2023 season. Don’t give up on the Goats.

STINGER GC WILL HAVE THE MOST PODIUM FINISHES OF ANY TEAM. The South Africans had six top-3 finishes in 13 regular-season starts in 2023 and finished fourth an additional three times – and it came during a season in which they battled through various injuries and ailments. Dean Burmester and Louis Oosthuizen combining for four consecutive wins during the DP World Tour’s recent Opening Swing is a great sign, and Branden Grace and Charl Schwartzel will hopefully be 100%. Consistency has been a Stinger constant, and that won’t change in 2024.

TWO DIFFERENT TORQUE GC PLAYERS WILL WIN INDIVIDUAL TITLES. Torque won a league-best four team trophies in 2023 but did not claim an individual victory. Sebastian Munoz came closest, finishing a stroke behind LIV Golf Orlando winner Brooks Koepka (Mito Pereira was a distant second to DeChambeau in Greenbrier). Captain Joaquin Niemann returned to the winner’s circle in the offseason, claiming the Australian Open title. And new acquisition Carlos Ortiz is a proven threat, having made the playoff in Tucson last season as a member of Fireballs GC. I don’t expect Torque to win four times again as a team, but they’ll have more individual success in 2024.

4ACES GC WILL CLAIM THE TOP SEED FOR A THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR. Dustin Johnson’s team dominated in 2022, and still played great in 2023 even as other teams raised their games. They finished the regular season with two wins and a six-point advantage over Crushers GC in the point standings. The Miami Team Championship was a disappointment, so they should have plenty of fire in their bellies. Plus, the addition of LIV Golf DC winner Harold Varner III is the kind of shake-up-the-roster move that could pay huge dividends simply by eliminating any chance of complacency. The Aces will be even louder in 2024.

THERE WILL FINALLY BE A TEAM PLAYOFF. Six of the first 20 regular-season LIV Golf tournaments have involved playoffs for the individual title, but amazingly, there has yet to be a playoff for the team trophy. Four times, teams won by a single stroke, and had Cam Smith not missed a short par putt on his final hole last year in London, it would’ve happened between his Rippers and the 4Aces. There’s no way we’ll get through another full season without at least one team playoff. (There, I’ve jinxed us!)

THE VINCENT BROTHERS WILL FINISH IN THE LOCK ZONE. Scott Vincent was the best Iron Heads GC player in 2023, and his fourth-place result in LIV Golf Jeddah was a clutch performance that vaulted him into the top 24 Lock Zone in the regular-season finale. His younger brother Kieran is now in the League too, having earned one of the three available spots at LIV Golf Promotions. Vincent is still waiting to find out which team he’ll play for in 2024, but he’s got a big game. Whether they’re playing with or against each other, no one else will outwork the Vincents.

SMASH GC WILL WIN THE TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP. Yes, I’m buying into the hype. Brooks Koepka and new addition Talor Gooch are statistically the best 1-2 punch in the league (Gooch was 1st, Koepka 3rd in points in 2023). Holdover Jason Kokrak was sneaky consistent, finishing in the Lock Zone. And new signee Graeme McDowell is primed for a comeback year, plus he’ll be a terrific team-room presence. McDowell should be a huge factor at the Team Championship, especially on match-play days. Kokrak has been excellent for the final round of stroke play in the first two years. And Koepka and Gooch, of course, are top-shelf. Smash may not dominate during the regular season, but I like the way they set up for the Team Championship.