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FANTASY PREVIEW AND PICKS FOR LIV GOLF HOUSTON

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Written by
Cullum Brownbridge, RotoWire
May 31 2024
- 5 MIN
Brooks Koepka look

It's officially the second half of the 2024 LIV Golf season, and the league returns to the United States with a first-ever visit to Texas. The last event, in Singapore, saw Smash GC captain Brooks Koepka capture the fourth individual LIV Golf trophy of his career, while Ripper GC won its second-straight team trophy, this time without the need of a playoff.


PLAY LIV GOLF FANTASY NOW: Ready to make your LIV Golf Fantasy selections? Set your lineup by shotgun start on June 7th at 1:00 PM EST.


Since that thrilling event on Sentosa Island, 16 LIV Golf players have appeared in the second major of the year, the PGA Championship, at Valhalla Golf Club. Eleven made the cut, with Crushers GC captain Bryson DeChambeau leading the way with a second-place finish, followed by Stinger GC’s Dean Burmester (T12) and defending champion and Smash GC captain Brooks Koepka (T23).

Now, attentions turn to Houston. With the U.S. Open taking place just a week later, some will use the event as a tune-up for the third major of the year. For others, Houston provides an opportunity to build on what's working, or try a fresh mindset as they enter the business end of the season.

The Golf Club of Houston boasts a par-72 course of 7,425 yards, which on the surface seems like a paradise for big drivers like DeChambeau, Individual Championship leader Joaco Niemann and RangeGoats GC’s Matthew Wolff. But the fairways are littered with hazards, and the greens should play fast in the summer heat, so patience will be a virtue for the field. You can read more about the course here.

Here are the fantasy picks for LIV Golf Houston, provided by RotoWire:

Captains (2)

Bryson DeChambeau - Crushers GC

DeChambeau came agonizingly close to capturing his first PGA Championship title after shooting a bogey-free 64 in the final round, but he came up one stroke short after Xander Schauffele sunk a birdie putt on the par-5 18th. Despite shooting the best round of his major career, DeChambeau felt like “I had my B game pretty much,” per Mike McCallister. Dechambeau led the field in Valhalla in average driving distance (330.5 yards) and scrambling (90.0 percent). He’ll bring plenty of momentum to LIV Golf Houston as he tunes up for the U.S. Championship, which he won in 2020.

Brooks Koepka - Smash GC

A three-over 74 in the third round at Valhalla Golf Club effectively snuffed out Koepka’s PGA Championship defense, but the American ended strong with a five-under 66 to finish T23. Koepka entered the second major of the year off the heels of a victory at LIV Golf Singapore, and in the process became the first player in the league to capture four individual trophies. He ranks T6 in GIR (74.34 percent) and eighth in birdies per round (4.62) and in the top 15 in average driving distance and scrambling.

Others to consider: Torque GC’s Joaquin Niemann (T39 at the PGA Championship after a four-under 67 final round, ranked T2 in the field in GIR and fifth in average driving distance), 4Aces GC’s Dustin Johnson (T7 and T43 at LIV Golf Singapore and the PGA Championship, respectively, and he ranks ninth in driving distance in LIV Golf)

Non-captains (4)

Marc Leishman - Ripper GC

After failing to crack the top-20 in each of the first four rounds, the Australian has three consecutive top-15 finishes, including a tie for second at LIV Golf Singapore with teammate and captain Cameron Smith. Leishman’s latest finishes rose him to 14th in the individual season standings, and he has played an integral part in Ripper GC’s back-to-back team victories in Adelaide and Singapore. He ranks fourth in scrambling (70 percent) and T14 in average putts per hole (1.58) this season.

Dean Burmester - Stinger GC

Burmester had the second-best finish of the LIV Golf representation at Valhalla, thanks in large part to his bogey-free six-under 65 score in the second round. The South African’s T12 finish earned him an invitation to next year’s PGA Championship, and he finished the tournament second in driving distance (324.9 yards) and ninth in strokes gained: tee-to-green (2.24). Outside of a T39 finish in Las Vegas, Burmester has finished in the top-15 in six events and top-10 in four, including a victory at LIV Golf Miami. He ranks fourth in driving distance (313.4 yards), T4 in GIR (74.87 percent) and eighth in scrambling (68.42 percent).

Abraham Ancer - Fireballs GC

After failing to crack the top-20 in each of the first two LIV Golf tournaments, Ancer has finished T12 or better in five-straight tournaments, including a victory in Hong Kong. He’s quietly risen to sixth in the LIV Golf individual season standings and has four consecutive top-10 finishes. Ancer is the most accurate golfer off the tee (67.01 percent driving accuracy), and his 4.81 birdies per hole ranks fourth on the season.

Tyrrell Hatton - Legion XIII

Hatton managed to make the cut at Valhalla, but he finished T63 after a two-over 73 when he scored three bogeys on the back nine. Still, Hatton has been one of the best performers in his debut season in LIV Golf, and he and Jon Rahm have driven Legion XIII to second place in the team standings. The Englishman sits in 11th in the individual season standings, and he has two top-five finishes in the last three LIV Golf tournaments. Hatton may not be one of the most accurate drivers off the tee (51.02 percent), but he has been excellent in getting himself out of trouble, ranking fifth in scrambling (68.97 percent) and third in average putts (1.54).

Others to consider: Smash GC’s Talor Gooch (finished fourth at LIV Golf Singapore for his fourth top-10 finish of the season, and he made the cut at the PGA Championship, finishing T60), Crusher GC’s Paul Casey (he’s failed register individual points over the last two tournaments, but he’s been the best in GIR (76.19 percent), and he ranks third in scrambling (71.11 percent) and seventh in driving accuracy (61.22 percent).

Teams (2)

Ripper GC

The Australians will be looking for their third-straight team trophy, and they have soared up to third in the team standings. Captain Cameron Smith has gotten major contributions from Leishman and Lucas Herbert, while Matt Jones played a crucial role in the team’s victory in front of a raucous home crowd in Adelaide. As a team, Ripper GC rank third in scrambling and birdies.

Crushers GC

After back-to-back victories in Jeddah and Hong Kong, Crushers GC haven’t managed to crack the top-five in each of the last three tournaments, including an 11th-place finish in Singapore. Still, if there’s a tournament to bounce back at, it’s in Houston. As a team, Crushers GC are the best in scrambling and GIR, and they rank second in driving accuracy.

Others to consider: RangeGoats GC (they average 308.5 yards off the tee this season, which is best amongst the 13 teams), Fireballs GC (rank top-four this season in birdies, driving accuracy and driving distance, and they are coming off a T2 finish in Singapore).

Sleepers (5)

Richard Bland - Cleeks GC

Bland is coming off an emotional, four-stroke victory at the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores Golf Club in Michigan, one week after his brother, Heath, was diagnosed with lung cancer. Bland has been steady this season, finishing T22 or better in six of seven LIV Golf events, and the Cleeks GC member will look for his first top-10 finish of the season in Houston.

Kieran Vincent - Legion XIII

Vincent used a bogey-free six-under final round to capture the KitKat Cash & Carry Pro-Am in South Africa on the Sunshine Tour by four strokes. The Zimbabwean finished T22 at LIV Golf Singapore, which was his best placement of the season.

Lucas Herbert - Ripper GC

Entering the final round at the PGA Championship, Herbert was in contention for a top-15 finish before ultimately settling for T43. Still, it marked the fourth straight year that the Aussie golfer has made the cut at that major. Despite finishing second-to-last at Valhalla Golf Course in GIR (51.39 percent), he finished T3 in putts per round (26), eighth in scrambling (77.14 percent) and 13th in strokes gained around the green (0.671).

Eugenio Chacarra - Fireballs GC

Chacarra will make his major debut at Pinehurst, North Carolina after he finished T2 at the U.S. Open qualifier at Dallas Athletic Club in Texas on May 20. LIV Golf Houston offers the perfect tune-up for the Spaniard, who is coming off his best finish of the LIV Golf season at Singapore (T10).

Thomas Pieters - RangeGoats GC

Pieters has finished in the top 15 in each of the last three LIV Golf tournaments, with his T5 finish in Singapore his best performance of the season. The Belgian ranks eighth this season in average driving distance (309.4 yards) and 13th in scrambling (66.1 percent).

Prediction:

He’s been in a slump the past two LIV Golf tournaments, but I think this is where Paul Casey will turn things around and capture his first individual trophy of the season, with DeChambeau and Koepka lurking in the shadows. Niemann and Jon Rahm are sure to make some noise as they have all season. Crushers GC will capture their third team trophy of the season, with Torque GC and Fireballs GC rounding out the podium.


PLAY LIV GOLF FANTASY NOW: Ready to make your LIV Golf Fantasy selections? Set your lineup by shotgun start on June 7th at 1:00 PM EST.

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