Written by
Ryan Andrade, RotoWire
Feb 05 2024
- 8 min
Fantasy picks for LIV Golf Las Vegas

What a debut it was for Legion XIII Golf Club, which took the team title at LIV Golf Mayakoba last week behind Jon Rahm’s podium finish. The week started with a bang with Joaquin Niemann firing a 12-under 59 in the opening round, marking the second sub-60 round in LIV Golf history after Bryson DeChambeau’s 58 at LIV Golf Greenbrier last year.

It was not a smooth trot to victory for Niemann by any means. He faced plenty of adversity, including enduring a two-shot penalty for an improper drop in the second round. Niemann kept battling an eventually got into a playoff with Sergio Garcia. After three playoff holes and facing nearly complete darkness, both players agreed to play one more hole with some encouragement from the fans. With the greenside scoreboard lighting up the putting surface, Niemann would hole a putt from the fringe for birdie to end it.

Niemann is playing some high-level golf right now no matter where he tees it up. This was his first LIV Golf victory, but he will have an excellent chance of going back-to-back at LIV Golf Las Vegas this week.

The stars will certainly be out in Vegas with Super Bowl LVIII in town featuring the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers. Las Vegas Country Club is the host course this week and is not far from the famous Las Vegas Strip. The course was opened in 1967 and has hosted events on the PGA and LPGA tours in the past.

For a course in the middle of the desert, Las Vegas CC does feature a fair amount of trees that line relatively narrow fairways. It is also extremely well bunkered in the landing areas. Length really shouldn’t be as much of a factor as some other courses this season, but accuracy will certainly be a premium. The greens are bentgrass and will be a bit of an adjustment to the 54-man field after dealing with paspalum greens at Mayakoba last week. 

Another factor will be a storm making its way through California and heading toward Las Vegas. It will bring some heavy rain and definitely make the course play very soft this week. We will see some pretty chilly temperatures, and winds should be pretty mild.

Let’s take a look at some of the top LIV Fantasy options for the League’s first trip to Sin City.

Captains (2)

Joaquin Niemann

Niemann has been a force for the last few months around the world. He closed 2023 notching a fifth-place finish and a win in Australia, then kicked off 2024 with a T4 in Dubai before his maiden LIV Golf win last week in Mayakoba. Niemann was top-three in driving accuracy and GIR percentage last week and that should carry him into Las Vegas nicely.

Jon Rahm

It didn’t take long for Rahm to get his feet under him at LIV Golf. He was in the mix throughout the week, but unfortunately just didn’t put the final round together he needed to get into that playoff. Rahm is one of the best drivers in the world and boasts terrific control with his irons. If the Spaniard makes enough putts, we very well could see him lifting the trophy this week.

Non-Captains (5)

Charles Howell III

Howell returned to Mayakoba last week as the defending champion and his title defense was pretty strong. He put together three rounds in the 60s and scored a T5 finish. Howell also led the field in putting average, which might come in handy if Las Vegas CC plays soft and it becomes a putting contest. Howell is a very accurate driver as well which should serve him well here.

Tyrrell Hatton

Drive it straight, precision iron shots and a putter that can heat up quickly? Check, check and check. Hatton got things together in the final round at Mayakoba where he posted a 7-under 64, the best round of the day by two shots. The Englishman has now finished top-15 in five of his last six starts worldwide.

Paul Casey

Casey had a bit of a down year in 2023, but he showed his potential for this season at Mayakoba. Casey was under par in all three rounds on his way to a T11 finish. The 46-year-old has still proven to be one of the best ball-strikers in professional golf. Last week he ranked fourth in GIR’s and T14 in driving accuracy.

Abraham Ancer

T28 wasn’t the showing that Ancer would have been hoping for in his home country, but after a tough first two rounds he bounced back with a bogey-free 67 on Sunday. Ancer’s accuracy off the tee and putting ability should play to his advantage at Las Vegas CC. 

Sebastian Munoz

The Colombian easily could have been a contender last week had it not been for all the mistakes. His 17 birdies at Mayakoba tied Niemann for the most in the field, but unfortunately 10 bogeys and a double put him down at T13 for the week. The upside for Munoz is there after ranking T5 in GIRs and the soft conditions could help some of the shots around the green he struggled with.

Teams (2)

Legion XIII

LIV Golf’s newest team very well might be the most talented. They took home the team title last week at Mayakoba with great showings from Rahm and Hatton mentioned above, but also 19-year-old phenom Caleb Surratt who finished T13 with a strong final round. Surratt was a first-team All-American in 2023 and also won the SEC Championship individual title. The final member of Legion XII, Kieran Vincent, also showed promise at Mayakoba, ranking top-20 in driving accuracy in GIR’s. If this team gets hot with the putter in Vegas there is nobody stopping them.

Crushers GC

The precision of Charles Howell III and Paul Casey has been touched on above but throw in the power of Bryson DeChambeau and this team is equipped to take on all kinds of challenges. DeChambeau will be one of the few players able to carry the myriad of well-placed fairway bunkers and actually open up the course if he is drives it accurately. Anirban Lahiri is no slouch either after closing with 67 last week at Mayakoba and ending 2023 with podiums in two of the last three events. The 2023 Team Champion was one of the few teams to keep the same roster in 2024 and it will take a mighty effort to knock them off the top. 

Sleepers (4)

Kalle Samooja

2023 LIV Golf Promotions winner ranked top-five in driving accuracy and greens in regulation at Mayakoba last week.

Laurie Canter

Chip on his shoulder with this being possibly his last LIV Golf event of 2024. Faded to T15 after a 66 in Round 1 at Mayakoba behind strong ball-striking.

Matthew Wolff

Made 13 birdies and an eagle at Mayakoba. Owns a pair of runner-up finishes in his pro career in Las Vegas at nearby TPC Summerlin.

Matt Jones

Closed with a bogey-free 5-under 66 at Mayakoba where he ranked T3 in putts per round for the week. More than 10 competitive starts in Las Vegas.

Pick to Win

Tyrrell Hatton

Hatton picks up his first LIV Golf victory in just his second start building on that closing 64 at Mayakoba. He’s got all the weapons you look for at this kind of test and the chilly temperatures won’t phase him. Hatton posts 16-under-par to best Joaquin Niemann going for a second straight win and Bryson DeChambeau looking to add to his strong record in Las Vegas by one stroke.