Captains And Teammates Grouped Together For First Round Of LIV Golf Adelaide

The circuit is trying something new during the opening round of its first foray into Australia

Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau talk to the media before the 2023 LIV Golf Adelaide event
Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau will be grouped with other captains at LIV Golf Adelaide
(Image credit: Getty Images)

LIV Golf’s first tournament in Australia is shaping up to be a big occasion for the circuit.

As well as the action taking place before a sellout crowd at The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide, which includes a party hole, Friday’s groups for the first round will be a little different to usual. The first four groups of three will feature the captains of the 12 teams, while the remaining teammates will play together too.

LIV Golf has been keen to promote the team aspect of its tournaments so far in 2023. One of the big reasons for that is it sees the building of team franchises as a significant way to help it become profitable over the long term, with captains encouraged to attract sponsors and fan interest for their franchises, which are 75% owned by LIV Golf.

From that perspective, the groupings make a lot of sense. After all, with the majority of each team together as they make their way around the course, it’s only likely to help highlight that aspect of the competition for both fans and players alike.

Meanwhile, it helps bring together some of LIV’s best players thanks to the groups that feature just the captains. For example, four-time Major winner Brooks Koepka, of Smash GC, is grouped with World No.6 Cameron Smith, who captains Ripper GC, and Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter of Majesticks GC.

Then there’s World No.25 Joaquin Niemann of Torque GC, who plays with 4 Aces GC captain Dustin Johnson and Range Goats GC leader Bubba Watson, who have four Major wins between them.

Elsewhere, Iron Heads GC captain and former World No.19 Kevin Na plays with former World No.1 Martin Kaymer, who leads Cleeks GC for the first time in 2023 after being out with injury until now. The pair will be alongside 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, of Stinger GC.

Finally, 2020 US Open champion and Crushers GC captain Bryson DeChambeau tees it up with 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia, of Fireballs GC, and six-time Major winner Phil Mickelson, who captains Hy Flyers GC.

Last month, it was reported that LIV Golf could expand to 15 teams, suggesting the emphasis on the role of the teams in its tournaments is only likely to increase in the future. For the moment, it seems determined to make its first trip to Australia count, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it has its teams front and centre of that ambition.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.