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LIV golfers Patrick Reed, Talor Gooch roast after comparing upstart tour’s Portland event to a Ryder Cup

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It has become increasingly difficult to give LIV Golf the benefit of the doubt when it comes to being taken seriously when so many of their players continue to say completely ridiculous things. The latest culprit is Talor Gooch, who played for the winning Four Aces at this weekend’s LIV event in Portland, Oregon, alongside Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and Pat Perez.

Shortly after the Aces won the tournament on Saturday night, Gooch proceeded to liken their 54-hole triumph to one of the greatest events in all of sports.

“I haven’t played a Ryder Cup or a Presidents Cup, but I can’t imagine there would be a huge difference,” Gooch said of his week at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. “This was as cool as it sounds. We’ve been saying it all week. The energy is just different, it’s amazing.”

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The looks on Reed and Johnson’s faces as Gooch spoke spoke volumes.

Still, Reed, who earlier this week cited the PGA Tour not listening to players as one of the reasons he gave up his membership on that tour, later doubled down when interviewed after his first PGA tour event. LIV Golf. Granted, he’s one of the great Ryder Cup players of the last 25 years and built much of his reputation in those few weeks, but he still chose to back up what Gooch said.

“It was unreal,” Reed said of the fan support throughout the week. “I could be moving to Portland soon, with so many fans on my side. I’m like, ‘This is awesome.'”

“You know, it was amazing from start to finish. I mean, just the beginning of the week…really the first few days without fans and seeing how electric and excited all the guys were, it felt like I was playing a team event in Ryder Cups, Presidents Cups and events like that where everyone is all-in.

“I think that’s the most important thing, everyone is into it. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first day you come in, you’re playing nine-hole practice rounds or it’s the final round of the event. Everybody’s cheering everybody on, everybody’s playing with all their heart trying as hard as they can”.

This is, of course, completely ridiculous and other golfers quickly jumped on the conversation. Two-time Ryder Cupper Justin Thomas said from Gooch’s comment“I’ve seen some funny stuff online, but this is one of the best.”

Canadian Mackenzie Hughes, who is currently fighting for a spot on the International Team at this year’s Presidents Cup, said“I’ve had a lot of LOL moments with LIV, but this is hands down number one.”

While the team atmosphere in Portland was surprisingly compelling and more intense than anticipated, comparing it to a Ryder Cup, which is easily the most raucous atmosphere in all of sport, is ludicrous. While LIV Golf (who knows!) might one day reach the level of thrills and excitement that a Ryder Cup engenders, it’s not there yet and not even remotely close. To say that after six rounds of golf is, under the most generous interpretation of what was broadcast, just plain silly.

It’s also an affront to the players who have poured themselves into those events, who have emptied whatever vulnerability their hearts can hold into the Ryder Cup, not because they were paid anything but because did you mean something. LIV Golf is not like the Ryder Cup in any other way, except that it is an antonym for the Ryder Cup.

I also thought of Ian Poulter, who, coincidentally, has played in each of the first two LIV events and may never play in a Ryder Cup again because of that. He was recently interviewed for Shane Ryan’s excellent book, “The Cup They Couldn’t Lose”, and his words on the future of the Ryder Cup for Europe were the end of the book.

I had my doubts about the younger players, who could ever measure up to living legends like him and Sergio Garcia and others, or who could translate the passion of decades of European heroes in the same way. He did not share my doubts.

“It’s very easy to explain,” [Poulter] said. “When you put on a jersey, you have a responsibility to every player that has worn that jersey. That’s how you should treat it, and that’s the level of passion that you should play with. And if you don’t feel that sense of passion, then you shouldn’t play.”

I agreed with him, but he didn’t seem to be answering the question about the new Europeans. I pressed the issue. “Do you think the younger generation cares as much as you do?” I asked.

The famous light entered his eyes. “Don’t worry about it. I’m going to make it my f——job to let her know.” If you had heard, if you had viewed him, you would have believed it too.

The week in Portland ended as it began, with an embarrassing discount on some truly historic achievements from the best players of this generation. Brooks Koepka, one of the great champions of the last three decades, he seemed ashamed that his pride had a price at a news conference earlier in the week and that he may not care as much about winning major championships as he once claimed he did.

Reed, whose entire career has revolved around incredible moments in team events, had to root for someone who’s never competed in one and nod as if what happened in Portland was the same as what happened in Hazeltine. It seems that this is the cost of doing business, which makes it difficult to take seriously and is surely higher than some of these stars thought they would have to pay.

sniloans