LIV Golf Tour tees off into PGA territory
(BROKEN ARROW, Okla.) Whether you are boycotting the tournament, want a recap of the first day, or are just curious about what a day in the life at a LIV Golf Tour is like, here is an in-depth recap of Friday’s kickoff.
LIV Golf Tour could have chosen a course 20,000 miles away from where the PGA Championship was held in 2022, but instead they chose Cedar Ridge, 20 minutes from Southern Hills.
Starting off with parking, spectators had the choice to park at Oral Roberts University campus and then shuttle in, or take a rideshare provider to The Park Church of Christ. Both are worthy options, and the shuttles were easily accessible and had a quick turnover rate. If you decided to park in a surrounding neighborhood or parking lot nearby to Cedar Ridge, expect a 20 to 30 minute walk. Stillwater natives will be reminded of the walk to Calf Fry.
Next it was time to enter the country club. If you attended the PGA Championship last May, you may have found the lack of security on Friday shocking. Many people said no one checked their tickets and could have walked right in without purchasing any. Fans were quickly met with the range and practice facilities as well as plenty of spots to stop and get something to drink before heading out to find their favorite players, and the featured groupings.
Cedar Ridge is named for its Cedar Trees, but that did not stop the golf course from providing the Club 54 Seating area, and other stands. Seasoned attendees brought their own portable seats, but were forced to wait if they sat at one hole. Since the players go off at the same time from different holes (a shotgun start) this does tend to congest some areas, and open areas in others.
While these professional golfers may be used to the fans, they might not be used to the “LIV watch parties,” or people attending the tournament from their own backyards.
Some people watched from their homes on the golf course, a positive force in full support, while others chose not to engage with tournament due to its controversial elements. One house in particular sported an extremely large Uncle Sam blowup figure, a possibly reference to LIV golf being financially backed by Saudi Arabia.
The crowds were larger than some expected, with a more relaxed dress code than what we saw at the PGA Championship. The vibe extended to a relaxation area for a breather, snacks and drinks from local food trucks. While some waited in line for that, the rest could attempt the chipping challenge, or even ride a mechanical bull.
To find out where all the players were, fans used the LIV Golf app or turned to the big screen between hole number 18 and hole number 1. Fan favorites were listed with their current scores and location on the course. This weekend, Oklahoma State fans are on the lookout for: Charles Howell III, Peter Uihlein, Matthew Wolff, and Oklahoma’s own Talor Gooch. OU fans are eyeing Abraham Ancer.
After a few hours of golf it was time for the final putts to fall, and the players to be shuttled in from their 18th hole. With groups not all finishing on 18, certain ones attracted a higher following than others. This results in an occasional lack of applause from the crowd, but music playing consistently throughout the day makes up for it.
At the end of the day it was time to turn off the speakers on the course, and turn them on at the concert.
Within 24 hours of winning Album of the Year and Female Artist of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards, Lainey Wilson was ready to give Tulsa a show they would not forget. She played for over an hour, and encouraged fans to keep those beachballs in the air.
It might have been the first time Wilson had Titleist hats thrown onto the stage, as opposed to cowboy hats. But it is safe to say some attendees bought their tickets to the LIV Golf Tournament solely to see Wilson perform.
Finally, it was time for fans to make their way out for the day, onto the shuttles, into rideshares, or taking the long walk back to their cars. Many will be back Saturday, excited to either watch in person or keep up with the tournament online to see if Branden Grace can maintain the lead for the next 36 holes, or if one of the other 47 players will be up on the stage at the end of Sunday.
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