The LIV circuit continues this week – in Illinois for LIV Golf Chicago – and Cameron Smith is seeking a successful title defence.
There are three tournaments remaining in the LIV Golf season and it remains to be seen whether there are any more to come next year.
With negotiations between the PGA Tour and the LIV creators still going on behind the scenes, how the calendar will work next year is still unknown, but it seems certain that this LIV campaign will reach a conclusion.
|What||LIV Golf Chicago|
|Where||Rich Harvest Farms, Sugar Grove, Illinois|
|When||18:15, Friday, 22nd September, 2023|
|How to watch||LIV Golf Plus app|
|Odds||Cameron Smith 8/1, Bryson DeChambeau 11/1, Patrick Reed 14/1, Mito Pereira 14/1, Dustin Johnson 14/1, Joaquin Niemann 16/1, Brooks Koepka 16/1|
This week's LIV Golf Chicago event will be followed by LIV Golf Jeddah next month, then the season-finale – LIV Golf Miami. By the end of next month, details of the future are likely to emerge, with explanations of whether the LIV defectors will be allowed access to the PGA Tour.
Cameron Smith won LIV Golf Chicago last year – a three-shot success – and the Australian is an 8/1 chance to retain the trophy on Sunday. The 54-hole event starts on Friday, with coverage available in the UK and Ireland on the LIV Golf Plus app.
Smith has had an up and down few weeks, winning LIV Golf London in July, then finishing tailed off in 35th place in LIV Golf Greenbrier, before lifting another trophy at LIV Golf Bedminster. If that pattern continues at Rich Harvest Farms this week, the former Open champion will disappoint favourite backers.
Much has been made of the omission of LIV players from the European Ryder Cup side, but the shortest price on any European in this week's event is 28/1 about Sergio Garcia. There is a dearth of European quality on the LIV circuit, so Luke Donald's Ryder Cup team has not been significantly weakened by the policy of ignoring LIV players.
Brooks Koepka, who is representing USA in the Ryder Cup next week, is 16/1 to head off to Italy with a LIV Golf Chicago title under his belt. Dustin Johnson, who enjoyed a 100 per-cent record in the last Ryder Cup but has been left out of this year's line-up, is 14/1 for LIV Chicago glory.
There is $20million of prize money in the pot at Rich Harvest Farms, with $4m going to the champion. A field of 48 goes to post and there is no cut.
Each-way terms of a quarter the odds, the first five places are available for LIV Golf Chicago, along with alternative options like a fifth the odds, the first eight places, and a seventh the odds, the first ten places.
Rich Harvest Farms, Sugar Grove, Illinois, is a 7,401-yard, par-71, with three par-fives, 11 par-fours and four par-threes.
The Jerry Rich-designed track hosted the Solheim Cup in 2009, then some prestigious amateur events, including the 2017 NCAA Championship, before the first LIV Golf Chicago 12 months ago.
Sunny and calm weather is forecast for the vast majority of event, with temperatures peaking at 25C. This is a demanding layout which is intimidating for short hitters.
The 11/1 about Bryson DeChambeau has been proving popular and the 2020 US Open champion appears to be getting back to his best. He won LIV Golf Greenbrier last month in spectacular fashion, with weekend rounds of 61 and 58.
DeChambeau finished eighth in last year's LIV Chicago, despite being low on form and confidence, but this time he has arrived in fantastic fettle.
Victory on the Asian Tour last time out was another feather in the cap of Eugenio Chacarra, who can be backed at 66/1 this week, a price which has been tempting each-way backers.
The Spanish youngster won the St Andrews Bay Championship, winning a ten-hole playoff, following on from his LIV Golf Bangkok triumph from October. This rising star of the sport may make an impact in Illinois.
Another Spanish bull could get into the thick of things – David Puig is a 55/1 who has been attracting attention. Puig is a 21-year-old who has added some consistency to his game in recent weeks, with Asian Tour form figures of 4-14-11.
Puig, who was fourth in LIV Golf Greenbrier last month, appears to be getting closer to a maiden LIV title.
Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.