From major contenders to bold statements to extreme First World silliness, my take on some of the expected madness in '23.
My crystal golf ball says all signs point to another year of on-course drama inspired by fantastic venues, only to be overshadowed by off-course silliness and spatting.
In anticipation of the many looming storylines, here are just some of the Quadrilateral’s boldest predictions as we dive into the 2023 season. Happy New Year!
OWGR Begrudgingly Expedites LIV’s Ranking Points Request
The Prediction: The Official World Golf Ranking board decides to fast-track LIV Golf’s application and recognize events beginning in 2024, paving the way for defecting players to possibly qualify for the only four tournaments that genuinely matter.
Why it might happen: The OWGR board issues a statement saying they’re “beyond bored with the incessant whining of spoiled brats whose best days are behind them,” announcing adjusted points for LIV’s limited fields and 54-hole weeks. Even upon learning such good news, the Saudi Arabian-backed league sues the OWGR for $1 billion and demands points for already-played events.
Why it won’t happen: The OWGR usually takes 16-24 months to green-light a tour, as demonstrated by a late December decision to welcome the vaunted Gira de Golf Professional de Mexicana. Sensing world fatigue at LIV’s points “plight” and wanting to remain consistent, the Board continues to study the LIV application through all of 2023. Not helping matters is LIV’s lawsuit against the PGA Tour, which turns ugly after transcripts are leaked of the Jay Monahan, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Wood depositions. The OWGR tables the LIV decision until early 2024, meaning no points until 2025 when the Public Investment Fund has one foot out the door and is thinking of putting more money into football.
Rory Declares He’s Ir-ish
The Prediction: Rory McIlroy tells The Independent’s Paul Kimmage that he see himself as Ir-ish and therefore unable to represent Ireland in the 2024 Olympics.
Why it might happen: Tired of incessant questions about why he skipped Kapalua and LIV Golf, McIlroy cleverly diverts writers by channeling the tortured logic of New York Congressman-elect George Santos.
Why it won’t happen: McIlroy stops doing all interviews after winning the 2023 Masters and hints after capturing the signature win of his career that he has zero interest in playing all “elevated, designated, whatever” events in pursuit of PIP and FedExCup points. This all but rules out a jump to LIV or the 2024 Olympics.
Rule Proposals Prompts Acushnet To Say The Silliest Things
The Prediction: Believing its golf ball monopoly is under threat and despite record profits in 2022, the folks at Acushnet wheel out their idea of Phillip Morris-style tactics to discourage equipment rule changes.