LIV Golf tees off in Southern Arizona

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 4:33 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 17, 2023 at 5:01 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - LIV Golf made it’s way to The Gallery Golf Club in Marana for it’s inaugural tournament in Southern Arizona. It’s the new professional tour that started last year to rival the PGA tournament.

With controversy surrounding the tournament, people who attended said they loved the first day of the tournament.

“I think it’s fun.. it’s great, it’s like a big party or a carnival with the music and games and people yelling and cheering,” spectator Dennis Headley said.

The tour came under fire when a Saudi investment firm paid millions of dollars to some of the world’s best golfers to defect from the PGA. LIV Golf now rivals the PGA with a new take on golf but that didn’t push people away.

“The atmosphere, the environment, the music, the crowd, it’s gonna be an awesome day,” spectator Derrick Lopez said.

There was pickleball, a chipping challenge and music for people to enjoy.

“I love it so far, it’s super welcoming, the staff is great, I think as far as the setup of this golf course, you have the music in the background, there’s a lot of cool activities in the front,” spectator Rich Pineda said.

On the course, professionals like Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and even Phil Mickelson drew big crowds.

“You come here and you just want to see how good they are in person and have fun,” spectator Erik Alvarez said.

Some say this is the best thing to grow the game of golf in a while.

“I just started golfing last year, so it’s actually really cool to see how the sport has grown overall,” Pineda said. “I thought it was just an old guys sport but what they’re doing out here is actually pretty cool.”

The day kicked off with Navy Seals parachuting onto the 18th fairway.

“Oh my golly that was just worth the price of admission just seeing the frogmen,” spectator Chicken Headley said.

Round two starts Saturday at 10:15 a.m. but the fan village gets going at 8 a.m. and there are still tickets available.