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After A Barrage Of Underdog Wins, The PGA Tour Desperately Needs A Star Player To Win The Arnold Palmer Invitational This Week

SportsAfter A Barrage Of Underdog Wins, The PGA Tour Desperately Needs A Star Player To Win The Arnold Palmer Invitational This Week

So far, in the first nine PGA Tour events, no star player has recorded a victory. Now, the US-based tour is in desperate need to see a big name lift the Arnold Palmer Invitational trophy this week. Although underdog winners portray the depth of the Tour, it certainly does not garner enough attention from the fans.

Interestingly, that is not the case with their rival, LIV Golf. They saw winners in Dustin Johnson and Joaquin Niemann in the first three tournaments of the season. However, the story for the Tour in 2024 speaks of a fairytale win for Jake Knapp, and a historic victory for amateur golfer Nick Dunlap.

Although the PGA Tour has Tiger Woods, he is certainly not available to play most of the events. Last month, when the 15-time-major champ made his 2024 season debut at the Genesis Invitational, it was cut short after he withdrew from the tournament in the second round.

The lack of star players winning the tournament has been reflected in the Tour’s viewership. They have failed to garner television viewership and the numbers are quite devastating. But for LIV Golf, the addition of Jon Rahm has certainly brought some new viewership. The Spaniard recorded three victories in the first seven tournaments in 2023.

Analyzing PGA Tour Winners In 2023 vs 2024

In 2023, the leading golf circuit saw winners in star players like Jon Rahm, Max Homa, Scottie Scheffler, and Tony Finau in the opening nine events. However, in 2024, no big-name player has won any tournament so far. Although reigning US Open Champion and World No. 7 Wyndham Clark won one of the signature events, he is not yet a huge face for the Tour.

Except for Clark, none of the players were ranked inside the top 50 when they won a PGA Tour event in the 2024 season. Even Hideki Matsuyama, who is now ranked 20th in the World, was ranked 55th on OWGR when he won the Genesis Invitational.

Here’s a look at the 2023 and 2024 seasons winners of each tournament:

Tournament 2023 Season 2024 Season
The Sentry Jon Rahm Chris Kirk
Sony Open Si Woo Kim Grayson Murray
American Express Jon Rahm Nick Dunlap
Farmers Insurance Max Homa Matthieu Pavon
Pebble Beach Pro-Am Justin Rose Wyndham Clark
Phoenix Open Scottie Scheffler Nick Taylor
The Genesis Jon Rahm Hideki Matsuyama
Mexico Open Tony Finau Jake Knapp
Cognizant Classic Chris Kirk Austin Eckroat

Players like World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and World No. 2 Rory McIlroy not being able to pick up the win will certainly put PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan in the wrong place. It is truly said that the game of golf is now quite uncertain. It has transformed into a PR and popularity war between the Tour and its rival, LIV Golf.

If no star player wins the 2024 Arnold Palmer Invitational, it would trouble Monahan for sure. After all, it is quite frustrating to see the big players not garnering enough attention.

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