PGA Tour suffers ultimate irony at Pebble Beach as LIV Golf makes history

The PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am was forced to come to an end after 54-holes due to adverse weather conditions, meanwhile LIV Mayakoba finished with a dramatic four-hole playoff

Strong winds in California forced the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am to end after 54 holes, causing the PGA Tour to channel their inner LIV Golf on Sunday.

Due to the weather, the Tour postponed Sunday’s final round with the intention of finishing the competition on Monday. The organizers of the tournament decided to call it quits after three rounds, declaring Wyndham Clark the winner despite the gloomy forecast.

There seemed to be a hint of irony to the week on the US circuit, where they had to adopt their LIV Golf rivals’ format at Pebble Beach.

The Saudi-backed league’s no-cut 54-hole format has become a household name and a frequent source of criticism for all of its events. On this occasion, however, the Tour was compelled to carry out the abbreviated week despite the wind and rain pelting the Californian coastline.

Play was suspended, allowing the LIV setup to take center stage as the breakaway league’s season-opening event concluded at Mayakoba. After Joaquin Niemann defeated Sergio Garcia in a four-hole playoff, the LIV setup most definitely paid off.

Niemann, who shot a record-breaking 59 in the opening round, led by two shots going into the final 18 holes. Garcia, who finished in second place, and Jon Rahm, the £450 million man from LIV, were among the players chasing Niemann. Niemann and Garcia shared the lead after Sunday’s final round at 12-under-par, but both needed more holes as the Mexican sun was setting quickly.

Niemann and Garcia appeared to be returning to the course on Monday, with the 18th green in near darkness, following three tied playoff holes. However, the playoff duo decided to take a quick trip back to the tee in an effort to conclude the match on Sunday.

After more than ten minutes, when the green-side leaderboard was shining brightly and lighting up the putting surface, Niemann sealed the playoff with a spectacular birdie putt, capping off a perfect round of play. On the Saudi-sponsored circuit, it was the Chilean’s first individual victory. He won a cool £3.2 million ($4 million) in prize money.

After missing a similar putt in regulation play, the captain of Torque GC later acknowledged that the final playoff hole’s darkness had helped him make the winning putt. “I probably started it a little bit too far left than I was supposed to on the 54th hole because I wanted to make that last putt so bad,” he said.

“I think it probably helped me to just not be so picky about picking my spot and just look at the hole, getting a feeling and just get it there on the last putt, which was super dark.”

It was the most fitting conclusion. To win, I intended to make a putt on the final hole.”

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