BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — Talor Gooch and Charles Howell III were having a conversation during LIV Golf Bangkok last fall, discussing the future of the league.
LIV Golf’s plans weren’t secret. The league planned to expand its schedule beyond the eight events it held in its inaugural season, but nothing was set in stone yet.
The two former Oklahoma State golfers wanted to bring a professional event to Oklahoma, preferably somewhere in the Oklahoma City or Tulsa area. That prompted Howell to reach out to a few courses in the state.
“I relied heavily on Talor, who’s from here, who knows the golf courses in the areas better than I do, and that kind of started our conversation and started the conversation with LIV and those that help with the scheduling,” Howell said.
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Cedar Ridge Country Club, which sits in Broken Arrow, a southern suburb of Tulsa, is the site of this week’s LIV Golf event, the sixth of the season and a week before the PGA Championship in Western New York. However, it wasn’t the only course that LIV reached out to in Oklahoma.
LIV Golf reached out to Oak Tree National in Edmond, site of the 1988 PGA Championship, as well as Gaillardia Country Club in Oklahoma City. LIV Golf and Gaillardia, which has hosted PGA Tour Champions events, nearly had a deal in place before it fell through, leaving the door open for Cedar Ridge.
There were also a pair of courses LIV talked to in the Tulsa area, but it was Howell’s conversation with Billy Lowry, the president at Cedar Ridge, that propelled the conversation forward.
Cedar Ridge has a history of high-level golf. It hosted the 1983 U.S. Women’s Open, an LPGA event from 2004-08, and was a subsite for the 2009 U.S. Amateur, which was played mainly at Southern Hills Country Club, a mere 10 minutes from Cedar Ridge and the site of the 2022 PGA Championship.
“I knew it would work well. I know (fans) like their golf here,” Howell said. “You couldn’t write a better script with Talor winning the previous two events and coming back into his home state.”
Gooch is the first back-to-back winner on LIV, winning events in Adelaide and Singapore before an off week. Now, he’s back in Oklahoma, but there are plenty more golfers who have ties to the Sooner State.
Of LIV Golf’s 48 players, six played collegiately in Oklahoma: Howell, Gooch, Matthew Wolff, Peter Uihlein and Eugenio Chacarra played at Oklahoma State, and Abraham Ancer all…
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