First Off: LIV Golf streaming returns to YouTube; Michael Block's not great day at Colonial
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First Off: LIV Golf streaming returns to YouTube; Michael Block’s not great day at Colonial

A photo of Michael Block

Welcome to First Off, my recap and reaction feature for Golf News Net members. Catch up on everything happening in the golf world each morning in an easy-to-consume format with commentary -- and sometimes insight -- to get your day started.

In today's kick-off edition:

  1. LIV Golf is back streaming on YouTube
  2. Michael Block had a bad day at Colonial
  3. Deal of the Day
  4. Harrington crushing at the Senior PGA
  5. Shout Outs

To kick off the new membership, First Off is free this week! But there are so many benefits to our new membership. Sign up to join and see all we have to offer.

LIV Golf is back streaming on YouTube

LIV Golf made a tactical error when they signed a TV distribution deal with The CW and Nexstar Media: They gave up their YouTube tournament streaming. It was something that worked for LIV Golf, even without the TV deal, because it was free and accessible on an app that's on practically every phone on the planet. Were the numbers great? Sometimes, though they went down over time. However, by taking that away from their supporters and curious onlookers in the United States and forcing them to instead stream it on The CW app for at least one round, they may have lost some of their potential younger audience.

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Well, they've turned back to YouTube starting this week with the event in the D.C. area at Donald Trump's northern Virginia club. Except there's a catch. If you're in the United States, you'll now have to pay $3 per day to watch a LIV Golf tournament stream. This makes no sense. What person would pay $9 per tournament to watch a full LIV Golf event just so they could avoid having to download The CW app to watch it for free?

LIV has already decided that it will stop releasing viewership numbers, realizing the same fate as most challenger sports leagues: They have two, maybe three showings to snag their audience from the curious people who tune in to the first broadcast. After that, the audience kind of drops like flies.

Michael Block had a bad day at Colonial

Michael Block had a weird day yesterday, and a lot of the discourse around him happened while he was playing golf.

First, people got mad at him for saying he'd be one of the best players in the world if he could hit it as long as Rory McIlroy. That was probably overstating it a bit, but hey, we want our athletes to show their real selves.

Then, he finished DFL out of a 120-player field after the first round of the Charles Schwab Challenge. If you didn't see this coming, you don't understand golf or the nature of rapid fame very well. In the span of like 10 days, Block went from a six-time major participant that hardly anyone had known to an international sensation that finished in the top 15 of one of the four biggest men's golf tournaments in the world. Then he did media like he had personally cured cancer and, as he should have, took a sponsor exemption to play this week on the PGA Tour. The guy was bound to say something that would upset someone and play like an exhausted person.

He's got another round today, and, no matter what, he won last week and will enjoy one of the greatest weeks in PGA Championship history. Most people will forget the "Ripper Magoo" appearance -- if they even caught it at all -- in a week or two.

Deal of the Day

Our friends at Stitch Golf are having a sitewide 25% off sale through Memorial Day weekend, running May 25-30. They make great golf and travel bags, as well as excellent apparel.

Harrington crushing with a 64 at the Senior PGA

Padraig Harrington is longer now in his 50s than he was 15 years ago when he won three major championships in 14 months. He can keep up with practically any player in the world on his day, and he had one yesterday at PGA Frisco in the opening round of the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. He shot 64 on the Fields Ranch East course, and he's two clear of the field.

Harrington came close to finishing in the top 20 last week at Oak Hill, and he was in the top five at Kiawah Island just a couple of years ago. He had a legit chance in Abu Dhabi earlier this year and finished T-10 at the Valero Texas Open before the Masters. He's 212th in the world at 51 years old, playing a fair share of his golf on a tour where he can't earn world ranking points. The guy is a marvel.

Shout Outs

Kudos to European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald for telling it straight to Sergio Garcia. Garcia said ahead of the LIV event this week that he asked the Englishman about his chances to make the European Ryder Cup team. Donald told him those odds were basically zero.

Garcia then resigned his DP World Tour membership (and is still trying to not pay a large fine assessed to him for violating his membership agreement).

"Obviously, that made my decision [to relinquish DP World Tour status] a little bit easier," he said. "It was sad because I felt like not only because of my history but the way I've been playing, that I probably could have a chance, but it didn't sound like it, so that's what it is.”

About the author


Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is a scratch golfer...sometimes.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]

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