In the latest parallel between professional golf and middle school, birthday recognition has become a hot-button issue among golfers on social media recently. Ian Poulter called out the @RyderCupEurope Twitter account for ignoring fellow LIV signee Sergio García’s big day on January 9 (and, of course, Poulter’s own on January 10). As Brendan Porath noted in his report on the incident, LIV Golf’s main Twitter account—@LIVGolfInv—has been scrupulous about giving birthday love to the Saudi-backed league’s various members.
So, naturally, I started to wonder whether @LIVGolfInv had missed anyone. Below are the results of my investigation.
The following players have not had a birthday since playing in their first LIV Golf event: Chase Koepka (1/30), Richard Bland (2/3), Justin Harding (2/9), J.C. Ritchie (2/24), Abraham Ancer (2/27), Pat Perez, (3/1), TK Chantananuwat (3/4), Eugenio Chacarra (3/22), Kevin Yuan (3/22), Wade Ormsby (3/31), Andy Ogletree (4/3), Henrik Stenson (4/5), Matthew Wolff (4/14), Matt Jones (4/19), Carlos Ortiz (4/24), Lee Westwood (4/24), Phachara Khongwatmai (5/3), Brooks Koepka (5/3), Shaun Norris (5/14), Pablo Larrazabal (5/15), Itthipat Buranatanyarat (5/16), Branden Grace (5/20), Scott Vincent (5/20), Jason Kokrak (5/22), Charles Howell III (6/20), Anirban Lahiri (6/29), Paul Casey (7/21), Harold Varner III (8/15), Cameron Smith (8/18), Cameron Tringale (8/24)
The following players have been wished a happy birthday by @LIVGolfInv: Sergio García (1/9), Ian Poulter (1/10), Phil Mickelson (6/16), Dustin Johnson (6/22), Jinichiro Kozuma (7/7), Ryosuke Kinoshita (7/16), Graeme McDowell (7/30), Patrick Reed (8/5), Peter Uihlein (8/29), Charl Schwartzel (8/31), Shergo Al Kurdi (9/5), Hudson Swafford (9/9; belated!), Kevin Na (9/15), Bryson DeChambeau (9/16), Sam Horsfield (10/8), Bernd Wiesberger (10/8), James Piot (10/14), Louis Oosthuizen (10/19), Joaquín Niemann (11/7), Talor Gooch (11/14), Turk Pettit (11/16), Hideto Tanihara (11/16), Sihwan Kim (12/4), David Puig (12/7), Martin Kaymer (12/28)
The forgotten birthdays
Ian Snyman (1/3) – The world No. 443 was a founding member of Martin Kaymer’s Cleeks GC, but since posting individual scores of +7 and +6 in London and Portland, he hasn’t made another LIV start. He was not wished a happy birthday by @LIVGolfInv.
Sadom Kaewkanjana (7/6) – The 24-year-old Thai player was a season-long staple of Kevin Na’s abysmal Iron Heads squad. He was not wished a happy birthday by @LIVGolfInv.
Oliver Fisher (9/13) – Rory McIlroy’s junior-golf buddy contributed a +11 54-hole score to Niblicks GC’s eighth-place effort in London. He immediately slunk back to the DP World Tour. He was not wished a happy birthday by @LIVGolfInv.
I bet Rory remembered Oli's birthday
Yuki Inamori (10/2) – The four-time Japan Tour winner’s brief tenure on Hideki Please Come to LIV GC Torque GC peaked with a 12th-place individual performance at Pumpkin Ridge. He was not wished a happy birthday by @LIVGolfInv.
Hennie du Plessis (10/14) – The burly South African finished solo second at LIV London but, after three events, relinquished his Stinger GC membership to Shaun Norris. He resurfaced at LIV Miami to help his club to a fourth-place finish in the team championship. Still, he was not wished a happy birthday by @LIVGolfInv.
Marc Leishman (10/24) – The six-time PGA Tour winner was a big midseason pick-up for LIV Golf and a contributor to Punch GC’s runner-up showing in Miami. Yet he was not wished a happy birthday by @LIVGolfInv.
Laurie Canter (11/3) – The 33-year-old Englishman helped establish Majesticks GC’s HBD-attentive culture before Henrik Stenson’s arrival forced him into the transfer portal. To add insult to injury, he was not wished a happy birthday by @LIVGolfInv.
Bubba Watson (11/5) – The injured bomber did not play in a LIV event in 2022, but he provided a humorous presence on the YouTube-cast as well as inspirational leadership for his last-place Niblicks team. Somehow, he was not wished a happy birthday by @LIVGolfInv.
Seems like a guy who would appreciate birthday wishes from LIV's official Twitter account
Viraj Madappa (11/9) – The world No. 619 earned $154,000 for his T-30 finish at LIV London and has since accumulated seven missed cuts and a DQ on the Asian Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India. He was not wished a happy birthday by @LIVGolfInv.
Adrian Otaegui (11/21) – The first LIV golfer to win a DP World Tour event was an intermittent presence for Torque GC last year. Will he commit fully to his club in 2023? Not sure how much to read into such things, but he was not wished a happy birthday by @LIVGolfInv.
Jediah Morgan (11/30) – LIV’s answer to Ish Smith played for three different teams in 2022: Fireballs GC, Punch GC, and Torque GC. He was not, however, wished a happy birthday by @LIVGolfInv. Glue guys hardly ever get enough attention.
Blake Windred (12/3) – The 25-year-old Aussie lost his spot on Punch GC after two events to Travis Smyth. He was not wished a happy birthday by @LIVGolfInv.
Oliver Bekker (12/11) – The Sunshine Tour legend made the most of his lone LIV start, finishing seventh at LIV London for 4 Aces GC. The 4 Aces, as you know, went on to be world champions. He was not wished a happy birthday by @LIVGolfInv. Let’s hope he at least got a ring in the mail or something.
Travis Smyth (12/29) – Blake Windred’s pony-tailed replacement set an obscure kind of record by playing in three LIV events for three different teams. Although he’s clearly available to do whatever the league needs of him, he was not wished a happy birthday by @LIVGolfInv.
I’m not sure what more to say about these oversights, except:
What’s really an “incredible touch” is the Players that helped build the @LIVGolfInv Brand with other players as well. You just can’t bring yourself to say a simple Happy Birthday. Unfortunately this says so much.
This piece originally appeared in The Fried Egg newsletter. Subscribe for free and receive golf news and insight every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.