Fans React to the Netflix Cup's Golf-Meets-F1 Showdown

From the all seeing Sphere, to Marshawn Lynch’s commentary and Carlos Sainz’s trophy drop.

Golf
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Examining the trajectory of F1’s rise in the United States, it’s impossible to ignore the influence of Netflix, whose documentary series Drive to Survive has proved both a platform for F1’s repositioning and the streaming service’s own creation of a new genre: sports drama. That series opened avenues for Netflix to explore golf, which has been undergoing its own image transformation, with Full Swing. So when rumblings first began last June that executives at the company were toying with the idea of launching a golf-meets-F1 live sports event, it felt like a natural progression.

For starters, the made-for-TV golf match has been popping off the last few years with formats like The Match. Then you have the fact many of F1’s celebrity drivers have already been making their affinity for golf well known, like at the Miami Grand Prix where Alex Albon wore a golf ball decorated helmet, or at a charity tournament where Lewis Hamilton was photographed with Tom Brady. There’s even the shared verbiage; drive…speed…apex…finish.

So with all of this setting the backdrop, the Netflix Cup kicked off on November 14 in Las Vegas ahead of one of the biggest events of the year: the Las Vegas Grand Prix. The event started with two 8 hole matches played between teams of two, each with one PGA TOUR golfer and one F1 driver. The winning teams from the first two matches would then face off against one another in a playoff to crown the champions.

As it played out, Justin Thomas and Carlos Sainz won their opening match against Rickie Fowler and Lando Norris, and then went on to beat Tony Finau and Pierre Gasly to claim the crown. Between that though, there were more than a few viral moments that got fans talking across different social media platforms, so it’s the perfect way to recount the action.

1. Chaotic in all the right ways

The Netflix Cup leaned into chaos from the beginning, as a 3, 2, 1 style countdown prompted the teams to tee off and then jump into golf carts as they attempted to finish the hole in the least amount of time.

 

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A post shared by P1 with Matt & Tommy (@mattp1tommy)

2. The sphere’s aura

The viral sensation that is the Sphere has turned next door Wynn Golf Club from a well-maintained, championship course into a goldmine for memes in a blink of an eye, quite literally. Predictably, fans were enjoying the giant emoji’s eye rolls and expressions of awe as the players sent errant shots off in its direction.

 

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3. Not those hands

With the Las Vegas Grand Prix only days away, it was a bit jarring for some to see the likes of Alex Albon and Lando Norris potentially putting themselves at risk for a golf match. This particular moment may have caused momentary panic for fans of the Williams #23 driver.

 

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4. Albon in the doghouse

Speaking of Albon, one of the best mic’d up moments was delivered when he compared the Squid Games doll being shown on the Sphere’s screen to his girlfriend Lily Muni He, who happens to be a professional golfer. It might have been a rough night for Alex.

 

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5. Marshawn on the mic

The people seemed to enjoy Netflix’s decision to bestow reporting duties upon Marshawn Lynch, whose musings were far from your typical stale golf commentary. Just watch and enjoy:

6. Down goes the trophy

Although it wasn’t shown on the live stream, there was no chance that Carlos Sainz dropping the winning trophy wouldn’t end up all over the internet. It may not have been how the producers drew it up, but it was a moment of perfect imperfection nonetheless.

 

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