Las Vegas, Nevada is coming off a busy week. The city hosted an F1 race for the first time since 1982. The Las Vegas Grand Prix saw Max Verstappen continue his stranglehold of the circuit, cruising to his 18th victory of the season and 53rd of his career.
But that wasn’t the only F1 draw in town.
Earlier in the week, the Wynn Golf Club played host to the Netflix Cup; a nine-hole golfing event held between PGA Tour stars and F1 drivers.
Netflix aired its first ever live sporting competition that consisted of four two-man teams. Each team had one PGA Tour player and one F1 driver.
Lando Norris and Rickie Fowler were paired together and competed against Carlos Sainz and Justin Thomas. The other match saw Alex Albon and Max Homa square off with Pierre Gasly and Tony Finau.
Finau was a last minute replacement after Collin Morikawa announced he had pulled out of the event due to a back injury.
Netflix Cup changing the way golf can be enjoyed
This was a very interesting watch, as it wasn’t your typical match play event. There were a number of twists and turns throughout the competition.
Knowing this was a crossover event between the fastest and slowest sports in the world, it made sense to put these athletes into unfamiliar situations.
The first tee was a sprint to the hole, quite literally.
Players hit their tee shots, ran to their golf carts and raced to the green on the par-3 1st. They then sprinted to sink their putts, which Sainz was able to do to win the hole for his team.
For an F1 racer, he’s a pretty solid golfer.
Throughout the round, the new Sphere in the Las Vegas backdrop was watching the guys on the course. It was hilarious television, hosted by comedian Bert Kreischer, Super Bowl winning RB Marshawn Lynch, NFL personality Kay Adams and PGA Tour pro Joel Dahmen.
But things really took a turn on the fifth hole. The activation there was Squid Games related.
Playing off the show’s Red Light Green Light sequence, players needed to hit their tee shot before the giant, 25-foot doll turned her head toward them. Otherwise, they would be penalized.
However, if any of the players were able to sink a hole in one on the par-3 5th, Netflix would donate $4.56 million to local charities. That’s because, if you remember, the contestant from Squid Games was player number 456.
Netflix bosses were likely holding their breaths as Homa nearly delivered. He hit the absolute perfect line straight at the flag stick, just over the top of it. It rolled back but nestled about six feet from the hole.
Ultimately, Thomas and Sainz easily defeated Fowler and Norris. They spent nearly an hour waiting for the second match to finish up.
Finau and Gasly defeated Homa and Albon on the eighth hole. That set up the finals, which is a closest-to-the-pin competition under the lights.
To no one’s surprise, it came down the professional golfers after Sainz and Gasly failed to hit the green. Finau’s tee shot found the short grass, but left plenty of room. Thomas easily got inside of him, clinching the win.
Thomas and Sainz were crowned as the inaugural Netflix Cup champions. That’s when the most iconic moment of the entire event happened.
After being awarded the trophy, Sainz dropped it over his shoulder and watched as it smashed into pieces. Thomas couldn’t contain himself but laugh hysterically.
It was a hilariously comical end to what was an entertaining night. Most will agree that golf under the lights looked pretty great. Putting some great personalities together on the golf course provided fans a different reason to tune in.
Netflix did a great job putting on a show that only Las Vegas can deliver. One has to wonder, what shenanigans could be in store for 2024?
Kendall Capps is the Senior Editor/Site Manager for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms.