THIRD INDIVIDUAL WIN FOR GOOCH; THIRD TEAM WIN FOR TORQUE GC

Talor Gooch of RangeGoats GC drains a twelve-foot birdie putt on the 18th green to win LIV Golf Andalucía individual title. (Photo by Chris Trotman/LIV Golf)
SOTOGRANDE, Spain – As Talor Gooch stood over his 12-foot birdie putt on the final hole of regulation Sunday afternoon at LIV Golf Andalucia, his confidence level was extremely high. In addition to making a positive stroke, he imagined the celebration afterward when the putt dropped.
 
“Just felt like I was going to make it,” Gooch said. “Before I even hit the putt, I was already visualizing the fist pump that was coming with it. I’m glad it went in.”
 
Gooch’s dramatic birdie at Real Club Valderrama gave him a one-stroke victory over a battling Bryson DeChambeau and makes the RangeGoats GC star the first three-time individual winner in LIV Golf’s young history. Gooch shot a final-round 4-under 67 to finish at 12 under, with the Crushers GC captain at 11 under after his 2-under 69. Smash GC Captain Brooks Koepka finished third at 9 under.
 
All three of Gooch’s victories in 2023 have come outside his native United States, as he previously won back-to-back events in Adelaide and Singapore to become the first player to win consecutive LIV Golf events.

“Last year I didn’t get a win, so this year I was just so focused on getting an individual win,” said Gooch, who now leads the Individual Champion race by 27 points over Koepka. “You don’t think much past the first one until you get the first one. I definitely didn’t have three in mind for the season, but it’s cool that we’re here, and it’s especially cool to have the third one here at Valderrama.”
Torque GC won their third team title of the season at LIV Golf Andalucía. (Photo by Chris Trotman/LIV Golf)
Torque GC won their third team title of the season at LIV Golf Andalucía. (Photo by Chris Trotman/LIV Golf)
Gooch wasn’t the only three-time winner Sunday. The Spanish-speaking Torque GC, captained by Joaquin Niemann, also won its third team title of the season with a final-round best 7-under counting score to finish at 16 under, five strokes ahead of the RangeGoats, with Crushers GC finishing third. Niemann and Sebastián Muñoz posted 3-under 69s while David Puig contributed a 2-under 69. Those three played the last three holes of their rounds in a cumulative 4 under.It’s the second consecutive win for Torque, who won last month in DC. Torque is now just seven points behind season-long leader 4Aces GC, who finished fourth at Valderrama.The win was especially sweet for the 21-year-old Puig, the youngest player on the LIV Golf League roster and one of three Spanish-born players in the field along with Fireballs GC’s Sergio Garcia and Eugenio Chacarra.”It’s amazing,” said Puig. “Playing at home is always good, and it’s even more special when you get a win and when you get a win with this group of guys. It was a great week.”Said Niemann: “Having David also the main character of this tournament is really special for us. I think it makes it a lot easier when we do everything together like we are a team.”You can see in the results, we’re playing great golf, and just looking forward for the rest of the season, try to keep doing the same and having a good time, as well.”
Crushers GC Captain Bryson DeChambeau finished second and Smash GC Captain Brooks Koepka finished third in the individual standings at LIV Golf Andalucía. (Photo by Chris Trotman/LIV Golf)
Crushers GC Captain Bryson DeChambeau finished second and Smash GC Captain Brooks Koepka finished third in the individual standings at LIV Golf Andalucía. (Photo by Chris Trotman/LIV Golf)
Gooch certainly is playing great golf as he went toe-to-toe with major champions DeChambeau and Koepka in the final group. After making his only bogey of the day at the par-4 ninth, Gooch was a bogey-free 4 under on the back nine.DeChambeau was two strokes ahead at the turn but Gooch caught him with birdies at 10 and 13. They each birdied the par-5 17th to remain tied. Gooch then hit a brilliant approach shot to 12 feet, while DeChambeau had to navigate trees with his second shot, his ball landing in the rough behind the green. His chip shot set up an easy par, but Gooch made it a moot point by draining his birdie putt.”My game is obviously in a good state, and I knew if I could get myself in the fairway a bunch, we were going to have a chance to win down the stretch,” Gooch said. “We just kept plodding along, plodding along, and didn’t really make a bunch of putts. That was the longest putt of the day, obviously, so it was nice to save the best one for last.”
TEAM COUNTING SCORES

Here are the standings and counting scores for Sunday’s final round of the team competition at LIV Golf Andalucía. The three best scores from each team count in every round for their total team score. The team with the lowest cumulative score after three rounds wins the team title.
 
1. TORQUE GC (-16): Sebastián Muñoz 68, Joaquin Niemann 68, David Puig 69, (Rd. 3 score: -8)
 
2. RANGEGOATS GC (-11): Talor Gooch 67, Harold Varner III 72, Thomas Pieters 73 (Rd. 3 score: -1)
 
3. CRUSHERS GC (-7): Bryson DeChambeau 69, Paul Casey 72, Anirban Lahiri 75 (Rd. 3 score: +3)
 
4. 4ACES GC (-6): Patrick Reed 67, Dustin Johnson 72, Pat Perez 73 (Rd. 3 score: -1)
 
5. SMASH GC (-4): Brooks Koepka 68, Jason Kokrak 68, Chase Koepka 75 (Rd. 3 score: -2)
 
6. FIREBALLS GC (-1): Sergio Garcia 70, Abraham Ancer 71, Carlos Ortiz 71 (Rd. 3 score: -1)
 
7. MAJESTICKS GC (E): Laurie Canter 70, Ian Poulter 72, Lee Westwood 74 (Rd. 3 score: +3)
 
8. HYFLYERS GC (+1): Cameron Tringale 69, Brendan Steele 69, James Piot 73 (Rd. 3 score: -2)
 
9. STINGER GC (+1): Dean Burmester 69, Branden Grace 69, Louis Oosthuizen 70 (Rd. 3 score: -5)
 
10. RIPPER GC (+2): Cameron Smith 71, Matt Jones 72, Jediah Morgan 75 (Rd. 3 score: +5)
 
11. IRON HEADS GC (+13): Scott Vincent 70, Danny Lee 73, Sihwan Kim 76 (Rd. 3 score: +6)
 
12. CLEEKS GC (+14): Bernd Wiesberger 70, Richard Bland 73, Martin Kaymer 73 (Rd. 3 score: +3)
 
NOTES 

DECHAMBEAU BATTLES TO THE END: After shooting a bogey-free 8-under 63 to take the 36-hole lead, Crushers GC Captain Bryson DeChambeau struggled to duplicate that form in Sunday’s final round. But he put up quite a battle to remain in contention until Talor Gooch’s winning birdie on the final hole.
 
DeChambeau shot a 2-under 69 that included just one bogey. But instead of chasing birdies, he spent most of his round in scramble mode.
 
“I just didn’t hit it well on the back nine today,” DeChambeau said. “I didn’t hit it as well as yesterday. If I hit it better, I win by four or five.”
 
DeChambeau made two incredible recoveries on Sunday.
 
At the par-5 11th, he hit an errant drive left that led to him hitting a provisional. After that shot also went left, he hit a second provisional but managed to find his original tee ball and made par.
 
“That’s where I started to break down,” DeChambeau said. “I pulled it a little bit too much, and I’ve got to work on that under pressure. But I am finally getting back to where I can play and compete under pressure consistently.”
 
At the par-5 17th, DeChambeau’s tee shot went left into the trees but he found a small gap and hit a 7-iron 210 yards that rolled off the back of the green. He got up-and-down for birdie that kept him tied for the lead.
 
“It was one of those things that I just tried to accomplish is get in that back bunker, get up-and-down,” he explained. “It got into a place where I could get it up-and-down, and I just hit a bad drive.”
 
Another errant drive left him scrambling to save par on the final hole but this time, Gooch had the answer with his winning birdie.
 
“I hit a bad drive on 18, and you can’t do that if you’re trying to win a championship,” DeChambeau said. “It’s on me. I’ve got to work on my golf swing harder.”
 
PUIG, MUÑOZ FLOURISH IN SAME GROUP: Sebastian Muñoz, the oldest Torque GC player at age 30, played in the same group Sunday as teammate David Puig, LIV Golf’s youngest player at age 21. The third member of their group was 4Aces GC Captain Dustin Johnson.
 
Muñoz and Puig said it was an advantage being able to play together. Muñoz shot a 68 while Puig shot 69 as Torque claimed its third team win of the season.

“I would say there’s some advantage to playing with David,” Muñoz said. “We know each other’s clubbing pretty good, so you can definitely learn from that. Also we can motivate each other, so that helps in the team aspect a lot. I felt like we did a great job today.”

Said Puig: “At the end of the day, you’ve just got to do what you do even if you’re playing with your teammate. But obviously playing with Seb is always great.”
Rule of thirds: Gooch wins at Valderrama; Torque team champs | LIV Golf Andalucía
RD. 3 STAT LEADERS

Driving distance
 – Peter Uihlein, 340.5-yard average
 
Longest drive – Peter Uihlein, 382.7 yards (17th hole)
 
Driving accuracy – Cameron Smith, 86% (12 of 14)
 
Greens in regulation – Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, 78% (14 of 18)
 
Scrambling – Bryson DeChambeau, 100% (4 of 4)
 
Fewest putts – David Puig, 22 putts
 
Most birdies – Talor Gooch, 8
 
Bogey-free rounds – Bryson DeChambeau, 63

*Credit Information www.lovgolf.com & Written by LIV GOLF STAFF

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