Talor Gooch becomes first back-to-back LIV winner

Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports

Talor Gooch birdied the first playoff hole Sunday to defeat Sergio Garcia and become the young tour’s first back-to-back winner at the LIV Golf Singapore event at Sentosa Golf Club.

Gooch and Spain’s Garcia both shot 4-under-par 67 in the final round and weathered a one-hour storm delay to finish at 17 under through 54 holes. Both birdied the par-5 18th to set up the playoff, also at No. 18.

Gooch, who won last week’s LIV title at Adelaide, Australia, took an aggressive line and nearly put his tee shot in the water before finding the green on his second shot and two-putting for birdie.

After his second shot landed in a greenside bunker, Garcia found the rough on his difficult third shot and then was unable to hole out the birdie chip to extend the match.

“It’s one of those days that I’ll remember,” Gooch said. “I grew up watching Sergio. He’s one of the greatest golfers of this generation. To go and battle with him and come out on top is something I’ll never forget.”

Brooks Koepka also shot a 67 on Sunday to finish in solo third at 16 under. Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent (67) placed fourth at 15 under, with Chile’s Mito Pereira (66) another shot back in fifth place.

Gooch, 31, joined Koepka as the circuit’s only two-time winners. With his $4 million payday on Sunday, Gooch has now earned $19.6 million in 13 LIV starts.

Gooch also lifted the team trophy as his RangeGoats GC earned their first team title at 37 under, beating Garcia’s Fireballs GC by three strokes.

“We’ve been talking about being up there on the podium,” Gooch said. “I’ve been telling them how much I’m going to spray ’em in the face with champagne for a long time now. We knew it was coming and it was only a matter of time.”

The RangeGoats became the seventh different team to win an LIV Golf event, and the fifth in as many events this season. Gooch’s teammates were captain Bubba Watson, Harold Varner III and Thomas Pieters of Belgium.

“Thank you for stepping up and wanting to be part of the Goats,” Watson said as he stood with his teammates. “This is an honor and a privilege to be here and be alongside these guys. It’s special. They wanted to be on the team. They wanted to be on my team.”

When severe weather halted play for an hour with four holes to play, the RangeGoats trailed the Fireballs by one stroke. Once play resumed, Varner provided two key birdies as part of his 6-under 65. One of those birdies was a chip-in on his restart hole.

“Every time we had a delay this week,” Varner said, “Bubba was like, ‘Hey, give me some good shots.’ And I walked up to the table and I said, ‘I’m going to walk over there and I’m going to chip this in after we go back.’ And that’s what happened.”

–Field Level Media

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