A week ago, Talor Gooch entered the final round with a 10-stroke lead. This week, he has company atop the leaderboard.
The RangeGoats GC star is tied with Fireballs GC Captain Sergio through two rounds of LIV Golf Singapore presented by Resorts World Sentosa. The co-leaders are at 13-under, with Smash GC Captain Brooks Koepka in solo third, one stroke back. Iron Head GC’s Scott Vincent moved into a tie for third by shooting a 9-under 62, tying the LIV record for lowest score.
In the team standings, Gooch’s RangeGoats are tied with Phil Mickelson’s HyFlyers GC at 25-under, with Cameron Smith’s all-Australian Ripper GC in solo third. All three teams enter the final round at Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong course seeking their first team victory.
The three counting rounds for Ripper GC were all bogey-free, with Smith shooting 66, and Matt Jones and Jed Morgan shooting 67s. Marc Leishman’s 68, which did not count, included two bogeys. Morgan’s round included an eagle at the par-5 18th.
Gooch recorded his first individual victory last week at LIV Golf Adelaide, shooting LIV-record 10-under 62s in the first two rounds to take a commanding lead into the final round. He doesn’t have that luxury this week. Six of the 11 players within seven shots of the lead are Major champions.
For Gooch, it’s the eighth time he’s either led or shared a lead after a LIV Golf round. That’s the most of any player. He’s now led or shared the lead in the last five League rounds.
“Nothing can replace experience,” said Gooch after his 6-under 65. “The more that I can put myself in this position, the more comfortable I’m going to get.”
Garcia has experience of a different kind at Sentosa. He won the Singapore Open here in 2018 and has played bogey-free golf in the first 36 holes this week. On Saturday, he hit all 18 greens in regulation in shooting a 64.
“Some of the memories definitely help,” Garcia said. “But at the end of the day, I think that every tournament is a different story. … It definitely makes a little bit of difference but obviously you know that if you want to contend on a LIV tournament, you have to raise your level as much as possible because all of these guys can really play the game.”
The RangeGoats came close to riding Gooch’s win last week to a team title, falling one shot short of 4Aces GC. Now Bubba Watson’s team has another shot this week.
The HyFlyers also came in with momentum from Australia, finishing fourth. The HyFlyers have a chance at sweeping both trophies, with Cameron Tringale tied for fourth at 11-under while Mickelson is one stroke back in solo seventh after shooting a 66
“It’s a fun week for us so far and we’re continuing to get better and better each week,” said Mickelson, who was 5 under through his first five holes, including a hole-out eagle at the par-5 seventh. “… There’s a lot to play for and we’re having a blast.”
Gooch and Garcia had a blast Saturday in a group that also included Ripper GC’s Smith. The trio combined to shoot 18-under. Smith is tied with Vincent and Tringale for fourth. Gooch and Garcia will be together again on Sunday with Koepka in the final group off the No.1 tee.
“We’ve been paired together a bunch here in the last year and it was fun out there playing with Sergio,” Gooch said. “The more you play with these guys and the more you feel like you can compete and beat these guys, the more comfortable you’re going to get.”
The shotgun start for the final round is set for 8:05am local time (10:05am AEST) and will be broadcast on 7Plus.
Here are the standings and counting scores for Saturday’s second’s round of the team competition at LIV Golf Singapore presented by Resorts World Sentosa. 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.
T1. RANGEGOATS GC (-25): Talor Gooch 65, Harold Varner III 66, Bubba Watson 66 (Rd. 2 score: -16)
T1. HYFLYERS GC (-25): Cameron Tringale 66, Phil Mickelson 66, Brendan Steele 68 (Rd. 2 score: -13)
3. RIPPER GC (-22): Cameron Smith 66, Matt Jones 67, Jediah Morgan 67 (Rd. 2 score: -13)
T4. FIREBALLS GC (-21): Sergio Garcia 64, Carlos Ortiz 64, Eugenio Chacarra 69 (Rd. 2 score: -16)
T4. IRON HEADS GC (-21): Scott Vincent 62, Danny Lee 69, Kevin Na 69 (Rd. 2 score: -13)
6. TORQUE GC (-20): Mito Pereira 66, Joaquin Niemann 66, Sebastián Muñoz 67 (Rd. 2 score: -14)
7. SMASH GC (-17): Brooks Koepka 65, Jason Kokrak 68, Matthew Wolff 72 (Rd. 2 score: -8)
8. 4ACES GC (-16): Dustin Johnson 68, Peter Uihlein 68, Pat Perez 69 (Rd. 2 score: -8)
T9. CRUSHERS GC (-12): Anirban Lahiri 67, Bryson DeChambeau 70, Charles Howell III 70 (Rd. 2 score: -6)
T9. STINGER GC (-12): Louis Oosthuizen 69, Branden Grace 70, Charl Schwartzel 73 (Rd. 2 score: -1)
11. CLEEKS GC (-9): Martin Kaymer 66, Graeme McDowell 68, Bernd Wiesberger 70 (Rd. 2 score: -9)
12. MAJESTICKS GC (-5): Laurie Canter 70, Ian Poulter 71, Henrik Stenson 71 (Rd. 2 score: -1