ASIAN GOLF INDUSTRY FEDERATION

Sentosa Golf Club Shines at LIV Showpiece

Talor Gooch (second right) celebrates with his RangeGoats team-mates. Picture by Scott Taetsch/LIV Golf.

Singapore: Sentosa Golf Club’s reputation as one of the world’s great tournament venues was underlined at the US$25 million LIV Golf Singapore – the richest sporting event ever staged in the Island Republic.

With thousands of fans encircling the 18th green of the Serapong Course, Talor Gooch made a two-putt birdie on the first hole of a sudden-death play-off to defeat Sergio Garcia.

It was the second successive victory for American Gooch, who also triumphed in Adelaide last week. He’s the first player to record back-to-back victories in the LIV Golf League. The win moves him to the top of the individual points standings as he joins Brooks Koepka as LIV Golf’s only two-time winners.

On a thrilling final day at LIV Golf Singapore presented by Resorts World Sentosa, Gooch and Spaniard Garcia ended the 54-hole event tied at the top on 17-under. Garcia holed a seven-foot bridie putt on the final green to match Gooch’s closing four-under 68 and take the contest to extra time.

Four-time Major champion Brooks Koepka also signed for a 68, settling for third place on 16-under with Zimbabwean Scott Vincent a further stroke back in fourth.

There was double cause for celebration for Gooch whose performance was instrumental in the success in the team event of RangeGoats, the seventh different team to win a LIV Golf event, and the fifth different team to win this season in as many events.

Last week, the RangeGoats came up one shot short of the 4Aces, who lead the season-long team standings this year.
 
RangeGoats Captain Bubba Watson added Gooch to his line-up in the off-season to join good friend Harold Varner III. Newcomer Thomas Pieters also joined the team.

“Thank you for stepping up and wanting to be part of the Goats,” Watson said as he stood with his team-mates. “This is an honour 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.”
 
All 48 players in the field enjoyed the challenge presented by the Serapong Course and the immaculate conditioning and pure greens, running at more than 12 on the Stimpmeter.

“The course is phenomenal,” said Gooch, whose views were echoed by his team-mates.

Although the galleries were less boisterous than those in Australia last week, Watson thanked them for remaining at the course during a 60-minute weather delay.

“This is always good, where people want us to come. The crowd was good. Even with bad weather the crowd stayed around and watched on 18,” said two-time Masters champion Watson.

When severe weather halted play for one hour with four holes to play, the RangeGoats trailed the Garcia’s Fireballs by one stroke. Once play resumed, Varner provided two key birdies as part of his contributing six-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.”

Individually, Gooch and Garcia were tied at 16 under when play resumed. Garcia dropped a stroke at the 15th hole, missing a short par putt, but bounced back with a birdie on the next hole. Both players birdied the par-five 18th to finish at 17-under and set up the play-off, the fourth in LIV Golf history and the second this season.

Talor Gooch overcame Sergio Garcia in a play-off. Picture by Ashok Kumar/LIV Golf.

Gooch took an aggressive line on the 18th, his tee ball finishing just steps from the water. But it set up a second shot that found the green. Meanwhile, Garcia’s second shot landed in a greenside bunker. A difficult third shot came up short and finished in the rough just above the bunker. After Gooch two-putted for birdie, Garcia could not hole his birdie chip.
 
“It’s one of those days that I’ll remember,” said Gooch. “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.”

Sentosa Golf Club is a Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

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