June 19, 2024

Talor Gooch conquers Singapore; First to win back-to-back LIV titles

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Singapore — Talor Gooch became the first player to win back-to-back LIV golf titles after a playoff win at the hole Sergio Garcia at the LIV Singapore tournament at Sentosa Golf Club on Sunday.

Gooch and Garcia shadowed each other for most of the first two rounds, and the final round was no different, with both the American and Spaniard never being more than a shot apart as they finished 17-under 196 to secure a playoff to force.

On the first playoff hole, the par-5 18, Gooch drove around the water hazard but played a near-perfect second shot into the heart of the green, where he birdied two putts with ease.

Garcia’s second shot at the playoff hole hit the greenside bunker and the Spaniard failed to make his birdie, giving Gooch his second straight win and a $4 million prize.

It’s the ninth time Gooch has either led or shared a lead after a round of LIV, the most of any player. He has now led or shared the lead for the last six laps.

“This is one of those days that I’ll remember,” Gooch said. “I grew up with Sergio. He’s one of the greatest golfers of this generation. Fighting with him and coming out on top is something I’ll never forget.”

Two-time LIV golf tournament winner Brooks Koepka shot a 67 and finished third with 16 under 197, 1 shot clear Scott Vincent (67) of Zimbabwe, who briefly threatened to make it a four-way battle for the title before a bogey on the par-4 15 halted his momentum.

Open champion Cam Smith (71) tied sixth after mixing regular birdies with bogeys for an even final round and a 12-under 201 overall.

Phil Mickelson hit a 72 with two double bogeys on his final round to drop to 13th in the leaderboard.

Like the first round, Sunday’s final round after 13 holes of shotgun format was delayed by more than an hour due to severe weather in the area.

Garcia, who started his round with Gooch on the first hole, shagged three of the first nine holes to maintain the lead with the American, who had four birdies and a bogey before nine straight pars.

Garcia won the 2018 Singapore Open at Sentosa and had played bogey-free golf for the first 47 holes, but two bogeys on par-4 holes 12 and 15 hampered his efforts to win again here.

On the par 5 rule 18, Gooch had a 41-foot putt for Eagle, which just missed to the left of the cup. The 31-year-old American easily birdied to put Garcia back under pressure.

The Spaniard responded by calmly making his birdie from 11ft to force the playoff.

The next event will be held on May 12th in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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