Written by
Bryan Mullen, LIV Golf Correspondent
Jun 10 2024
- 3 MIN
McDowell Smash recap STORY image

The temperature wasn’t the only thing that was hot in Houston last week. Smash Golf Club fought brutal humidity and a tough test to finish on the podium and tied for second at LIV Golf Houston.

It was yet another stellar showing for the star-studded team as the League headed back to the United States. Smash GC finished just two shots behind winner Cleeks Golf Club and was arguably the best team on the course Sunday. The team combined to shoot 14-under par in the final round, which was the lowest team score of the day, and in the all-important round when all four scores count.

The team was led once again by Captain Brooks Koepka and Graeme McDowell. Koepka was 2 under through two rounds, but the five-time major champion caught fire on Sunday when he shot a remarkable 7-under 65 to finish T9 for the week. It was the lowest score for any player in the final round and helped move Koepka to No. 4 in the season-long individual standings. Koepka now has three consecutive top-10 finishes, highlighted by his individual victory at LIV Golf Singapore.

McDowell more than did his part in Houston and was the team’s highest finisher. The 2010 U.S. Open champion shot 10 under for the week and ended in a tie for sixth. He was steady throughout and shot rounds of 69-68-69. It was his first top-10 finish in four events and boosted him to No. 21 in the standings.

Talor Gooch started slowly but finished strong. He was even par through the first two rounds but exploded on Sunday when it mattered most with a stellar 6-under 66 to help his team jump up on the leaderboard. Gooch, who is eighth in the season-long team standings, finished T15.

Jason Kokrak provided most of his positive play on Saturday when he posted a 6-under 66. With all four scores counting Sunday, Kokrak held it together when things got rough but posted a respectable 2-over 74 under the conditions to keep his team on the podium.

Expect the positive vibes to continue as the team heads to LIV Golf Nashville in two weeks as the early portion of the second half of the season continues.