Written by
Bryan Mullen, LIV Golf Correspondent
Mar 04 2024
- 4 MIN
Kokrak leads Smash in Jeddah

All eyes were on Smash Golf Club entering LIV Golf Jeddah and with good reason. The team was coming off a victory at LIV Golf Las Vegas, and the star-studded lineup was oozing with confidence once again.

While Smash GC didn’t claim another trophy, it did earn a podium finish by ending the week at 33-under, just five shots back of Crushers Golf Club. Through three events, Smash GC sits second in the season-long team standings.

With so much depth and talent, the team seemingly is being led by different players each day. Take Round 2 on Saturday, for example. Jason Kokrak shot the low round of the day, an astounding 8-under 62 and sat in a tie for third entering the final round. During one stretch, he made six birdies in seven holes and only had one bogey on the day.

“I was just trying to make birdies,” Kokrak said on Saturday. “I never want to get ahead of myself. I knew I was 8-, 9-under par. I didn't know exactly what I was … I just wanted to hit some quality shots, commit to the target lines, commit to the shot, and just don't get too far ahead of myself.”

Kokrak closed his week with an even-par 70 to finish T-6.

Captain Brooks Koepka was laser-focused as usual and was trying to become LIV Golf’s first three-peat winner. After opening with a 1-under 69, Koepka caught fire and shot a 4-under 66 to make a jump up the leaderboard. With windy conditions keeping scores down in the final round, Koepka posted a stellar 4-under 66 to finish T-12.

Defending Individual Champion Talor Gooch continues to shine and is a smart pick whenever he tees it up. Gooch, who finished tied for second in the previous event in Las Vegas and just one shot out of a playoff with eventual champion Dustin Johnson, came out hot in Round 1 with a 5-under 65. He followed it up with a 2-under 68 on Saturday. With tougher conditions Sunday, he finished with a 3-under 67 to finish T-6.

Graeme McDowell, who was a huge part of Smash GC’s team win in Las Vegas, didn’t have counting scores in the first two rounds, but when all scores counted on Sunday, he contributed nicely with a fine 4-under 66.