KOEPKA, SMASH GC SOLID IN MAYAKOBA
It didn’t take long for Brooks Koepka and his Smash Golf Club to make some noise in 2024. The team was firmly in the mix throughout the season-opening LIV Golf Mayakoba and his new-look roster will be one to contend with as the year progresses.
Smash GC finished seventh overall on the team leaderboard at 12 under, and the captain once again led the way. Koepka concluded the week at 8 under, just four shots out of the playoff and in fifth place. Koepka never let off the gas and continued his aggressive play, even when scoring conditions got tougher on Saturday.
Koepka started with a 2-under 69 on Friday, and when scores began to skyrocket in Round 2, he carded an impressive 3-under 68 to put him in position for a Sunday run. The five-time major champion would cap the week with another 3-under 69 for a high finish.
Perhaps the story of the week for Smash GC was the overall play from the team. New edition Talor Gooch, the reigning Individual Champion who was part of the League’s most discussed offseason move, continued to play at a champion level. He had counting scores all three days, including a 2-under 69 in Saturday’s windy conditions. He closed nicely in the final round, matching Koepka’s 3-under 68 to secure 15th place.
Jason Kokrak posted a respectable 2-over 73 on Friday but it wasn’t needed as his teammates went lower. He came back and contributed a nice 3-under 68 when scoring was tough and kept pace with Koepka’s outstanding play.
New addition Graeme McDowell showed some fine form in the opening round with a 1-under 71 before a non-counting score of 74 on Saturday. But McDowell didn’t hurt his team in the final round with a 1-over 72.
Sunday’s overall team performance was a positive considering this is the first season when all four scores count for teams. Smash GC was a combined 3 under on Sunday and avoided a big score that would have hurt them on the team leaderboard.