Written by
Bryan Mullen, LIV Golf Correspondent
Apr 07 2024
- 3 MIN
Gooch Smash Miami Recap image

MIAMI - Smash Golf Club faced a daunting task and a daunting course entering the final round of LIV Golf Miami. And in the end, it met both challenges.

The team began Sunday tied for eighth place and made positive progress to finish solo seventh on the legendarily long and difficult Blue Monster. Captain Brooks Koepka and reigning Individual Champion Talor Gooch led the way for most of the week, and the team now sits in fourth place in the season-long team standings.

Gooch finished tied for ninth at Trump National Doral Golf Club and was in the mix for a trophy run entering Sunday. He opened with a sizzling 5-under 67 and followed with a 2-under 70 in Round 2 before falling back with a 73 in the final round.

Meanwhile, Koepka started hot as well with a 3-under 69 in tough scoring conditions but couldn’t get it to under par on the weekend. Teammate Graeme McDowell showed grit all week. His highs weren’t too high, but more importantly, his lows were manageable. The major champion was 3 over through two rounds, but when all scores counted on Sunday, McDowell posted a solid 2-under 70.

Jason Kokrak was a bright spot on the weekend for Smash GC. After a slow start on Friday, Kokrak shot a combined 4 under on the weekend to finish even par for the week.

One of the team’s highlights came Friday when Gooch holed out for birdie at the 241-yard par-3 13th. He had an awkward stance, standing inside and outside of a bunker.

“That was sick,” Gooch said Friday. “You don’t practice that. You’re kind of standing there, kind of hoping to make par – and then when it happens to go in, it’s like OK, this could be a good day.”

Koepka will put Doral quickly behind him as he heads to Augusta National Golf Club this week. The five-time major champion will be one of 13 LIV golfers to compete at the Masters, the year’s first major.