Written by
Bryan Mullen, LIV Golf Correspondent
Jun 23 2024
- 4 MIN
Smash Nash Recap Koepka STORY image

COLLEGE GROVE, Tenn. – It was set up to be an interesting week for Smash Golf Club entering LIV Golf Nashville. The team was coming off a fourth-place finish in Singapore and an impressive T2 in Houston. Would the positive trend continue? Would there be a step back?

In the end, and while Nashville fans came out in droves to support Smash GC, the event resulted in a tough showing as the team finished 12th at The Grove. Smash GC sits fifth in the season-long standings with plenty of time to make positive moves as the second half of 2024 continues.

Captain Brooks Koepka entered the week fourth in the 2024 individual standings and had pocketed some first-place hardware recently at LIV Golf Singapore. He dropped to sixth in the standings after his T42 finish in Nashville, but the five-time major champion is still well positioned.

A bright spot for the team was Jason Kokrak, who had finished outside the top 40 in two of his last three events. Kokrak found some magic in Nashville, thanks mostly to a stirring 6-under 65 on Saturday which included six birdies and no bogeys. He entered the final round T10, shot even par and staked his team’s best finish (T18).

Teammates Talor Gooch and Graeme McDowell weren’t able to get much going and both finished 1 under for the week.

The Grove proved to be challenging for some teams but a good fit for others. With wide fairways, the thought entering the week was that the longer hitters would have an advantage due to having shorter irons entering greens. But the fast greens, slippery slopes and tricky fall-offs proved to be a bigger challenge than first expected, and those who were on top of their short games benefited most.

Couple that with dry, hot and humid weather, and the greens became even more challenging as the week wore on. Multiple players commented on how true the greens were rolling, and some even said they were similar to those at the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 the previous week. So, it was no surprise that some of the League’s better short-game players who are not necessarily the longest bombers played well.

The team will now reset, rest and prepare for LIV Golf Andalucía at Real Club Valderrama in Spain from July 12-14.