Written by
Bryan Mullen, LIV Golf Correspondent
Apr 30 2024
- 3 MIN
Smash Singapore preview article image

Team: Smash Golf Club
Previous event team finish: 11th
Season-long team standings: 11th
Top finisher from previous event: Brooks Koepka, T-9
Fun stat: The team continues to display its pinpoint accuracy and reap the rewards. Smash GC leads the League in Fairways Hit (60.7%) and is third in Greens in Regulation (72.3%).


It’s the perfect venue for Captain Brooks Koepka and his team to put Australia in the rearview mirror and saunter into Singapore.

Smash Golf Club is coming off its worst finish of the season, a T-11 showing at LIV Golf Adelaide where the team finished 22 shots behind winner Ripper Golf Club. Consider it a blip on the radar, however, when considering 2024 as a whole. Smash GC hadn’t finished worse than seventh in any event this season and had a team victory in Las Vegas and a third-place podium finish in Jeddah. In short, Adelaide was an outlier.

Enter LIV Golf Singapore and Sentosa Golf Club, where Koepka and crew are likely to get back into the mix for some hardware. Koepka finished third here last season and just one shot out of a playoff. The five-time major champion also led his team in Adelaide where not all pistons were firing. Koepka finished T-9 and was particularly outstanding on the weekend when he shot consecutive rounds of 6-under 66. He's looking for that to carry over this week.

"It's a pure golf course," Koepka said about Sentosa Golf Club. "You look at that whole front side, it's all about positioning and being in the right spot, making sure you either hit the fairway or you're positioned correctly. That's what I think a good golf course tests you."

And, of course, there’s new team member Talor Gooch, who just so happened to win LIV Golf Singapore last season before going on to claiming the season-long individual championship. Gooch, who finished T-26 last week in Adelaide, dominated Sentosa Golf Club last year and was 17 under through three rounds before defeating Sergio Garcia in a playoff. He became the first LIV player to win back-to-back events.

"I was just playing great golf last year," Gooch said. "I had ultimate ball control, and it's one of those times in golf where it feels like you're never going to play bad because it's so easy. I've said to my caddie now the last couple tournaments, I can't wait for golf to get easy again because it hasn't been easy this year. But you fall back on those moments knowing, like hey, I've been here, I've done it, I can do it again. Obviously I like this golf course, and I like Singapore. It's hard not too hard for the vibes to not be good this week."

Teammate Graeme McDowell is demonstrating nice bounce-back form in 2024, and the trait is even coming during events. McDowell started slowly in Adelaide with a 3-over 75 but rebounded on Saturday with a superb 6-under 66. He finished with an important 1-under 71 on Sunday when all four scores counted to close at 4 under for the week.

"I think being around these guys, the competitive energy that's on this team, anytime you're around a guy like Brooks, you know he's going to lead from the front," McDowell said. "Talor with his performance last year and Jason (Kokrak) is a great player week in week out, as well It's been very big for me so far this season."

As for Kokrak, it wasn’t quite the week he was expecting. A 3-over 75 put him behind the eight ball, but he did show poise by going 5 under on the weekend. A quicker start for Kokrak in Singapore might provide the boost his team needs as it looks to climb the season-long team standings.

"I got off to a good start this year," Kokrak said. "I think the last couple tournaments, I've been a little bit off with the irons. Made a small tweak with my swing coach ... I struck the ball very nicely yesterday. I think this golf course suits me pretty well tee to green."

Overall, Sentosa Golf Club should be the perfect remedy for a team coming off a disappointing result. Consider this: Three of the four team members (Gooch, Koepka, Kokrak) finished in the top six in Singapore last season.