RANGEGOATS GC ROUND 2 RECAP FOR JEDDAH
Talor Gooch bounced back in a big way on Saturday, and the goal of grabbing the season’s individual trophy is still alive.
One day after shooting even par at LIV Golf Jeddah presented by ROSHN, the RangeGoats Golf Club star went low during Round 2, firing a flawless 6-under 64 with six birdies and no bogeys. His consistency was apparent considering he had three birdies on the front and three birdies on the back.
Gooch is tied for ninth entering Sunday and is six shots back of leader Brooks Koepka of Smash Golf Club.
“I think everyone knows what's on the line tomorrow, and that's going to build the intensity of it,” Gooch said. “But thinking about it and focusing on that is not going to help me. … I'm going to go out there and just try to hit a bunch of fairways, a bunch of greens, and let's just go have a great day of golf and let's see where the chips lay at the end.”
Gooch, a three-time winner in 2023, entered this week as one of only three players who have a mathematical chance of winning the season-long individual champion title, which will be earned Sunday. The other two players are Ripper Golf Club’s Cameron Smith and Crushers Golf Club’s Bryson DeChambeau.
Heading into the final round, DeChambeau is tied for fourth and Smith is tied for 25th. For Gooch, the formula is simple. If he wins on Sunday, he wins the season-long individual championship, but he will need to play his best to overtake DeChambeau on the leaderboard.
As for RangeGoats GC, it bolted to fifth place on the team leaderboard in Jeddah thanks to some fine play from each player. Harold Varner III and Thomas Pieters shot matching 3-under 67s while captain Bubba Watson continued to impress with a 2-under 68.
Jeddah marks the final event for teams to improve their spots before the Team Championship in Miami next week. RangeGoats GC entered the week fifth in the season-long team standings, and the top four at the end of this week will earn a quarterfinal bye.
“We've talked about how important this week is to get a bye,” Gooch said. “I keep saying to them, ‘All right, if we don't get a bye, who are we picking,’ and I keep saying, ‘Guys, we're going to play Saturday, we're not playing Friday.’ That's the focus. Let's go have a great week this week and then we'll figure out who we pick next Saturday.
“The energy has been good; the vibe has been good. Obviously, Harold is playing well. We're in a good spot, and I think we're one good day away from getting that first-round bye next week.”
RangeGoats GC will guarantee a top-four spot in the standings and a bye unless: Stingers Golf Club have a higher finish, or Stingers finish eighth and RangeGoats finish seventh, or RangeGoats finish eighth.