RANGEGOATS GC ROUND 3 RECAP FOR JEDDAH
The success was far-ranging for RangeGoats Golf Club in Jeddah this week.
Not only did Talor Gooch win the season-long individual title and $18 million, but his team made an important move on the leaderboard for a well-earned perk next week in Miami.
Gooch, a three-time winner this season, blistered the course at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club and shot a remarkable, bogey-free 8-under 62 on Sunday. The vault up the leaderboard got him into a playoff with Brooks Koepka of Smash Golf Club, and Koepka would go on to win the Jeddah event on the second playoff hole.
But that did little to dampen the emotions of Gooch, who was the hottest player on LIV Golf and was justly rewarded with the prized season-long individual crown.
“Your mind says in the beginning, ‘Let’s have a good finish,’ and then I had some putts dropping,” said Gooch, who finished first in putting (1.41) for the week. “Then I was looking at it and saying let’s win a golf tournament. It’s one of those days you dream about and work so hard for. It was a great day and a great end to the (regular) season.”
Gooch’s stunning Sunday didn’t come out of nowhere. When he won at LIV Golf Adelaide earlier this season, he had back-to-back rounds of 62. He finishes the regular season with three wins, five top-10 finishes, and 12 top-24 points finishes.
He was one of only three players entering the week with a mathematical chance to win the season-long individual title, along with Ripper Golf Club’s Cameron Smith and Crushers Golf Club’s Bryson DeChambeau. DeChambeau finished 16th in Jeddah and Smith finished 25th.
But the team itself received a major bonus on Sunday as well. RangeGoats GC earned one of the four first-round byes for the Team Championship in Miami, gaining some much-needed rest as the players head to the United States from Saudi Arabia.
The team entered the week fifth in the season-long standings but a flurry of fantastic golf in Jeddah jumped RangeGoats GC to a second-place finish in the event and to fourth in the season-long team standings, earning the bye.
With Gooch leading the way, his teammates did more than their fair share to earn the bye. On Sunday, Harold Varner III shot a 5-under 65 with no bogeys and finished the event in third place, just two shots out of the playoff. Teammate Thomas Pieters had a counting score of 3-under 67 and captain Bubba Watson shot 1-over 71.
Along with Gooch, Varner III secured himself in the Lock Zone. Pieters finishes 33rd in the individual season-long standings and lands in the Open Zone. Watson is exempt as a captain.