Brooks Koepka retains LIV Jeddah title as Talor Gooch bags points laurels
The defending title-holder shot a 2-under-par 68 to finish at 14-under 196 before defeating the individual title winner on the second playoff hole
Brooks Koepka defended his title at the LIV Golf Jeddah in Saudi Arabia on Sunday and Talor Gooch pocketed $18m for winning the season-long individual title.
Koepka shot a 2-under-par 68 to finish at 14-under 196 before defeating Gooch on the second playoff hole at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City. Koepka birdied two of his last three holes and added another birdie on his second playoff hole to seize his third victory on the LIV circuit.
Koepka earned $4m for winning the tournament. The five-time Major champion however, was unaware that he won an additional $4m for finishing third in the individual standings.
“Sweet. It’s a good feeling,” Koepka told reporters. “Thanks for breaking that news.”
Gooch, who shot a 62 on Sunday, walked away as the big winner after surpassing Cameron Smith of Australia and Bryson DeChambeau to capture the season-long points race. By comparison, Gooch earned $9,250,299 while earning one win in 123 starts on the PGA Tour.
Gooch won three events and recorded five top-10 finishes this season, worth more than $15m more.
“I just think it’s a validation to the golfer than I am to the hard work that we’ve put in for years and years,” Gooch said. “You know this game will beat you up, but we’ve done a good job year after year just continuing to improve and learning from mistakes. That would have been really sweet to beat Brooks and to really cap it off like that, but it was a heck of a year and I’m very, very proud of it.”
Gooch recorded eight birdies during his bogey-free round on Sunday.
Harold Varner III shot 65 on Sunday and finished tied for third with Scott Vincent (66) of Zimbabwe and Sergio Garcia (67) of Spain at 12-under. Dustin Johnson (65), Mito Pereira (66) of Chile and Charles Howell III (68) ended up in a three-way tie for sixth place.
The LIV Golf League concludes next week in Miami with the team championship.
Garcia’s Fireballs GC claimed the team title in Saudi Arabia at 34-under ($3m), three shots ahead of RangeGoats GC ($1.5m) and five in front of Cleeks GC ($500,000).
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