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Gooch nearly fumbles lead, holds on for LIV win

ByTeam BB

Apr 23, 2023

ADELAIDE, Australia — Talor Gooch saw his double-digit overnight lead almost evaporate but rallied late to win the inaugural LIV Australia tournament Sunday at the Grange Golf Club.

After two bogey-free 10-under 62 rounds, Gooch shot a 1-over 73 to clinch his first LIV Golf victory by 3 strokes from a fast-moving Anirban Lahiri,

As tournament leader, the 31-year-old American began his round on the first hole Sunday in the shotgun-start format and posted a birdie at the par-3 fifth but his bogey-free run ultimately ended at the par-5 seventh.

He dropped a shot on the eighth and the slide worsened with a double-bogey at the 10th, which saw his lead over a fast-moving Lahiri cut to just 2 strokes with still eight holes to play.

That was as close as it got, as Gooch rallied with birdies at the 11th and 13th and made par at the par 4 18th to clinch the victory and $4 million of the $20 million purse.

Lahiri shot 65 to finish second at 16-under, 2 shots ahead of a four-way tie for third with Cameron Tringale (67) Pat Perez (67) Patrick Reed (65) and the open champion Cameron Smith (66) all finishing at 15-under 201.

Phil Mickelson finished at 12-under 204 in a tie for 11th after a 69. As was the case on the opening two rounds, Mickelson was a clear crowd favorite and was cheered most of the way in his round by another sellout crowd of 35,000 on a warm day at Adelaide’s Grange Golf Club.

Chase Koepka undoubtedly made the shot of the day with an ace at the par-3 12th, which was celebrated wildly by several thousand fans lining what was called the “watering hole.”

Play was delayed for several minutes while marshals cleared the tee area of ​​hundreds of plastic cups and bottles that were thrown by fans in scenes not commonly associated with golf.

Koepka shot a final round of six-under 66 and 10-under overall.

More than 90,000 fans attended the three-day event, making it the most successful edition of the LIV Golf tournaments, now in its second year.

The 14-event season continues next weekend at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore.

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