After the undoubted success of last week’s LIV Golf Adelaide, the tour moves to Singapore and Sentosa Golf Club for the fifth stop of the 2023 season.
Fans turned out in their droves in Adelaide to watch Australia’s own Cameron Smith and his fellow competitors and Talor Gooch’s incredible second round provided the platform for the American to capture his first LIV tour title.
After their impressive showing at Augusta National, the wider golf world can no longer ignore the Saudi-backed venture and though the turnout in Australia was no doubt part fuelled by the repeated failure of the DP World and PGA Tours to hold strong events in the nation, the party atmosphere eerily reminiscent of the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open played no small part in the event’s success.
It’s hard to see similar scenes in Singapore this week, but with another $4 million on offer for first place and the team aspect continuing to grow traction, playing in back-to-back weeks is likely to bring the star players to the fore.
With four top 10s in four starts, Peter Uihlein is the points ranking leader, eight clear of Charles Howell III in second and Gooch’s win in Adelaide sees him rise to third in the rankings.
Thanks in no small measure to Uihlein’s play, the 4 Aces GC continue to lead the way in the team standings. The Dustin Johnson captained side’s 96-point haul is almost twice that of Joaquim Niemann’s Torque GC and Louis Oosthuizen’s Stinger GC who are tied for second on 52 points.
A fourth-place finish in Adelaide was Cameron Smith’s best finish of the season and he starts as favourite with the bookmakers with Dustin Johnson and LIV Orlando champion Brooks Koepka installed as joint second favourites.
The course itself stand on Sentosa Island, constructed on land reclaimed from the sea thanks to significant sand gathering from dredging to build the shipping canal. The fifth green in particular, sits upon an area that previously featured 10 to 12 metres of seawater.
It’s hosted the Singapore Open since 2005, with Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott and Matt Kuchar among the notable winners, and is a course that provides a variety of challenges suggesting that the eventual champion will be somebody with an extremely strong all-round skillset.
Notable groupings include the threeball of Phil Mickelson, Cameron Smith and Talor Gooch who’ll begin the shotgun start event on hole number one, with Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen and Sebastian Munoz going off tee number two, while Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka are again paired together and they’re joined by Sergio Garcia on the third tee.
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