Garcia and Gooch lead through 36 at LIV Singapore

Mark McGowan

Sergio Garcia - Photo by Charles Laberge/LIV Golf

Sergio Garcia fired a second-round seven-under 64 to join Talor Gooch at the top of the leaderboard going into Sunday’s final round at Sentosa Golf Club in LIV Golf Singapore.

The Spaniard is in search of his first worldwide victory since 2020, but as a former course winner at the Singapore Open, is back on friendly territory, but in Gooch he faces LIV’s form player who’s looking to become the first back-to-back winner on the circuit.

Last week, Gooch took a 10-stroke lead into the final round after matching 62s in rounds one and two, but this time, his 64, 65 opening salvos are only good for a share.


Garcia is bogey-free through 36 holes, carding three birdies on the spin on the opening nine in round two and birdieing an additional four though he’d only par the reachable par-5 closing hole which would’ve given him the outright lead.

Gooch did birdie the closer, and the 17th as well for good measure, with a bogey at 14 the only blemish on his card this week.

Brooks Koepka is one stroke back of the leading pair after matching Gooch’s 65, and he’ll play in the final three-ball having posted -12.

Cameron Smith is in a three-way tie for fourth at -11 alongside Scott Vincent and Cameron Tringale with Phil Mickelson a shot further back at -10.

Graeme McDowell’s fortunes improved as the 2010 US Open winner made up for yesterday’s three-over by going three-under in a round that included an eagle-three on the fourth, and the Portrush man is up to a tie for 37th going into the final round.

Gooch’s continued form has helped the RangeGoats GC to a share of the lead in the team competition as well, as they join Mickelson’s HyFlyers GC on -25, three strokes clear of Smith’s Ripper GC in third place.

“Nothing can replace experience,” said Gooch after his 6-under 65. “The more that I can put myself in this position, the more comfortable I’m going to get.

“We’ve been paired together a bunch here in the last year and it was fun out there playing with Sergio. The more you play with these guys and the more you feel like you can compete and beat these guys, the more comfortable you’re going to get.”

“Some of the memories definitely help,” Garcia said when asked if his previous form around Sentosa was a factor in his performance this week. “But at the end of the day, I think that every tournament is a different story. … It definitely makes a little bit of difference but obviously you know that if you want to contend on a LIV tournament, you have to raise your level as much as possible because all of these guys can really play the game.”

“It’s a fun week for us so far and we’re continuing to get better and better each week,” said Mickelson, who was 5 under through his first five holes, including a hole-out eagle at the par-5 seventh. “… There’s a lot to play for and we’re having a blast.”

With thunderstorms again expected on Sunday, play will begin in the shotgun start format at 08:05 am local time (01:05 am Irish time) with the Gooch, Garcia and Koepka last off tee number one, while Smith, Tringale and Vincent will also begin on the first but will begin ahead of the leading trio.

Mickelson will be joined by Jason Kokrak and Mito Pereira as they’ll begin their quests for first LIV victories on the second tee.



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