Gooch makes it an historic LIV victory treble, denying DeChambeau a first at Valderrama

Fatiha Betscher

Talor Gooch (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

by Fatiha Betscher, Valderrama 

Back-to-back closing birdies helped Taylor Gooch put an end to Bryson DeChambeau’s hopes of capturing a maiden LIV Golf victory at Valderrama.

Gooch made it an historic LIV first with three wins in the past 10 weeks, securing a two-shot success thanks to a closing four-under 67 and a 12-under total, with former US Open winning DeChambeau only able to respond with a two-under 69 for an 11-under tally.


Gooch won back-to-back events at LIV Adelaide and LIV Singapore a week later, and has now added a third win and a first in Continental Europe to complete a first LIV hat-trick at the course affectionately dubbed the ‘Augusta of Europe.’

At $4m per tournament win, that’s $12m for Gooch in his trio of triumphs while he’s banked $13,376,583 in eight LIV events this year.

“It’s super special,” Gooch said. “I was just saying earlier, last year I didn’t get a win, so this year I was just so focused on getting an individual win. You don’t think much past the first one until you get the first one.

“I definitely didn’t have three in mind for the season, but it’s cool that we’re here, and it’s especially cool to have the third one here at Valderrama.”

Gooch also becomes the first player with three victories in the Saudi-funded rival league. Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson have two wins apiece.

DeChambeau brilliantly set-up his quest for a maiden LIV win thanks to a sizzling second round 63, just one shy of the course record, to take a one-shot lead into the final day. Twice he expanded that to a two-shot margin, but after they made the turn, Gooch caught him with birdies on the 10th and 13th holes, setting up a grandstand finish.

Both birdied the par-5 17th, and then on the final hole, Gooch rolled in a right-to-left breaking 12-foot putt to deny DeChambeau, and to extend his lead at the top of the LIV Golf season-long rankings.

Brooks Koepka, who closed with a 68, started three shots behind and fell further off the pace quickly. Koepka, the reigning PGA Championship winner, tried to keep in range until a bogey on the 13th hole all but ended his chances.

He previously won by three shots in Australia, and then followed that up with a playoff victory over Sergio Garcia in Singapore. Gooch had not played in a month leading up to Valderrama because he was not exempt and chose not enter U.S. Open qualifying.

He is in the field for The Open in three weeks. LIV Golf moves on to its next event outside London, where the series began a year ago.

Overwhelming Spanish favourite Sergio Garcia settled for 11th place at two-under while lone Irishman Graeme McDowell was left short-changed, having opening a level par opener on Friday but then it went downhill with a second round 75 and ending with a 74 for an eight-over tally and a share of 39th place in the 48-player field.

On the team side, Joaquin Niemann and Sebastian Munoz each shot 68 to lead Torque to a comfortable victory.

The LIV Golf League season heads to England next and back to the Centurion Club, the venue for the inaugural event of the LIV Golf Invitational Series last summer, with the event beginning on Friday.

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