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RD. 2 NEWS AND NOTES: CASEY’S CADDIE SWITCH

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Written by
LIV GOLF STAFF
Jun 08 2024
- 5 MIN
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HUMBLE, Texas – It's a logjam at the top of the LIV Golf Houston leaderboard entering Sunday as Crushers GC’s Paul Casey, Cleeks GC’s Adrian Meronk, Torque GC’s Carlos Ortiz and Fireballs GC’s David Puig are tied at 10 under. Fireballs GC lead on the team leaderboard. Here are some news and notes from the second round at the Golf Club of Houston.

RELATED NEWS: FOUR SHARE INDIVIDUAL LEAD; FIREBALLS AHEAD BY 4

CASEY’S CADDIE SWITCH: Second-round co-leader Paul Casey has his wife Polly on the bag this week for just the second time in his career. Several months ago, his regular caddie John McLaren had requested this week off so he could commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day in France. Casey was happy to oblige.

"He sent me some amazing photos,” Casey said. “He's been down there wearing his kilt and his McLaren tartan. He's very, very proud to be British, so I think it's been amazing to pay respects for those commemorations. 

"It's quite a thing. We're very lucky to do what we do. We're very lucky to live in the countries we live in. This year he wanted to go down, being maybe one of the last times that those who fought and were on those beaches are still alive now because it's 80 years on. That couldn't be cooler. I'm proud that he went, and he's happy that he went."

Then the Crushers GC veteran added with a smile: "I'm obviously doing my best to make him feel a little bit under pressure like he's not got a monopoly on this job."


CLEEKS SEEKING FIRST TROPHY: Cleeks GC is the only team to have never celebrated a trophy of any kind – individual or team – in LIV Golf. But Martin Kaymer’s squad is trending in the right direction, and the drought could end as soon as Sunday.

Newcomer Adrian Meronk is one of four co-leaders entering the final round in Houston, following his opening 65 with a 3-under 69. The Cleeks started the day as the first-round team leaders by three, and despite dropping off the pace, they are just five shots off Fireballs GC going into the final round.

In the previous LIV Golf event in Singapore, the Cleeks tied for second, the team’s best-ever result.

“I think you can see the progress from the beginning of the year. Hopefully we can lift the trophy soon,” Meronk said. “When, I cannot tell you. Depends on many factors. But the chemistry and level of play, it's progressing from week to week. We can just hope to play well tomorrow. It's going to be exciting. Every score counts, so anything can happen tomorrow.”


FINAL-ROUND AVERAGES: Of the four co-leaders, Carlos Ortiz has performed the best in the final round this season with a cumulative 21 under through the first seven tournaments. Paul Casey is at 13 under, David Puig at 11 under and Adrian Meronk at 6 under.

“Shooting those scores the final round, honestly, it's just getting used to the golf course,” Ortiz said.

Patrick Reed, in solo fifth one shot back, was one of LIV Golf’s top final-round performers in the first two seasons but has struggled on Sundays this year. He’s a cumulative 1 over, although he does come off a 5-under 66 in the most recent LIV Golf final round in Singapore.

“There's times that I've been so far back and trying to get a decent finish that I've had to push, and when you go out there and you press, it usually doesn't happen in golf,” Reed explained. “You've got to let it come to you, and I feel like that's what I'm trying to do this week.”


RAHM, OOSTHUIZEN WD: LIV Golf captains Jon Rahm (Legion XIII) and Louis Oosthuizen (Stinger GC) withdrew on Saturday due to injuries.

Oosthuizen withdrew prior to the start of the second round with a lower back injury. He was replaced by reserve player Wade Ormsby, who shot a 1-over 73 that counted for the team. Oosthuizen shot an opening round 3-under 69.

Rahm withdrew after playing six holes (all pars) on Saturday with an infection in his left foot. He will be replaced by reserve player Ben Campbell for Sunday’s final round. Rahm also shot a 69 in the opening round.

Both players are expected to return for the next LIV Golf tournament in Nashville on June 21-23. Rahm remains scheduled to play in next week’s U.S. Open.

ROUND 2 STATS LEADERS

Driving accuracy: Jason Kokrak, 100% (14 of 14 fairways hit)
Driving distance: Bryson DeChambeau, 342.6 yards avg.
Longest drive: Bryson DeChambeau, 355.3 yards, 13th hole
Greens in regulation: Richard Bland, 88.89% (16 of 18 greens)
Scrambling: Matthew Wolff (6 of 6), Sergio Garcia (5 of 5), Abraham Ancer (5 of 5), Jason Kokrak (3 of 3), 100%
Putting: Hudson Swafford, 1.39 putts per hole
Bogey-free rounds: Abraham Ancer (66), Matthew Wolff (67)

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