TEAM NOTES FOR LIV GOLF INVITATIONAL JEDDAH
Written by MIKE McALLISTER
A look at each of the 12 teams going into LIV Golf Invitational Jeddah. Teams listed in order of finish at the previous event in Bangkok. Jeddah is the regular-season finale, and teams are vying to improve their positions, with some teams still in position to claim one of the top four spots and a bye for the first day.
FIREBALLS GC: Captain Sergio Garcia’s team won for the first time this season on the strength of Eugenio Chacarra’s 19-under individual win, and strong support from Abraham Ancer, who produced three counting rounds ... Garcia added two counting rounds, and Carlos Ortiz one ... Cumulatively, the Fireballs were 45 under for their nine counting rounds, a record for a winning team score (previous tournaments counted seven rounds) ... Seed outlook: Fireballs currently rank 4th in points and remain hopeful for a bye.
CRUSHERS GC: Captain Bryson DeChambeau’s team recorded its third runner-up finish of the season, his second since joining LIV Golf. Peter Uihlein was the captain when the Crushers placed second in London ... Paul Casey was the top performer in Bangkok, with three counting roles and a pair of 65s in the last two rounds ... Charles Howell III and DeChambeau also contributed three counting rounds as the team finished a collective 38 under .. Anirban Lahiri matched Casey’s counting 71 in the opening round ... Seed outlook: Crushers currently rank 2nd in points and can wrap up a bye with a third-place finish or better.
CLEEKS GC: Captain Martin Kaymer’s all-European team finished in the money for the first time this season, taking third place at 37 under in Bangkok on the strength of three counting rounds from Richard Bland and Laurie Canter ... Bland had his best result (4th) and Canter tied for his best (11th) ... Kaymer produced two counting rounds and Graeme McDowell one ... Cleeks’ only other point-producing result was a 6th in London ... Seed outlook: Cleeks currently rank 10th in points and unable to challenge for a bye position.
IRON HEADS GC: For the second time in the last three LIV Golf events, captain Kevin Na’s team finished just outside the money in fourth place ... Sihwan Kim led the team at 15 under with three counting rounds, finishing in 5th place, his best LIV result ... Thai players Sadom Kaewkanjana and Phachara Khongwatmai each contributed two counting rounds to thrill their home fans ... Na produced a brave performance while fighting an illness in the last two rounds, even getting an IV prior to his final round. He contributed two counting rounds ... Seed outlook: Iron Heads currently rank 7th in points and unable to challenge for a bye position.
NIBLICKS GC: After finishing last as a team since non-playing captain Bubba Watson took command in Boston, Niblicks produced its best result of the season in Bangkok with 5th place ... Harold Varner III and James Piot each finished at 14 under and produced three counting scores ... Piot, who was bogey-free for the entire Bangkok tournament, had his LIV career-best 6th, while Varner also had his best result (7th) in his three career starts ... Turk Pettit produced counting scores in the final two rounds, while Hudson Swafford counted in the first round ... Seed outlook: Niblicks currently rank 12th in points and are unable to challenge for a bye position.
4 ACES GC: Captain Dustin Johnson’s team swept the four events in the U.S. but saw its win streak come to a halt in Bangkok, as the all-American squad finished sixth ... Patrick Reed reached the podium in the individual competition, finishing second at 16 under. It was Reed’s best result in five LIV starts and moved him to third place in the overall point standings ... Johnson produced three counting scores and has now counted in 17 of the 18 rounds played this season. He leads the entire LIV roster in that category ... Talor Gooch offered two counting scores and Pat Perez one ... Seed outlook: 4 Aces currently rank 1st and have wrapped up the top seed and a bye for Miami.
MAJESTICKS GC: Captain Lee Westwood’s team finished in the points for the fifth time in six events this season, claiming 7th in Bangkok. It was a bounce-back result after the Majesticks were shut out in points in Chicago ... Ian Poulter was the key contributor, providing three counting scores for the first time this season. Poulter finished in 12th, his best result ... Westwood, Sam Horsfield and Henrik Stenson contributed two counting scores each ... Seed outlook: Majesticks currently rank 5th in points and can seal a bye by winning in Jeddah.
SMASH GC: After its season-best second-place finish in Chicago, captain Brooks Koepka’s team hung on for the 8th and final point-producing spot in Bangkok ... Koepka had his first top-10 finish of the season, taking 9th place while counting for all three rounds ... Brother Chase Koepka, Peter Uihlein and Jason Kokrak contributed two scores apiece ... Smash has finished with points in four of six events this season ... Seed outlook: Smash currently ranks 8th in points and unable to challenge for a bye position.
PUNCH GC: After finishing in fourth in points but claiming a share of the third-place money in Chicago, captain Cameron Smith’s all-Australian team slipped to ninth and outside the points for the first time since Smith and Marc Leishman joined LIV Golf ... Leishman, however, had his best performance of his three LIV starts, finishing 13th and counting for all three rounds. Matt Jones also counted for all three rounds; that’s now five consecutive events in which he’s produced three counting scores ... Wade Ormsby counted twice and Smith followed up his win in Chicago with one counting score ... Seed outlook: Punch currently ranks 11th in points and unable to challenge for a bye position.
HY FLYERS GC: Captain Phil Mickelson’s team followed up its third place in Chicago with a 10th in Bangkok. It’s the first time the Hy Flyers had failed to produce a point since finishing 11th in Portland ... Cameron Tringale and Bernd Wiesberger led the team with three counting scores, but Mickelson had the team’s best individual finish with a 17th. He counted for two scores ... For Wiesberger, it was the first time in his six LIV starts that all three of his scores have counted ... Matthew Wolff contributed one score ... Seed outlook: Hy Flyers currently rank 9th in points and unable to challenge for a bye position.
STINGER GC: Captain Louis Oosthuizen’s all-South African team suffered a cruel blow early in the second round when Branden Grace was forced to withdraw due to injury. Grace had been a first-round co- leader after shooting an opening 65 ... With Grace out, that mean the scores of Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Shaun Norris had to count for both the second and third rounds ... The 11th place finish in Bangkok was its worst of the season, but thanks to its win in London and second in Portland, Stingers remain in contention for a bye ... Seed outlook: Stingers currently rank 3rd and can lock up a bye position with a second- place finish in Jeddah.
TORQUE GC: Captain Joaquin Niemann’s team finished last for the second time this season, but first since the Chilean star joined LIV. Torque has produced points in the other four events but is still seeking its first podium finish of the season ... Australian Jediah Morgan counted for all three rounds, and his 25th in the individual standings was his best of the season ... Niemann, Scott Vincent and Hideto Tanihara each offered two counting scores ... Tanihara returned to the Torque lineup for the first time in three events ... Seed outlook: Torque currently ranks 6th in points and unable to challenge for a bye position.
By The Numbers
Final 2 Individual Champion spots up for grabs
Seeds and byes for Miami to be decided
Past winners at Royal Greens
Season's Best statistics