While Smash captain Brooks Koepka was battling teammate Peter Uihlein at the LIV Golf Invitational Jeddah presented by Roshn, he found himself checking the team leaderboard.

As they headed down the stretch, Koepka wanted to lock down the team title before focusing on the individual title. “Honestly, to me, the big thing was getting the team win,” Koepka said.

Koepka ultimately won both titles, beating Uihlein on the third playoff hole after Smash GC sealed the team competition. While battling back from injuries to post his first win in 20 months, Koepka said that LIV Golf’s team concept has helped to rejuvenate his outlook toward golf.

“The team thing has revived me,” Koepka said. “It’s been special. You’re fighting for somebody else other than just yourself, and I think that’s really cool. … Maybe college was the last time we’ve seen it. And those wins in college were so much fun.”

It helps that Koepka’s team includes his younger brother Chase, as well as his longtime friend and former roommate Uihlein. Jason Kokrak fills out the Smash roster that expects to make some noise in Miami. In the final round in Jeddah, Brooks and Uihlein played in one group, while Chase and Kokrak played together in another group.

While disappointed in losing the playoff, Uihlein was thrilled to be on the winning team. “Just a lot happier out here than I’ve been the last five years playing on tour,” said Uihlein, who finished third in the season-long Individual Champion standings. “The team aspect of it I like. I was never really a fan of the lone wolf kind of thing that we had to do. But being a part of the team, practising, hanging out, kind of like college – it really resonates with me and sticks with me.”

The other teams in Miami may not like facing Smash after seeing their six-shot victory at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club.

“I think we’ve got a good group and we’re all trending in the right direction and starting to play our best golf,” Kokrak said. “I don’t think anybody wants to play us in match play right now.”

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