As the inaugural LIV Golf season comes to a close at Doral in Miami with the $50 million Team Championship, here is a look at how each team is shaping up for the finale.
4 ACES (No. 1 seed)
Captain Dustin Johnson’s team will be glad to return to US soil at the Miami Team Championship, as the all-American side captured all four regular-season events in the States. In Bangkok (6th) and Jeddah (4th), the 4 Aces finished outside the money in both events, which saw a format change to include three counting scores in all three rounds.
2022 results: 5th, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 6th, 4th.
CRUSHERS (No. 2 seed)
Captain Bryson DeChambeau’s team have finished on the podium in three of the last four events, with two seconds and a third (in Jeddah). With veterans Paul Casey, Anirban Lahiri and Charles Howell III, the Crushers have three steady players to lean on while DeChambeau gets closer to returning to top form. Casey was in contention in both Bangkok (3rd) and Jeddah (7th). Howell (8th in Bangkok) and Lahiri (10th in Jeddah) also had top 10 finishes.
2022 results: 2nd, 9th, 6th, 2nd, 6th, 2nd, 3rd.
FIREBALLS (No. 3 seed)
Captain Sergio Garcia’s Spanish-speaking team enter Miami as arguably in the hottest form, with a victory in Bangkok followed by a second place in Jeddah. The current line-up has been together for the last six events, producing four podium finishes. After Eugenio Chacarra’s individual win in Bangkok, Garcia nearly made it two straight for Fireballs, coming up just one shot short of making the playoff in Jeddah. Abraham Ancer has raised his game, contributing counting scores in his last eight rounds. Carlos Ortiz has top 20 finishes in his last two starts.
2022 results: 11th, 3rd, 3rd, 6th, 8th, 1st, 2nd.
STINGER (No. 4 seed)
The all-South African team captained by Louis Oosthuizen won the inaugural event in London, took second in Portland and captured points in two of the next three events. But in the last two events, Stinger has finished outside the money. Forced to WD with an injury in Bangkok, Branden Grace managed to play through a slight oblique tear in his left side in Jeddah but was not at full effectiveness. Good news for Stinger is that Charl Schwartzel, the London individual winner, is returning to form. He was in contention in Jeddah, finishing 9th. Hennie Du Plessis, who finished 20th in the overall individual standings but competed in just three events, returns to LIV Golf competition for the first time since Bedminster.
2022 results: 1st, 2nd, 5th, 10th, 5th, 11th, 9th.
SMASH (No. 5 seed)
Captain Brooks Koepka’s team comes off a six-stroke win in Jeddah, their first team victory of the season. Koepka won the individual title, beating teammate Peter Uihlein on the third hole of a playoff with a birdie. With Koepka now back to full strength and returning to the winner’s circle, and Uihlein having his best year as a pro golfer, the all-American Smash enter Miami as a dangerous team. Chase Koepka has emerged as a key component. He finished 9th individually in Chicago, and five of his six rounds overseas counted. In his last four final rounds, he’s a cumulative 16-under.
2022 results: 9th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 2nd, 8th, 1st.
MAJESTICKS (No. 6 seed)
The first half of the LIV Golf season was much more productive than the second for the all-European team. Ian Poulter takes on captain duties in the team finale for the Majesticks, who finished on the podium in three of the first four events but struggled just to get points in two of the final three events. Lee Westwood posted three rounds in the 60s in Jeddah and remains the team’s most consistent player. Sam Horsfield contributed three scores in Jeddah, and Poulter contributed two. Henrik Stenson’s final-round 66 was his lowest score since his first round as a LIV golfer when he shot 64 en route to winning in Bedminster.
2022 results: 3rd, 8th, 2nd, 3rd, 10th, 7th, 7th.
TORQUE (No. 7 seed)
Captain Joaquin Niemann finished on the individual podium for the second time in his four starts, taking third place in Jeddah. The Chilean star is a cumulative 42-under in his 12 LIV Golf rounds. Australian Jediah Morgan has contributed scores in seven consecutive rounds, and his 13th in Jeddah was his best individual finish. Spain’s Adrian Otaegui, recent winner of the Andalucía Masters at Valderamma, makes his fourth LIV Golf appearance.
2022 results: 4th, 4th, 12th, 5th, 7th, 12th, 6th.
HY FLYERS (No. 8 seed)
Captain Phil Mickelson’s team finished just one shot out of a podium finish in Jeddah. Bernd Wiesberger comes off his best result this season, an 8th in Jeddah. His final-round 65 is his lowest score as a LIV golfer. Matthew Wolff also contributed scores in all three rounds. His fifth place in Jeddah was his best result since his runner-up finish in Bedminster. Mickelson saw his streak of five consecutive rounds in the 60s end with a 71-71 finish.
2022 results: 10th, 11th, 4th, 8th, 3rd, 10th, 5th.
IRON HEADS (No. 9 seed)
Captain Kevin Na played the first round in Jeddah, shooting an even-par 70, before having to WD due to illness. Sihwan Kim played well in the first two rounds and is a cumulative 21-under in his last six rounds. Phachara Khongwatmai produced the team’s only sub-par score in the final round with a 67. Sadom Kaewkanjana is one of LIV Golf’s most accurate drivers, having finished inside the top 10 in Fairways Hit for the last five events.
2022 results: 12th, 5th, 10th, 4th, 11th, 4th, 12th.
CLEEKS (No. 10 seed)
Captain Martin Kaymer had to WD in Jeddah with an injured wrist. The all-European Cleeks followed their podium finish in Bangkok with an eighth in Jeddah, with the three remaining team members each shooting 68 in the final round in Kaymer’s absence. Graeme McDowell, a former winner on the Royal Greens course in Jeddah, finished 16th, his best result since finishing 12th in the inaugural LIV Golf event in London. Richard Bland led the field in Fairways Hit and Greens in Regulation in Jeddah.
2022 results: 6th, 10th, 9th, 11th, 9th, 3rd, 8th.
PUNCH (No. 11 seed)
Captain Cameron Smith’s all-Australian squad finished outside the points (top 8) in both Bangkok and Jeddah after grabbing a share of the third-place money (fourth in points) in Chicago when Smith won the individual title. Smith shot three rounds in the 60s to lead his team in Jeddah. Marc Leishman, Matt Jones and Wade Ormsby each contributed two counting rounds in Jeddah.
2022 results: 7th, 12th, 11th, 7th, 4th, 9th, 10th.
NIBLICKS (No. 12 seed)
After posting a season-best fifth place in Bangkok, non-playing captain Bubba Watson’s team slipped back to 11th in Jeddah. It’s the third time in the last four events that Niblicks have finished outside the points. James Piot and Turk Pettit provided the best scores of the week, each shooting 66 in the opening round. The Niblicks were 10-under after the first day in Jeddah before finishing at 12-under. Harold Varner III provided three counting scores.
2022 results: 8th, 7th, 7th, 12th, 12th, 5th, 11th.
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