Talor Gooch became the first golfer to win back-to-back LIV titles after he defeated Spain’s Sergio Garcia in the first playoff hole at the LIV Singapore competition on Sunday.
Gooch pocketed $4 million for the victory in the city-state, the same amount he won in his breakthrough in Adelaide last week.
The 31-year-old American had more reason to smile as his team RangeGoats cashed in $3 million for winning the team event.
“I’ll be back home this next couple of weeks and I’m sure I’ll take my wife to a nice little dinner. I might buy her something nice,” he said when asked how he plans to spend his earnings.
LIV, bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, split the sport last year by luring away top stars from the US PGA Tour and DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour) with lucrative contracts.
LIV has been accused of “sportswashing” – using sport to deflect from Saudi Arabia’s dismal human rights record, including the brutal killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.
As a promising young golfer with one PGA Tour victory from the RSM Classic in 2021, Gooch was among the talent lured away from the PGA Tour with promises of record cash.
Having played just five events and winning twice at LIV this season, Gooch now leads the individual money ranking with $8,937,000 in total earnings so far.
Gooch and Garcia finished regulation play in 17-under-par 196 after completing 54 holes – a move away from the traditional 72-hole stroke play format.
Gooch then outplayed the Spaniard with a birdie on the playoff 18th hole to spark scenes of celebration at the Sentosa Golf Club.
“Today was one of those days where the golf gods wanted it to be my time,” said Gooch.
“Sergio is one of the greatest golfers of this generation…To go and battle with him and come out on top is something I’ll never forget.”