After Brooks Koepka’s ‘Wasted Talent’ Jibe, Matthew Wolff Finally Finds His Band of Brothers in New Squad

Published 02/08/2024, 9:52 PM EST

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Relaxing. Refreshing. Two words give away what changed for Matthew Wolff at Bubba Watson’s RangeGoats GC. The 24-year-old was part of a three-way trade deal that saw Talor Gooch replace him at Smash GC, whereas Harold Varner III was swapped with Peter Uihlein from 4Aces GC. Wolff was coming off of a harrowing year on and off the course. 

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His struggles with mental illness led him to withdraw before the final round of the 2023 LIV Golf DC. His past captain, Brooks Koepka, later called Smash a team of three referring to his brother, Chase Koepka and Jason Kokrak. Dubbing Wolff as a “wasted” talent, the five-time Major winner said he has given up on him. But Bubba Watson didn’t. And Wolff, who went bogey-free in his first round to card 5-under 65 at Las Vegas, couldn’t be any happier. 

Matthew Wolff is vibing at RangeGoats

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Wolff is reminded of his college days at RangeGoats. At 24, the California resident is not far removed from college,” as he admits. Wolff was part of the Oklahoma Cowboys for two seasons, where he played with Viktor Hovland. Referring to the Mayakoba experience where he and his LIV teammates stayed in the same villa, the LIV Golf Pro said, “It really did feel like college because I’m not that far removed from college.

The team dynamics have definitely changed. The 24-year-old added, “After the round, regardless of good or bad, you’re going back, you’re hanging out with your roommate, you’re hanging out with the team, you’re going to dinners, and you’re not talking about golf.” After all, that’s what Bubba Watson, the team captain, wanted to do. “I don’t want to just sit in a hotel room and be bored or mad at my bad scores. I want to get out there and just go have fun with the guys and go watch some sports,” Watson echoed the youngest member of the team. 

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Moreover, Matthew Wolff has found teammates with common interests. “It’s just having guys that have similar hobbies and interests. We all love sports, and just — we just talk about whatever.” During the Miami photoshoot, Watson revealed that they went to the Miami Dolphins and Miami Heat game. “Later in the year, we’re planning on doing some more stuff in Miami,” the Range Goat captain chimed in.  

For Wolff, it helps him stay in a better headspace. “To be able to go off the course, like I said, regardless of good or bad, and know that guys are going to support you and you’re going to be able to laugh and talk and kind of just hang out, it’s relaxing and refreshing. It’s new for me. “A lot of that credit goes to Bubba Watson, who sensed the pulse and nailed the team dynamics early on.

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A captain in need is a captain indeed

Watson explained what went on during the transfer window. Recalling the first conversation he had with Wolff, the 45-year-old recounted telling him, “I don’t care anything about your golf. I don’t care. I’m not going to teach you anything about golf. You’ve already learned it all. That’s up to you. All I care about is you as a person.

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The results were visible at the Las Vegas Country Club. Thomas Pieters, Bubba Watson, and Matthew Wolff are all tied for the third spot on the individual leaderboard, led by Crusher GC’s Paul Casey. Ulhlein doesn’t lag far behind in the seventh spot. What do they plan to do later this week? “Hopefully, lift a trophy,” Watson answered with a smile at the Las Vegas Press Conference. The veteran is banking on team spirit to achieve that.

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Written by:

Parnab Bhattacharya

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One take at a time

I, Parnab Bhattacharya, am a budding golf writer at EssentiallySports. I am keen on constantly exploring my deep-rooted love for golf through my long-time passion for writing. With a strong knack for storytelling and experience in SEO content writing, I bring a unique blend of fluent writing and technical expertise.
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Edited by:

Tushhita.barua

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