‘Much Better Spot’: Matthew Wolff Remains Unfazed Despite Brooks Koepka’s Talor Gooch Success

Published 02/10/2024, 9:18 PM EST

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Matthew Wolff is enjoying the final-round kicks once again. It has been long since the 24-year-old was in the race to the top. Wolff came short in his bid in Las Vegas, though. In fact, Talor Gooch, his replacement for Brooks Koepka’s Smash GC outclassed him in the final round. Wolff, nonetheless, views his performance as a good omen.

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The Oklahoma State University alum carded 1-under 69 in the final round for a solo fourth-place finish. Wolff would have been disappointed any other time. But he is in resurgent form after spending much of last year in an ugly verbal spat with his former captain. Now under Bubba Watson’s wing, the LIV Golf Pro is soaking in all the love and improving his game.

Matthew Wolff is happy but not content

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After the final battle, the Oklahoma State University alum sounds relieved. “Man, it was good. I felt like finally my game has (sic) really come together. I’m hitting it a lot better,” Wolff said in the media interaction after the game. He has struggled with mental health in the past. But at RangeGoats, he is in a far better headspace. “I feel like I’m in a much better spot, not only with my game but also mentally.

Bubba Watson has taken special care to build camaraderie within the team. Wolff salutes the team captain for that. “I think I’m putting a little bit less pressure on myself, and that’s kudos to Bubba (Watson) and the team and being really supportive and just enjoying our time out here.” 

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Wolff, however, made late bogeys in the par 4 14th and par 3 16th to forfeit his lead. Talor Gooch, last year’s individual champion, made a late charge, stringing together six birdies to move one place ahead of the 24-year-old. Analyzing his game, Wolff weighed in, “I don’t want to say, [I] gave it away but made a couple (of) mistakes coming in.” In his defense, Matthew Wolff is not used to clutch moments like these.

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After three top-15 finishes in as many events, his form took a turn for the worse since last April. The 24-year-old failed to come within the top thirty for six consecutive events. A lone fifth-place finish in LIV Greenbrier was the only time he broke into the top 30 for the rest of the season.

The feud with team captain Brooks Koepka also reached its peak after Matthew Wolff abruptly withdrew from the LIV event near Washington in May. Koepka dubbed Wolff a “wasted” talent, claiming he has given up on him. Furthermore, in LIV Golf Jeddah, Koepka called Smash GC a team of three, referring to himself, his brother, Chase Koepka, and Jason Kokrak. Interestingly, Kokrak was paired up with Wolff in the final round at Las Vegas Country Club. 

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Matthew Wolff contends that last year has put rust on his game. “[I] haven’t been in this situation too much in the past couple (of) years. So I think the more I can be in a situation, the more I’ll learn, and I know eventually; I’ll get it done. But I don’t know when that time is going to come, but I can’t force it.” LIV Golf will travel to Jeddah for its third event on March 1. Wolff has a month to whet his mental game.

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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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