Does Brooks Koepka Finally Have His Dream Team With Talor Gooch on Board or, Will the Lucrative Signing Misfire?

Published 12/20/2023, 7:45 AM EST

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A change was long overdue on the Smash GC roster. Captain Brooks Koepka’s fallout with Matthew Wolff and Chase Koepka’s relegation meant at least two changes were called for. The five-time Major winner eventually brought in Graeme McDowell, a veteran on the roster. Whereas, Wolff was swapped by Talor Gooch in a lopsided deal that profited Koepka, as the number one player came in for the 28th-ranked golfer.

So, Gooch will play for a different team next season, just like he did in the past two seasons. The 32-year-old allegedly had a fallout with his first captain, Dustin Johnson, before leaving for the RangeGoats GC, where he notched his best career performance for Bubba Watson’s team. While Watson was known for his rather calm and relaxed presence, Brooks Koepka is not an easy guy to please.

Matthew Wolff questioned Koepka’s leadership style


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A few years ago, Matthew Wolff had a stellar run on the PGA Tour. Until a mental health breakdown puts everything to a grinding halt, The rising star was struggling with severe depression, which made his normal day-to-day activities a tough grind. Eventually, the American international star left for LIV Golf, where he finished in the sixth position last season.

It didn’t take much time to come under Koepka’s radar. The Smash GC Captain wasted no time to swoop in on the youngster. A change of team served American International well at first. They lived close as well—Wolff and Koepka. The young gun thought it was a good motivator to join the roster and learn from the nine-time PGA Tour winner.


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However, things went as badly as they could. Wolff raking in 33 points from his first three outings was a promising sign. However, the LIV Golf Pro was slowly slipping into depression once again. The 24-year-old failed to bring any points from ten of his next 11 outings, withdrawing from one. Eventually, Wolff finished in the 27th position on the season-long leaderboard but was still 21 places ahead of the captain’s brother.

Koepka, however, was not impressed. Calling Wolff a wasted talent, the Smach GC captain said, “It’s very tough to have a team dynamic when you’ve got one guy that won’t work, one guy [who] is not going to give any effort; he’s going to quit on the course, break clubs, get down, bad body language; it’s very tough.” Although the five-time Major winner said he tried to help his teammate, calling out his teammate in the open only made the matter worse.

Wolff, in his response, wasn’t as acerbic as his team captain, but he regretted the choice of words from Koepka. Questioning his leadership capability, the 24-year-old said, “To hear through the media that our team leader has given up on me is heartbreaking. It’s not what a team member looks to hear from its leader, and I think we all know these comments should have been handled much differently.”

However, Brooks Koepka was relentless. Wolff, in his last three outings, failed to break into the top 30. A seemingly disgruntled Koepka said in a press conference, “There’s only three of us on the team.” Although Wolff didn’t choose to respond this time, eventually he was traded off for the season-long winner, Talor Gooch.

Brooks Koepka and Talor Gooch have common goals

Brooks Kopeka and Talor Gooch often found themselves going head-to-head in the last season. In both LIV Singapore and LIV Andalucia, where Gooch won, Koepka came in third. They locked horns in the LIV Golf Jeddah as well. However, this time, the five-time major winner defended his title. Apparently, it was at the Andalucia event that Koepka first told Gooch about his interest in signing him for the next season.


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Although Gooch didn’t think much of it, that was no flattery. Gooch, like his new team captain, has managed to perform brilliantly over the two seasons. Koepka, too, has five top-ten finishes this season. However, Gooch, despite his stellar performance, was let down by his team. RangeGoats GC had to settle for the second spot after Dustin Johnson’s 4Aces topped the leaderboard last year as well. Kopeka, too, had a similar fate, if not worse. A virtual no-show from his teammates meant Smash GC was fated for a tenth-place finish on the twelve-team leaderboard.

Read More: “Carbon Copy:” Talor Gooch Hints at a Major Format Change in LIV Golf Despite His Towering Skepticism


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Given Koepka’s temperament and Gooch’s propensity to change rosters yearly, it remains to be seen how well the duo can form a partnership. While it will be premature to rule them out, it is also too early to give a seal of approval. Nevertheless, having two top players should ideally make Smash GC a force to be reckoned with. On the other hand, Matthew Wolff, whose name has inevitably been tied to the two, will perhaps find some solace under a captain who is known to radiate positive energy.

Watch This Story – Norman’s Masterplan for LIV Golf Fails to Honor Brooks Koepka Despite His Ambitious Urge to Make a Statement



Written by:

Parnab Bhattacharya


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:

Sheldon Pereira