Brooks Koepka has landed a huge coup in LIV Golf, ending a bitter feud with former teammate Matthew Wolff in the process.
Koepka's Smash Golf Club has sealed a trade with the Range Goats that will see reigning LIV champion Talor Gooch join, with Wolff heading in the opposite direction for the 2024 season. Gooch joins Koepka and Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell on Smash, with Jason Kokrak set to take up the final roster spot after a 23rd-place finish in the end-of-season standings clinched his place on LIV for another year.
Gooch was the runaway winner of the Saudi Arabia-backed breakaway league this year, claiming three event titles along the way, finishing clear of Cameron Smith and Koepka in second and third respectively. His move to Smash is sure to make them early favourites to win the team title in 2024.
Wolff, however, had a mediocre campaign, with two fifth-place finishes his best performances of a season that saw him finish in 27th place out of the 48-man field. But his season will be best remembered for the beef that ensued between him and captain Koepka.
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The spat was made public in July when five-time major champion Koepka described Wolff as a "wasted" talent and later in the season, the 33-year-old said there are "only three of us on our team", counting only Chase and Kokrak as his teammates.
Koepka's anger stemmed from the LIV event in Washington DC in July when Wolff withdrew from the tournament in the final round. "I mean, when you quit on your round, you give up and stuff like that, that's not competing," Koepka said at the time.
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"I'm not a big fan of that. You don't work hard. It's very tough. It's very tough to have even like a team dynamic when you've got one guy that won't work, one guy is not going to give any effort, he’s going to quit on the course, break clubs, gets down, bad body language, it's very tough. I've basically given up on him – a lot of talent, but I mean the talent's wasted.”
Wolff claimed his one and only PGA Tour win as a 20-year-old in 2019, beating Bryson DeChambeau and Collin Morikawa to win the 3M Open by a single shot.
He went close at the US Open the following year, finishing second behind DeChambeau. His form has nosedived since amid a series of injury and mental health issues he has been public in speaking about, and the 24-year-old will hope a fresh start with a new team spells a return to form on the course.
Wolff's move was not the only trade involving the Range Goats announced on Thursday. The team, which is captained by two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, has acquired Peter Uihlein, with Harold Varner III being sent to the 4Aces, where he will play with captain Dustin Johnson, Pat Perez and Patrick Reed.2023-12-07T15:39:16Z dg43tfdfdgfd