Smash GC team captain Brooks Koepka got his wish after Matthew Wolff was traded to the RangeGoats on Thursday. Koepka lost patience with Wolff after calling him “wasted” talent this summer, and now LIV individual champion Talor Gooch is on his side.
Gooch was one of the most dominant golfers in LIV last season, and now joins an exciting Smash GC team in a blow to RangeGoats captain Bubba Watson.
Koepka’s new teammate had three wins last season that included back-to-back victories in Adelaide and Singapore, and Gooch secured the individual title for the RangeGoats. The 32-year-old finished ahead of Koepka and Cameron Smith to be crowned individual champion.
In addition to Watson’s acquisition of Wolff, RangeGoats have also signed Harold Varner III after agreeing a trade with Dustin Johnson’s 4 Aces for Peter Uihlein. More changes are expected ahead of next season, with Masters champion Jon Rahm expected to leave the PGA Tour and join LIV in a deal worth £450million.
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The beef between Koepka and Wolff has been ongoing since the summer, with the Smash GC captain making it clear on many occasions their working relationship couldn’t continue. “I’ve basically given up on him,” Koepka said back in the summer regarding Wolff.
Even in the LIV team championship Koepka went out of his way to say that there was “only three of us on our team” when referring to Jason Kokrak and his brother; Chase. The comment completely alienated Wolff, but his ex-teammate will no longer be his concern.
Wolff said that Koepka’s comments were “heartbreaking” and that he was dealing with mental health challenges during the season. New team captain Watson is excited for a fresh start, and said: “We’re excited to have Matthew Wolff and Peter Uihlein join RangeGoats. They are both very talented players and good people that I have gotten to know better since joining LIV. They are also close friends.”
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Koepka has also signed former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, and his team now has two of the top-three performers from last season. Gooch became the first three-time winner in league history, and Koepka couldn’t be more excited about their prospects next season.
“This couldn’t be a stronger offseason move for us,” Koepka said. “Bringing Talor in, Smash GC goes from a contender to a juggernaut in 2024. He’s the ultimate competitor, a three-time LIV Golf tournament winner and crowned the Individual Champion.
“We had our own battles on the course last season; I’d be lying if I didn’t say how excited I am to see him on the podium for our squad now.” But rival captain Watson is also feeling confident after trading for Wolff and Uihlein as he added: “When we realised it was possible to get both Matt and Peter via separate transactions, we felt it could be a good long-term move for the RangeGoats, both on and off the course. The only bad thing is, I might be the shortest hitter on the team.”
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