Hear from 2023 LIV Golf individual standings leaders Cameron Smith, Talor Gooch and Bryson DeChambeau ahead of LIV Golf Jeddah presented by ROSHN
- The individual season is reaching its climax this week in Jeddah. Can you tell us how you’re feeling this week going into the final event of the season?
CAMERON SMITH: “I think everyone out here wanted to probably be in our position at the end of this week, so it’s definitely a good spot to be in.”
- Cam, you’re our points race leader coming into LIV Golf Jeddah. Can you talk us through this year and flying the flag for Australia with your Ripper GC team?
CAMERON SMITH: “It’s been good. I think from a team perspective, we could have done a little bit better…For myself, consistency has been good. I probably didn’t get off to the greatest start to the season, but a lot of hard work and a lot of digging deep to get those couple of wins, and it’s really nice to be in this spot.”
- Cam, there’s so many scenarios in play about how you guys finish and how it works out against everybody else. Do you go into the tournament thinking you’re going to have to win to nail this down, or are you looking at any of those scenarios?
CAMERON SMITH: “I think that’s kind of the mindset every week is to come here to win, so I don’t think it’s really any different to any other week. For sure there’s a little bit more up for grabs this week. You have to acknowledge that and really get on your toes and just try and go out there and win the tournament. I think it’s the same as every other week. But more to play for.”
- Just in terms of looking at the leaderboard this week, will you have any different look at it? Will you be looking at the other two guys out there?
CAMERON SMITH: “I’m a leaderboard watcher, too. I love watching it. I don’t know if I’ll be keeping an eye out for these guys as much, but definitely the other team members, it’s fun to watch and see how they’re going.”
- Can you tell us how you’re feeling this week going into the final event of the season?
TAYLOR GOOCH: “Going back to the first tournament of the year, if you could have told me, hey, this is where you’re going to be coming into the last event, you’d take it…had a couple weeks off and was able to get a little bit of practice in and didn’t practice for this heat, but that’s just what you’re getting into this week. [I’m] excited for the week and ready to have a good one.”
- Talor, some takeaways for you this year. You’re currently second in the standings, had some great success abroad winning in Adelaide, Singapore and Andalucía. Can you sum up your 2023 LIV Golf season and playing in some of these global destinations?
TALOR GOOCH: “If you would have told [me] the beginning of the season I would have had three wins, I obviously would have taken it. It’s been a culmination of years of hard work and patience. I’ve never won three times in a season as a professional golfer. It’s been a great year. We’ve played great. I played really well last year, and I couldn’t close out some tournaments. Some of that experience of failing last year I think kind of set me up to succeed for this year when I was in those same positions.”
1. Talor, there’s so many scenarios in play about how you guys finish and how it works out against everybody else. Do you go into the tournament thinking you’re going to have to win to nail this down, or are you looking at any of those scenarios?
TALOR GOOCH: “I keep telling everybody, you just know that the two of these guys are going to have a good week this week, and the only way to know that you’re going to get the job done is just to go and win. I’ve used the term a lot, the rule of 67. I’m just going to control what I can control, try and shoot 67 and lower each day and see where the chips fall. I know the only scenario that I have control of is if I go and win and that takes care of everything, and kind of like every other sport, winning kind of takes care of everything. That’s the goal, and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
- Bryson, Mr. 58, you currently sit in third place on the podium, but arguably coming in with the best form in the field with two wins in your last three outings. You must be feeling pretty confident about your chances coming into LIV Golf Jeddah this week?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: “You have to respect the field. This field is incredibly talented. You have 48 of the best players in the world, and man, it’s always a grind out here. I think that’s a testament to how good these guys have played and how consistent they’ve played throughout the year. It shows how good they are…This golf course sets up really nice for me, but you can still wedge your way around it out here and make some nice putts, and that changes things. You’ve always got to be careful and just work as hard as you possibly can because these guys are incredibly good out here”.
- With one eye on next week at the Team Championships in Miami. Crushers GC are currently second in the standings. What would a podium finish in both the individual and team championship mean to you?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: “…That would mean the world. That’s what we’ve all fought for. Charles [Howell III] started off really good this year, and he’s been consistent. Anirban [Lahiri] has played incredibly well, and Paul [Casey] is picking it up, and I’m excited for the team come Miami. We lost to the Stingers, and it was a big sting – no pun intended, or pun intended I guess – but we want to change that narrative this next week”.