Gooch teams with Koepka amid two LIV trades

golf07 December 2023 17:35| © Reuters
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Brooks Koepka © Gallo Images

Brooks Koepka's Smash GC acquired Talor Gooch, LIV Golf's individual champion this year, in a trade that sent Matthew Wolff to the RangeGoats GC.

With Thursday's trade, Smash GC now has two of the top three individual players from 2023 in Gooch and Koepka, whose 2024 roster also includes returnee Jason Kokrak and free agent signee Graeme McDowell.

Meanwhile, the team parts with Wolff, who finished 27th out of 48 players in 2023 and was criticised by Koepka on multiple occasions.

Smash GC finished eighth out of 12 teams this season.

"This couldn't be a stronger offseason move for us," Koepka said in a statement.

"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."

The RangeGoats GC also traded Harold Varner III to the 4AcesGC for Peter Uihlein.

Uihlein and Wolff join captain Bubba Watson and Thomas Pieters on the team, which finished fourth in 2023.

"They are both very talented players and good people that I have gotten to know better since joining LIV," Watson said.

"They are also close friends. 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."

The 4Aces added Varner, who finished seventh in the individual standings this season, to a roster that includes captain Dustin Johnson (fifth), Patrick Reed (sixth) and Pat Perez (28th). The 4Aces won the 2023 team title.

"Harold is renowned for his dynamic play, consistent performances, and remarkable achievements in the golfing world," Johnson said.

"We believe his spirit, expertise, and dedication to the game align perfectly with the values and goals of 4Aces GC. His addition to our team is a significant step towards our commitment to excellence and our pursuit of being the top golf team in the world."