LIV Golf: Top players Koepka, Smith eliminated at Team Championship

Cameron Smith won his singles match, but his team was eliminated from title contention at the 2023 LIV Golf Team Championship on Friday in Miami. File Photo by Thom Baur/UPI
1 of 5 | Cameron Smith won his singles match, but his team was eliminated from title contention at the 2023 LIV Golf Team Championship on Friday in Miami. File Photo by Thom Baur/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Fla., Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Brooks Koepka and Cameron Smith each did their part, winning singles bouts at LIV Golf's Team Championship, but won't be in the picture for the overall title after their squads lost head-to-head matches Friday in Miami.

HyFlyers, captained by Phil Mickelson, eliminated Koepka's team, Smash GC. Cleeks, captained by Martin Kaymer, eliminated Smith-led Ripper GC.


"I'm really proud of my team for today, of the effort our guys made down the stretch to win and to finish our matches off," Mickelson said at a news conference.

Thirty-two players, split into eight teams, competed in the first round of the competition at Trump National Doral Miami. Four of those teams advanced and will meet the Top 4 regular-season teams Saturday in the semifinals on the 7,725-yard, par 72 Blue Monster Course.


The winners will clash Sunday in the final round. The tournament includes a $50 million prize purse, the largest of any event in the Saudi-funded, PGA Tour-rival league. The first-place team will pocket $14 million.

Two players from each team played singles matches, while the other two battled in foursome, alternate-shot play in Friday's first round. The first team to earn two points punched their ticket to the second round.

The Sergio Garcia-led Fireballs GC and Stinger GC, captained by Louis Oosthuizen were the first two teams to advance to the semifinals.

Eugenio Chacarra beat Sam Horsfield, of Majesticks GC, in a singles match to claim one point for the Fireballs. Abraham Ancer and Carlos Ortiz earned the other point through a foursomes victory over Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood.

Oousthuizen earned one of Stinger's two clinching points by beating Kevin Na of the Iron Heads in a singles match. Stinger's Dean Burmester and Charl Schwartzel earned the other point with a foursomes win over Sihwan Kim and Danny Lee.


Koepka earned the first point for Smash, beating Mickelson in a singles match. But the HyFlyers rallied to earn the next two points. Cameron Tringale beat Jason Kokrak in a singles match. James Piot and Brendan Steele edged Chase Koepka and Matthew Wolff in foursome play for the other point.

Cleeks' Richard Bland beat Ripper's Marc Leishman in singles for the first point of that match. Smith then tied the battle for Ripper by beating Kaymer in another singles match.

Cleeks' Graeme McDowell and Bernd Wiesberger then beat Matt Jones and Jediah Morgan in foursomes to advance to the semifinals.

The defending champion 4Aces, captained by Dustin Johnson, were among the Top 4 teams from the regular season that were not active Friday because they received first-round byes into the semifinals. Patrick Reed, Peter Uihlein and Pat Perez are the other 4Aces players.


Crushers, which features Bryson DeChambeau, Paul Casey, Charles Howell III and Anirban Lahiri, are the No. 2 seed. Torque, featuring Joaquin Niemann, Sebastian Munoz, Mito Pereira and David Puig, is the No. 3 seed.

RangeGoats, including Bubba Watson, Talor Gooch, Harold Vanrer III and Thomas Pieters are the No. 4 seed.

The second-round will feature the same format as the first, with two singles matches and foursome play between eight teams.

All 12 teams will compete again in the final round, with the Top 4 teams battling to determine their finishing order -- and payday. The team with the lowest score -- including all four players' individual scores -- will be crowned tournament champion.

Team Nos. 5 through 8 and Nos. 9 through 12 will compete to determine their orders and paydays.

The Top 4 teams also earned the right to pick their semifinal foes. Johnson's 4Aces chose to take on Mickelson's Hyflyers. DeChambeau and Crushers will face Cleeks. Niemann and Torque will face Stinger. The RangeGoats will battle Fireball in the other match.

Round 2 of the tournament will tee off at 1:05 p.m. EDT Saturday in Miami. The final round will tee off at the same time Sunday. The tournament will air on the CW Network, LIV Golf Plus and the LIV Golf YouTube channel.


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