Birdies will be like gold dust says Dubai’s Lahiri ahead of $50m LIV Golf Team semis

Koepka beats Mickelson in a high-profile singles battle between two of LIV Golf’s most decorated Major winners at Trump National Doral in Miami

By Team KT

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Brendan Steele and James Piot of the HyFlyers won their Foursomes match on Friday. - Supplied photo
Brendan Steele and James Piot of the HyFlyers won their Foursomes match on Friday. - Supplied photo

Published: Sat 21 Oct 2023, 3:09 PM

HyFlyers GC and Cleeks GC pulled off the upsets as lower-seeded teams stole the honours during Friday’s quarterfinal matches of the $50 million LIV Golf Team Championship at Trump National Doral in Miami.

The shotgun match-ups for Saturday feature No. 1 4Aces GC vs. No. 9 HyFlyers GC, No. 2 Crushers GC vs. No. 10 Cleeks GC and No. 3 Torque GC vs. No. 5 Stinger GC


Dubai-based Anirban Lahiri (Crushers GC) told Khaleej Times: “We are excited and up for it. We enjoyed our day off on Friday. We are all fully prepped, however, the golf course is playing tough, much tougher than last year.

“The rough is up from all the rain in this part of the world recently. It will all come down to who plays best on the day birdies will be like gold dust.”


Meanwhile, on Friday, HyFlyers Captain Phil Mickelson lost his high-profile singles match to Smash GC Captain Brooks Koepka, 6 & 4, in a battle of LIV Golf’s most decorated major winners.

But teammate Cameron Tringale beat Jason Kokrak in the other singles match, while the duo of Brendan Steele/James Piot beat Chase Koepka/Matthew Wolff in Foursomes to give the ninth-seeded HyFlyers a 2-1 victory.

Cleeks GC Captain Martin Kaymer lost to Ripper GC Captain Cameron Smith after a late rally to send his match to an extra hole. But Richard Bland beat Marc Leishman in the other singles, while Graeme McDowell/Bernd Wiesberger claimed a thrilling match against Matt Jones/Jediah Morgan in Foursomes that went three extra holes.

McDowell rolled in the winning birdie putt from 20 feet to give the 10th-seeded Cleeks a 2-1 victory. It’s the second consecutive year the Cleeks have pulled off an upset at Doral. Last year as the 10th seed, they beat 7th-seeded Torque.

With a podium finish in Jeddah last week and now a quarterfinals win Friday, the Cleeks will have plenty of momentum entering Saturday’s matches.

Fifth-seeded Stinger GC won all three of its matches against Iron Heads GC, while 6th-seeded Fireballs GC beat Majesticks GC, 2-1. Captains of the top four seeds then selected their semifinal opponents after Friday’s round.

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Torque GC, the youngest team in the LIV Golf League, won more tournament titles (four) than any other team this season, but they’ll face a tough South African squad that posted the only shutout on Friday.

Results

Quarterfinals

5 Stinger GC def. No. 12 Iron Heads GC, 3-0

Louis Oosthuizen (Stinger) def. Kevin Na (Iron Heads), 5 & 3. Branden Grace (Stinger) def. Scott Vincent (Iron Heads), 2 & 1. Dean Burmester/Charl Schwartzel (Stinger) def. Sihwan Kim/Danny Lee (Iron Heads), 2 & 1.

6 Fireballs GC def. No. 11 Majesticks GC, 2-1 Henrik Stenson (Majesticks) def. Sergio Garcia (Fireballs), 1 up. Eugenio Chacarra (Fireballs) def. Sam Horsfield (Majesticks), 6 & 5.Abraham Ancer/Carlos Ortiz (Fireballs) def. Ian Poulter/Lee Westwood (Majesticks), 4 & 2.

10 Cleeks GC def. No. 7 Ripper GC, 2-1

Cameron Smith (Ripper) def. Martin Kaymer (Cleeks), 19 holes. Richard Bland (Cleeks) def. Marc Leishman (Ripper), 4 & 3. Graeme McDowell/Bernd Wiesberger (Cleeks) def. Matt Jones/Jediah Morgan,

No. 9 HyFlyers GC def.8 Smash GC, 2-1

Brooks Koepka (Smash) def. Phil Mickelson (HyFlyers), 6 & 4. Cameron Tringale (HyFlyers) def. Jason Kokrak (Smash), 2 & 1. James Piot/Brendan Steele (HyFlyers) def. Chase Koepka/Matthew Wolff, 1 up.

Semifinals

1 4Aces GC vs. No. 9 HyFlyers GC

Captain Singles: Dustin Johnson (4Aces) vs. Phil Mickelson (HyFlyers)

Singles: Patrick Reed (4Aces) vs. Cameron Tringale (HyFlyers) Foursomes: Pat Perez/Peter Uihlein (4Aces) vs. James Piot/Brendan Steele (HyFlyers)

2 Crushers GC vs. No. 10 Cleeks GC

Captain Singles: Bryson DeChambeau (Crushers) vs. Martin Kaymer (Cleeks)

Singles: Paul Casey (Crushers) vs. Richard Bland (Cleeks) Foursomes: Charles Howell III/Anirban Lahiri (Crushers) vs. Graeme McDowell/Bernd Wiesberger (Cleeks)

3 Torque GC vs. No. 5 Stinger GC

Captain Singles: Joaquin Niemann (Torque) vs. Louis Oosthuizen (Stinger)

Singles: Sebastian Munoz (Torque) vs. Branden Grace (Stinger) Foursomes: Mito Pereira/David Puig (Torque) vs. Dean Burmester/Charl Schwartzel (Stinger)

4 RangeGoats GC vs. No. 6 Fireballs GC

Captain Singles: Bubba Watson (RangeGoats) vs. Sergio Garcia (Fireballs)

Singles: Talor Gooch (RangeGoats) vs. Eugenio Chacarra (Fireballs) Foursomes: Thomas Pieters/Harold Varner III (RangeGoats) vs. Abraham Ancer/Carlos Ortiz (Fireballs)


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