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2022 LIV Golf in Boston leaderboard: Talor Gooch takes slim lead over Joaquin Niemann into final round

Gooch remains atop the leaderboard and looks to become the first American to win a LIV Golf event

LIV Golf Invitational - Boston - Day Two
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The cream has risen to the top of the leaderboard at the 2022 LIV Golf event in Boston. The Oaks Course at The International was defenseless on Saturday as players took advantage of accessible pin locations and a hefty dose of wedge shots around the Tom Fazio redesign. While Friday belonged to Matthew Wolff, Saturday was all Talor Gooch. The overnight co-leader backed up his opening round of 7-under 63 with a 5-under 65 to maintain his spot atop the leaderboard by himself.

Looking to become the first American to win in the LIV Golf Invitational Series, Gooch stands at 12 under with just 18 holes to go. Consistently on the first page of the leaderboard throughout his short tenure with LIV Golf, Gooch will attempt to fend off LIV Golf newcomer Joaquin Niemann at 11 under, as well as a friendly face in Dustin Johnson — his fellow 4 Aces teammate — at 10 under.

Just as they have done in the past two LIV Golf events, the 4 Aces are well-positioned to claim the team title. With Gooch and Johnson leading the way, Phil Mickelson’s Hy Flyers and Kevin Na’s Iron Heads will hope to provide drama in the team portion of the event. Between the individual race among three of the biggest names in LIV Golf and a tight team competition, the final round is set up to provide fireworks outside Boston.

The leader

1. Talor Gooch (-12)

The 2021 RSM Classic winner looks to capture his second professional victory in less than a year. Gooch has been one of the most consistent players since the onset of the LIV Golf circuit, finishing ninth in London, seventh in Portland and T6 in Bedminster. While these strong performances have produced team titles, he has yet to truly contend individually.

The biggest area of concern with Gooch is often his inaccuracy off the tee. With tree-lined fairways at The International, we should know early in his final round if there are any nerves in his system, as he has a tendency to hit a quick hook when in contention. If that shot is nowhere to be seen, the 30-year-old should love his chances to win his first LIV Golf event and lead his team to its third.

Other contenders

2. Joaquin Niemann (-11)

3. Dustin Johnson (-10)

4. Anirban Lahiri (-9)

T4. Matthew Wolff, Jason Kokrak, Kevin Na and Bernd Wiesberger (-8)

Unless Wolff can recreate the magic from Friday’s round, this event has turned into a three-horse race between Gooch, Niemann and Johnson. Despite being the elder statesman among his peers, Johnson is currently in the midst of a massive drought in terms of victories; he last raised an individual trophy at the 2021 Saudi International when he was world No. 1. 

With Gooch and Niemann capturing wins during the 2021-22 PGA Tour season, one has to wonder if the nerves will reside in the veteran Johnson. Finishing T3 at LIV Portland and T2 at LIV Bedminster, the two-time major champion has been trending to the top spot and should take solace in knowing he is the most prolific winner on the first page of the leaderboard.

Sihwan Kim wins most improved

Kicking off his LIV Boston event in a nightmare fashion, Kim more than struggled on his inward half in the first round at The International. Carding three double bogeys and a 10, Kim came home in 15-over 50 and ultimately signed for a 17-over 87 on Friday. Perhaps changing his breakfast or his typical morning routine, Kim was born anew on Saturday.

The two-time winner on the Asian Tour improved by 24 shots in Round 2 and signed for a 7-under 63 — tying Johnson for the lowest round of day. In the process, Kim aided the Iron Heads in their quest for the team trophy. They are currently on the podium in solo third, just one stroke behind the Hy Flyers in second.

Is a 4 Aces dynasty in our presence?

Since adding Pat Perez and Patrick Reed, the 4 Aces have gone undefeated, raising trophies at the LIV Golf events in Portland and Bedminster. Despite their team’s success, no member of the 4 Aces has gone onto to win the individual title in unison with the team portion of the event. 

Johnson and Gooch are firmly in the mix to win the solo crown and with three of four scores counting towards tomorrow’s team competition, both players will need to balance the urge to attack pins with the need to maintain the team’s margin over the rest of the squads.

Team leaderboard

1

4 Aces

Talor Gooch, Dustin Johnson, Pat Perez, Patrick Reed

-22

2

Hy Flyers

Bernd Wiesberger, Phil Mickelson, Matthew Wolff, Cameron Tringale

-19

3

Iron Heads

Kevin Na, Sadom Kaewkanjana, Phachara Khongwatmai, Sihwan Kim

-18

T4

Torque

Jediah Morgan, Adrian Otaegui, Scotti Vincent, Joaquin Niemann

-15

T4

Punch

Matt Jones, Wade Ormsby, Cameron Smith, Marc Leishman

-15

T6

Fireballs

Sergio Garcia, Abraham Ancer, Carlos Ortiz, Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra

-14

T6

Crushers

Bryson DeChambeau, Paul Casey, Charles Howell III, Anirban Lahiri

-14

8

Stinger

Branden Grace, Shaun Norris, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel

-13

9

Smash

Chase Koepka, Peter Uihlein, Brooks Koepka, Jason Kokrak

-11

T10

Cleeks

Richard Bland, Laurie Canter, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell

-10

T10

Majesticks

Sam Horsfield, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Shergo Al Kurdi

-10

12

Niblicks

Turk Petit, James Piot, Hudson Swafford, Harold Varner III

-5

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