CRUSHING SINGLES WIN PLACES CRUSHERS IN TOP TIER FOR SUNDAY
Crushers GC Captain Bryson DeChambeau and Paul Casey scored resounding wins in their singles matches on Saturday to ensure their team starts Sunday’s strokeplay round in the top tier.
In the semifinals of the 2023 LIV Golf Team Championship at Trump National Doral, Crushers beat Cleeks GC 2-1.
DeChambeau was nine-under par through his last 10 holes in his 4&3 win over Cleeks Captain Martin Kaymer after Casey had got the better of the in-form Richard Bland 6&5 in the second-largest win margin for the day.
Charles Howell III and Anirban Lahiri lost the foursomes match against Graeme McDowell and Bernd Wiesberger 3&2, but by that time, the fate of the match was sealed in Crushers’ favor.
Crushers will now fight for positions one to four in overall team championships. All four scores count towards the team total.
Casey provided a great start for the team, making seven birdies in subduing Bland, who has hit a rich vein of form towards the second half of the season and had taken down Marc Leishmann in Friday’s quarterfinals.
The European Ryder Cup member showed his intent with a birdie on his opening hole (16th of the golf course) and was 3-up with two more on the difficult par-4 18th of Blue Monster and the first. He then made three birdies in a row from the third to the fifth holes to increase his lead to 6-up. Casey’s only mistake was a bogey on the sixth hole, and he lost the eight to Bland’s birdie. He completed the scoreline with wins with pars on the ninth and 10th.
DeChambeau’s result was never in doubt when he went on a birdie binge after parring his first five holes. The score at that point was all-square, with Kaymer making up for a loss on the 17th hole with a birdie win on the par-5 first.
Thereafter, the big-hitting Texan, winner of two titles during the season, made two eagles and five birdies over the next 10 holes to snuff out any hopes that Kaymer may have had.
Almost a similar storyline followed in the foursomes match, except that it went in favor of the Cleeks.
Howell and Lahiri were solid against McDowell and Wiesberger, but the European duo, after being 1-down through six holes, made six birdies over the next 10 holes to finish the match.
Lahiri, who finished the season in 13th place in the individual standings, said: “I thought Chucky and me played solid, but they made six birdies and that was the difference today.
“The first part of the mission is complete and we are in the top tier going into Sunday’s strokeplay. Hopefully, we can all play like we did throughout the season and wrap up the team title.”