Written by
Joy Chakravarty, LIV Golf Correspondent
Mar 11 2024
- 5 MIN
Bryson HK recap

HONG KONG – It wasn’t as spectacular as their Sunday charge from 11 shots behind in Jeddah last week, but it was equally special. Crushers GC, the reigning Champion Team of LIV Golf, once again produced the good when it mattered the most – surmounting a seven-shot deficit in the final round for their second straight win at LIV Golf Hong Kong.

In Jeddah, the winning margin was a staggering four shots, and it was two shots over Torque GC at Hong Kong Golf Club.

Bryson DeChambeau and his men were ecstatic with the win, but the mood was slightly dampened a little later when Paul Casey lost to Abraham Ancer in the individual championship playoff. The Englishman had muscled his way into contention with a stunning bunker shot for birdie on his final hole – the 16th of the golf course.

More than halfway through the final round, Crushers looked like they had no chance of winning and a podium finish would have been a bonus. They were plenty behind the Rippers GC, but as others struggled in the rain and cold, Casey was 4-under for his last six holes, DeChambeau was 3-under, including an eagle on the 13th, and Anirban Lahiri, struggling with the flu and fatigue, made two birdies in his last six holes. Charles Howell III did not drop a single shot after three early birdies.

This time, the Crushers added 14-under for the final round with all four scores counting. They were a stunning 20-under in Jeddah. The second-best team score of the day was Toque’s 12-under par.

The thing about DeChambeau is that he is urging each of his team members to fight for the individual title, knowing that it would eventually be good for the team’s fortunes.

“I love these guys. They fight for every shot, and I can tell you when four scores are counting, we’re a pretty deadly team,” said DeChambeau after their fourth team win in last seven starts.

“I feel like I chose these guys early on when LIV started, and I can’t tell you how proud I am of them, just fighting for every single shot they have. We know with four scores counting, we’re going to be in it no matter what the last day. We put the pedal to the metal today and showcased who we are.

“I’m super pissed I didn’t beat Paul today. Secondly, I’m super proud of him for being tied for the lead and going down into a playoff. Even when he holed out on the last hole to beat me, I still gave him the biggest high five because it was so cool. It’s such a cool team dynamic that we have.”

Despite the disappointment of his playoff loss, Casey’s face lit up at the mention of his team.

“So proud of my team. My team is awesome. What a great group of guys. We’ve got something that you can’t measure, and I firmly believe that,” said Casey.

“We’re all very different in our approaches not only on how we play golf but how we prepare for the week and various things like that. There’s not a lot of similar traits. But I think that’s what is beautiful about it.

“Jeddah was obviously a shock. That was out of left field, the guys shooting 20-under par on Sunday was ridiculous. But even today, I don’t think we were even on the leaderboard with nine holes to go. So proud of them.”

With their second straight haul of 32 points, Crushers now have tallied 100 points in the four tournaments and are comfortably ahead of the second-placed Torque GC by 42 points.

Paul Casey – T2nd – 66-67-64-197 (13-under)

Teammate Lahiri was on the spot when he said before the tournament: “Watch out for Paul this week. He is playing excellent golf and he is one of the best ball-strikers on the Tour. He will be a force on this golf course.”

Casey nearly proved Lahiri correct. And as he said after the round, he played great golf and he was not going to “measure it on the playoff hole, on one tee shot”.

Casey was second in fairways hit and second in greens in regulation in Jeddah, and he was first and fourth this week. And with his putter behaving much better, it wasn’t a surprise he produced the best result of his LIV career.

The 46-year-oid moved to No. 4 in Individual Standings with 48.83 points.

Bryson DeChambeau – T6th – 65-68-66-199 (11-under)

DeChambeau did not have a terrible week with his putter, but with six birdie putts lipping out on day two and another handful on Sunday, it was a frustrating week on the greens for the Crusher Captain.

The sixth place helped DeChambeau remain on seventh place in the Individual Standings with 41.16 points.

Charles Howell III – T8th – 64-69-67-200 (10-under)

Howell did exactly what everyone expected him to do in Hong Kong – played solid golf tee-to-green and contributed to the team cause. His only disappointment on Sunday, when he shot a bogey-free 67 in poor conditions, would be the three-footer birdie putt he missed on his final hole.

The American moved to 10th place in the Individual Standing with 34.08 points.

Anirban Lahiri – T34th – 66-71-69-206 (4-under)

A week that started on a promising note, did not end well for Lahiri, who played the last two rounds while fighting a flu and fatigue. He expected a lot better than his tied 34th place finish.

And yet, the Indian star contributed to the team’s cause on Sunday, when he made two important birdies in his last six holes, including one from 20 feet on his final hole.

Lahiri did not earn any point this week and slipped to 25th place in the Individual Standings.

Field ranking in parentheses

Fairways Hit
Casey – 33 (T4)
DeChambeau – 28 (T24)
Howell – 29 (T17)
Lahiri – 29 (T17)

Greens in Regulation
Casey – 44 (T1)
DeChambeau – 43 (T6)
Howell – 43 (T6)
Lahiri – 38 (T31)

Total Putts
Casey – 83 (T7)
DeChambeau – 91 (T43)
Howell – 86 (T16)
Lahiri – 89 (T35)

Total Birdies
Casey – 15 (8)
DeChambeau – 12 (T25)
Howell – 12 (T35)
Lahiri – 9 (T43)

Driving Distance Avg.
Casey – 292.6 (T34)
DeChambeau – 336.9 (1)
Howell – 301.2 (14)
Lahiri – 295.0 (28)