MIAMI (LIV Golf) – Bryson DeChambeau’s Crushers GC opened the 2023 LIV Golf League by lifting a team trophy. On Sunday, they bookended the 14-tournament full season with the League’s biggest prize, the Team Championship.
Fueled by Anirban Lahiri’s spectacular bogey-free round, steady play by Charles Howell III and Paul Casey, and a riveting back-nine performance from their captain DeChambeau, Crushers GC won the all-scores-count shootout by two shots over Range Goats GC. Torque GC finished third, while defending champion 4Aces GC settled for fourth.
Last year, the Crushers did not reach the Team Championship final, as they were knocked out in the match-play semifinals. But the team started the new season with a bang, winning in Mayakoba on the strength of Howell’s individual victory.
DeChambeau found his form in mid-season and won two individual titles, with the Crushers winning again in Chicago. They completed the journey to the top at Trump National Doral, shooting a combined 11 under.
“Last year really left a sour taste in our mouth,” DeChambeau said as he celebrated with his teammates on the 18th green of the iconic Blue Monster course. “I can’t be happier with this team of mine. I don’t know what else to say. I’m at a loss of words right now. … These guys are the best.”
Lahiri was the team’s top performer on Sunday, shooting a 7-under 65 that included consecutive hole-outs at the par-4 seventh (for birdie) and par-5 eighth (for eagle). It was a terrific effort for a player who had come so close to winning an individual title in 2023 with two runner-up finishes and another podium result.
“I had a couple of Sundays where I let myself down,” Lahiri said. “But I wasn’t going to let the team down today.”
DeChambeau was 3 under at the turn, then birdied the 10th and 11th holes before suffering his first bogey at the 12th to start his rollercoaster back-nine. He then birdied the 13th from 36 feet, bogeyed the 14th, then birdied the 15th from 35 feet.
But the most dramatic moment came at the drivable par-4 16th, with the Crushers’ lead reduced to one stroke. DeChambeau’s tee shot hit the top of the Birdie Shack grandstand behind the green and finished on the front edge of the 2nd green.
Facing a blind shot from 109 yards, DeChambeau hit a wedge back over the grandstand and onto the 16th green, then made the birdie putt to increase the Crushers’ lead to two.
“My drop zone, I was going to drop in a sidehill lie out of the rough over palm trees. It was just not feasible,” DeChambeau explained. “I got a perfect lie in front of the green on 2 … I was like, it’s a 109-shot, whatever, let’s go. And hit it to 20 feet and made an incredible putt.”
Moments later, Casey followed with a clutch 6-foot par putt on his final hole while the RangeGoats’ Thomas Pieters missed his from similar distance.
When the RangeGoats’ 2023 Individual Champion Talor Gooch bogeyed the 18th after finding the water with his tee shot, the Crushers had enough cushion to absorb DeChambeau’s bogey and RangeGoats captain Bubba Watson’s birdie on the 18th.
DeChambeau finished with a 5-under 67, while Howell shot even-par 72 and Casey a 73.
“I thought this year would be special,” said Howell. “We started off with a win. Obviously, Baan and Bryson have played phenomenal golf here recently.”
Although the RangeGoats came up short, Watson – who shot a bogey-free 67 – was proud of his team’s effort.
“The RangeGoats came out of nowhere,” Watson said. “We played great. We’ve got to improve a little bit. But gosh, finished second for the year. What a great place.”
As for DeChambeau, winning the Team Championship helps to make up for the disappointment in the regular-season finale in Jeddah when he came up short of capturing the Individual Champion title.
“Any time you get a win with a team, I’d say honestly that’s more important than individual stuff,” DeChambeau said. “Look, majors are great but there’s a team behind you there. I’ve got a team, my own team.
“But having the Crushers be front and center of the first inaugural full season just means the world. We are part of history, and I couldn’t be more proud of these guys and definitely takes the sting out of last week. But the team is what it’s all about, and I couldn’t be more proud.”
TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL RESULTS
For Sunday’s Finals, all 48 players among the 12 teams competed in one round of stroke play, with all four players’ scores counting toward their team’s score. The four semifinal winners competed for places 1-4, with the teams defeated in the semifinals competing for places 5-8. The teams defeated in Friday’s quarterfinals competed for places 9-12. Of the prize money earned by each team, 60% goes to the team, with 10% going to each of the four participating players.
1. CRUSHERS GC (-11). Anirban Lahiri 65, Bryson DeChambeau 67, Charles Howell III 72, Paul Casey 73. Prize money: $14,000,000
2. RANGEGOATS GC (-9). Bubba Watson 67, Talor Gooch 70, Thomas Pieters 70, Harold Varner III 72. Prize money: $8,000,000
3. TORQUE GC (-6). Joaquin Niemann 66, David Puig 71, Sebastián Muñoz 72, Mito Pereira 73. Prize money: $6,000,000
4. 4ACES GC (E). Peter Uihlein 69, Patrick Reed 71, Pat Perez 73, Dustin Johnson 75. Prize money: $4,000,000
5. STINGER GC (-7). Dean Burmester 67, Branden Grace 67, Charl Schwartzel 73, Louis Oosthuizen 74. Prize money: $3,250,000
6. FIREBALLS GC (-4). Carlos Ortiz 64, Eugenio Chacarra 73, Sergio Garcia 73, Abraham Ancer 74. Prize money: $3,000,000
7. CLEEKS GC (+4). Martin Kaymer 72, Bernd Wiesberger 72, Richard Bland 74, Graeme McDowell 74. Prize money: $2,750,000
8. HYFLYERS GC (+5). Cameron Tringale 70, Brendan Steele 71, Phil Mickelson 72, James Piot 80. Prize money: $2,500,000
9. RIPPER GC (-5). Matt Jones 66, Jediah Morgan 71, Marc Leishman 73, Cameron Smith 73. Prize money: $2,000,000
10. SMASH GC (E). Jason Kokrak 69, Brooks Koepka 70, Matthew Wolff 72, Chase Koepka 77. Prize money: $1,750,000
11. MAJESTICKS GC (+4). Henrik Stenson 69, Ian Poulter 72, Lee Westwood 74, Sam Horsfield 77. Prize money: $1,500,000
12. IRON HEADS GC (+5). Scott Vincent 70, Danny Lee 71, Kevin Na 73, Sihwan Kim 79. Prize money: $1,250,000