Talor Gooch said you can’t fake the form he’s shown in the LIV Golf League, winning three times alone in 2023. Could Zach Johnson be tempted to choose the 31-year-old in the US Ryder Cup team?
The thought of beating Ian Poulter in the Sunday singles at the Ryder Cup is what Talor Gooch’s dreams are made of, as the American longs to compete against Europe in Italy this year.
Speaking at the LIV Golf London event at Centurion, Gooch and his close friend Max Homa have often envisaged playing together at the Ryder Cup and he made no secret of wanting to be chosen by US captain Zach Johnson.
Gooch has won in Adelaide, Singapore, and Andalucia in the LIV Golf League in 2023, but while sitting 90th in the world rankings and quite a way from the top 12 of the US Ryder Cup standings, he can only hope captain Johnson has taken note of his fine form.
“I’ve got to hope that he’s taken notice and people around him have taken notice and I know it’s been a huge point of contention and discussion – but at the end of the day, it’s America vs Europe.
“There’d be nothing cooler than beating Poults on Sunday. The idea of beating one of the greats of all time in Europe (in the Ryder Cup) – it’s what dreams are made of.
“In spite of me choosing to come and play LIV Golf a year ago, that doesn’t extinguish my hopes and dreams and desires of competing in a Ryder Cup and competing in majors – none of that has changed.
“You have to hope in the end the people making the decisions are taking everything into account and not just eliminating one side just because of everything that’s happened.
“The only voice I have is my scores. Anything I say to Zach Johnson isn’t going to make a difference, so the only thing that’s going to make a difference is the way I compete – I’ve said it a few times, I call it rule 67. If I go shoot 67, then everything will take care of itself.
“Max Homa is one of my best buds and we’ve talked for a while about wanting to team up in Rome. Right after the last Ryder Cup, we started talking about the next one being in Italy. Italy is one of my favourite places in the world and we’ve had discussions for years.
“We haven’t talked about it in the last couple of weeks but I know that we would both love to team up there.”
Last year, Gooch and 4Aces GC won the LIV Golf team event in Portland where he compared the atmosphere on the final day to a Ryder Cup. This comment attracted some heat and Gooch admits the moment might have swept him away.
“I was there in the moment, I had just won $750,000 with my teammates. The cameras might not have done it justice, but there were a ton of people at Portland on 18.
“It was one of the rowdiest crowds I’ve ever been a part of and seen and we had just won as a team. It was a bit in the moment – we all grew up dreaming of the Ryder Cup, that’s different to LIV.”
Gooch has played in two major championships this year, the Masters and the PGA, and he will be hoping to make a statement at The 151st Open in the same way his LIV Golf colleague Brooks Koepka did at Oak Hill in May.
Half of captain Johnson’s team will qualify for the biennial match with Europe automatically. He will handpick the second group of six players which is likely to be Gooch’s route to the event – if he was to be chosen.
The 31-year-old beat Koepka and former US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau when winning at Valderrama in June and it isn’t lost on Gooch as to the quality of player he is currently competing against, and overcoming.
“I think within the professional golf world, players of our calibre – game recognises game,” he added. “Everyone knows the type of golf you have to play to beat the type of players that you’re playing against.
“Obviously we’ve played some incredible courses. The type of golf that’s needed to compete and succeed on these types of golf courses – there’s no faking it.”
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