28 Apr 2024 | Professional golf |

Home crowd lifts Ripper GC to first Australian win

by Golf Australia

Ripper GC

The all-Australian Ripper GC squad won their first LIV Adelaide teams title in a playoff, while American Brendan Steele claimed his first individual LIV title on a frantic final day at The Grange in Adelaide.

To the delight of a parochial home crowd, Ripper GC captain Cam Smith joined Marc Leishman to see off the South African Stinger GC combination of Louis Oosthuizen and Dean Burmester by a shot on the second hole of a two-man aggregate sudden-death playoff.

After the first hole was tied with four pars, Leishman made a par and Smith a bogey the second time around while both Stingers could only muster bogeys from the greenside bunker on the par-4 18th to give the Aussies their second LIV teams victory and achieve a major goal they had set for 2024.

On a third day of low scoring in friendly conditions, the two teams finished in LIV record totals of 53-under-par, with Stinger coming home in -24 in the final round to Ripper’s -20.

Lucas Herbert and Marc Leishman turned in final rounds of 7-under-par 65 for Ripper, while Matt Jones carded a 68 and Smith a 70.

Ripper GC would have wrapped up the win in regulation play had Smith not made a bogey on his final hole after a wayward tee shot led to a missed putt for par from around three metres.

And it looked like the victory had slipped away on the first playoff hole until Burmester and then Oosthuizen both saw makeable birdie putts slide by.

In the individual event, Steele’s closing 68 gave him a one-shot winning margin over Oosthuizen who stormed home with a 7-under-par 65.

It was the American’s first win since his third PGA Tour victory in the Safeway Open in 2017, although he came close to breaking through in LIV Tucson in 2023, losing to Danny Lee in a playoff.

South Africans Charl Schwartzel (64) and Dean Burmester (67) featured in a five-way tie for third at -16 with reigning Australian Open Joaquin Niemann (66), former world No.1 Jon Rahm (64) and American Andy Ogletree (65).

Cam Smith’s bid for the individual title stalled when he played the first six holes in +1 and he ended up at 13-under in a share of 14th with fellow Australians Lieshman and Herbert, who had back-to-back 65s on the weekend.

Matt Jones took the top Ripper GC honours in ninth place at 14-under.


After dropping a shot at the difficult par-3 third hole, it was a run of five consecutive birdies, starting on the fifth which set up the win for Steele.

A missed putt from close range on the 11th, one of three surprise failures from inside six-feet on the final day, led to another bogey but the American steadied with a birdie on the par-5 13th.


Cam Smith (Ripper GC):

“This is unreal. It is a dream come true for us. We’ve been talking about it all year. It’s just so good. There was a lot of pressure on us this week and I think we did a really good job.

"All the boys played really well. I think we all finished in the top 12 or 13 or something, which is something we probably haven't done as a team before, so that's pretty cool, as well, for everyone to show up at our home event and play really solid golf."

Marc Leishman (Ripper GC):

“We had a fair bit of pressure this week and I think we really embraced it this year. This is the ultimate result.

"It was just a great day all in all really. To play with Lucas for the day, I've never really fist pumped to go from 20th to 18th or 17th before, and I think that team aspect really does that to us. You don't have a chance to win the individual tournament, but you've got a chance to help your team, so I think that's really a massive drawcard of this event."

Brendan Steele (HiFlyers GC):

“I'm pretty overwhelmed, but to win this event is really special. I can't say enough good things about the fans and the golf course and the whole experience this week. I've never had so much support, which is I think really cool, being in not my home country, not my home area. They just treated me so well.

“He (HiFlyers captain Phil Mickelson) is the reason that I'm here and the reason that I'm improving. To be honest, I'm 41 years old and I'm getting better, and it's mostly because of him. It's really great."

Matt Jones (Ripper GC):

"For us to win in Australia as a team, it's something we wanted to do last year. We didn't get it done. To do it this year, yeah, it's hard to explain. To do it with these guys who are all good friends, we have such a good time together, and I think that's one of the aspects that makes our team so good. We're such good friends."

Lucas Herbert (Ripper GC):

"I asked Pughie if we could play a fourth round this week just because I wanted to experience what we have experienced all this week for another day. It was just phenomenal. The amount of support we have had all week from the fans, I think I earned a few new nicknames out there. I heard 'Wing Nut' a few times. I feel that might be semi-appropriate."



-18: Brendan Steele (HiFlyers GC)

-17: Louis Oosthuizen (Stinger GC)

-16: Charl Schwartzel (Stinger GC), Jon Rahm (Legion XIII), Andy Ogletree (HiFlyers GC), Joaquin Niemann (Torque GC), Dean Burmester (Stinger GC)

-15: Mito Pereira (Torque GC)


-14 Matt Jones

-13 Marc Leishman, Lucas Herbert, Cam Smith


-53: Ripper GC, Stinger GC (Ripper GC won two-man aggregate playoff 9-10 on the second hole)

-48: Hi Flyers GC

-46: Torque GC

-42: Legion XIII GC

-40: Cleeks GC, Crushers GC, Iron Heads GC


The next LIV event is in Singapore, starting on Friday

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