Written by
Mark Lamport-Stokes, LIV Golf Correspondent
Jun 25 2024
- 5 MIN
Rippers GC Nash recap STORY image

COLLEGE GROVE, Tennessee - Ripper GC saved its best for last at LIV Golf Nashville on Sunday when all four players dipped below par for the first time during the week to lift the team into a tie for sixth place at 19-under.

Matt Jones fired a 3-under 68 at The Grove, Marc Leishman and captain Cameron Smith both carded 69s and Lucas Herbert returned a 70 as the all-Australian combination improved by four spots in the overnight standings.

Smith, who had put together a sizzling 6-under 65 in the second round, ended the tournament in a tie for ninth while Leishman shared 18th place. Jones wound up joint 40th and Hubert, whose T6 in Houston earlier this month was his best result since joining LIV Golf, had to settle for 48th.

All in all, a great improvement for the Rippers after their disappointing 10th-place finish two weeks earlier in Houston where they had been bidding for a rare third victory in a row.

For a few hours during the final round in Houston, they were on track for yet another win as they moved into a share of first place after the first seven holes of the day.

Herbert apart, though, the Rippers failed to build on that momentum and they tumbled back down the leaderboard into 10th spot by the time the final putts had dropped.

"It looked good there for a while, but unfortunately it didn't come through for us," said Herbert, who ended a successful week at the Golf Club of Houston with a superb 69 that included five birdies. "It's just hard to get it all to gel together. To win twice in a row was pretty impressive. Three in a row was asking a lot."

As the Rippers looked to rebound from Houston in Tennessee, Leishman and Smith both carded 69s in the opening round at The Grove while Jones returned a 71 to put the Australians in a tie for sixth place in the team standings.

Smith then went into overdrive on day two, reeling off six birdies and an eagle at the par-5 11th to climb into a share of fifth place in the individual standings. However, his team mates were unable to match him: Leishman carded a 69 and Jones returned a 72 as Ripper GC slipped to 10th in the race for team honors at 11-under.

Cue Sunday, and the Rippers collectively delivered. Putting maestro Smith birdied his last two holes to clinch his fourth top-10 of the season with a 10-under total, Leishman carded a third successive 69 to finish four strokes adrift and Jones shot his best round of the week with a five-birdie 68.

Although Herbert was unable to maintain his superb form from Houston, he also produced his best round of the week on Sunday at The Grove, mixing two birdies with a lone bogey for a 70.

The Rippers will now turn their attention to the July 12-14 LIV Golf Andalucia at Real Club Valderrama where they will aim for a third team title this year.

Ripper GC currently occupies fourth spot in the season-long standings, after celebrating an emotional victory in front of a raucous home crowd in Adelaide and then making it two wins out of two the following week in Singapore.