Written by
Mark Lamport-Stokes, LIV Golf Correspondent
Apr 30 2024
- 4 MIN
Ripper Singapore preview story image

SENTOSA ISLAND, Singapore – Boosted by an emotional and high-octane home victory in front of massive crowds at LIV Golf Adelaide on Sunday, Ripper GC is oozing confidence and positive vibes heading into this week's LIV Golf Singapore.

Captain Cameron Smith and his team mates Marc Leishman, Matt Jones and Lucas Herbert clinched the team title by beating Stinger GC on the second playoff hole at The Grange Golf Club, and they now turn their sights on The Serapong at Sentosa Golf Club.

"It's certainly a pretty big positive to have a finish like that in Adelaide and then come out of a playoff on top and win an event that we've all wanted to win for quite a long time.," said Leishman. "It was a great week, and onwards and upwards now to Singapore."

Asked to assess Ripper GC's confidence level as the team now focuses on Sentosa Golf Club, Leishman replied: "We all had decent weeks there last year. It's a course that you've got to be pretty strategic around. This is my favorite trip of the whole year, coming away to Australia and then going to Singapore, two golf courses that I love, two crowds that I love playing in front of. Two climates, as well.

"I'm feeling good about this week," Leishman smiled. "Hopefully one of us can individually win that title, and hopefully it's me. But I think as a team, it's a pretty good course for us."

This time last year, captain Smith led the way for his team with a sparkling performance at LIV Golf Singapore to end up in seventh spot on the individual leaderboard. He opened with a superb 6-under 65 on The Serapong, and then followed up with scores of 66 and 70 to secure his third top-10 points finish of the season.

With Leishman (16th) and Jediah Morgan (17th) earning their best individual points finishes of the year in Singapore, the all-Australian Rippers ended the week placed sixth in the team standings - their fourth points finish of season.

Leishman believes that the par-71, 7,406-yard layout at Sentosa sets up very well for the Rippers.

"Strategically, you've got to be smart around here," he said. "It's not a bomber's golf course. Obviously, on every golf course it helps if you can hit it a long way, but you've got to hit it in the right spots. I think we're all really good iron players, and a lot of tee shots here you have to hit it to the same spot as the rest the of the field. So, I think that works well for us.

"And then the greens are perfect, and I feel like we're all pretty good putters. That's one more bonus for us. But you never know; you have to play well at the tournament. Hopefully this week is going to be a good one for us, and we can go back-to-back."

The Rippers could not have wished for a bigger boost in Adelaide as they now prepare for the seventh event of the 2024 LIV Golf season. After conjuring a Houdini-like escape on the first extra hole where the all-South African Stingers held an early advantage before missing tricky birdie putts from inside 10 feet, Ripper GC sealed victory one hole later.

Although Smith bogeyed the hole, the par-4 18th, Leishman safely parred while both Stinger GC players Louis Oosthuizen and Dean Burmester wound up with bogeys after their approach shots ended up in the back left greenside bunker. Both teams had finished regulation play at 53-under, after more than 90,000 fans had attending the three rounds of competition at The Grange.

Smith ended up in a tie for 14th after closing with a 2-under 70 at The Grange Golf Club. Level with Smith was Leishman, who carded a flawless 65. Matt Jones was the highest Ripper GC finisher, sharing ninth place after signing off with a 68, while Lucas Herbert placed 15th after also returning a 65.

"For it to end the way it did was a storybook ending," said Smith. "It was so cool. All the boys played really well. We all finished in the top 15, 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."