Written by
Mark Lamport-Stokes, LIV Golf Correspondent
May 06 2024
- 4 MIN
Ripper GC Team Site recap image

SINGAPORE – It has often been said that "success breeds success" and Ripper GC has certainly lived up to that epithet over the past fortnight with back-to-back team victories in the LIV Golf League.

After celebrating an emotional win in front of massive crowds in Adelaide last week, the all-Australian combination rode that wave to triumph on Sunday at LIV Golf Singapore where they clinched the title by three strokes over Fireballs GC and Cleeks GC.

Captain Cameron Smith led by example, closing with a scintillating 64 to share second place at 13-under with his team mate Marc Leishman, who returned a 66. Lucas Herbert tied for 27th at 5-under, after signing off with a 74, while Matt Jones ended up joint 37th at 1-under, after carding a 70 on The Serapong at Sentosa Golf Club.

"I kind of knew all year that we were going to get the ball rolling at some point," said captain Smith after he and his team mates had celebrated their second consecutive win in true 'Aussie' style – with shoeys on the podium. "I think internally that we're the best team out here, and we're going to be tough to beat when we all have our best stuff.

"Although a couple of our guys didn't have the best stuff today, there was also Leish and I that stepped up. And it was the same last week. I didn't have my best stuff on Sunday, but the other guys stepped up to the plate and really did a good job. I think we're going to be tough to beat the rest of the season."

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

The Rippers clinched the team title in Adelaide with a playoff victory over Stinger GC after more than 90,000 fans had attended the three rounds of competition at The Grange. Hearty celebrations then ensured before the Australian quartet rebounded from a slowish start in the Singapore heat, ending day one in a tie for seventh, to repeat as team champions.

"Obviously an awesome week," said Leishman. "Individually for me and Cam, it was obviously a great week. Looked like we were cruising there in the team stuff until I hit it in the 'ganguly' there on the right on 1, and didn't quite get it out."

Leishman was 5 under during a nine-hole stretch before he ended the final round with a bogey at the par-4 first.

"I managed to make a good putt for bogey and finish it off all right," he smiled. "I was really happy to get across the line there with the team, and yeah, a good two weeks really, all around."

Asked if it had been a challenge in Singapore to come down from the 'high' of winning in front of huge galleries in Adelaide, Leishman replied: "It was certainly a challenge, but it might have been a blessing in disguise. Yes, we partied pretty hard for a couple of days, but then we all had Tuesday off. I don't know if many of us left our hotel rooms.

"And I think conserving energy this week was pretty important, particularly for the end of the week when everyone is worn out. We were worn out, but I think just taking it so easy early in the week might have helped us just to have that little bit of mental strength that it took to get across the line. It may or may not be the case, but I'm going to put it down to that."

The Rippers began the final day at Sentosa one shot behind Smash GC in the team standings before seizing the lead 11 holes into the round when Smith and Leishman both got hot. Smith was six under during a 10-hole stretch while Leishman reeled off five birdies in a nine holes.

"Last week I was the worst score of the whole group and today I was the best score," said Smith. "It was nice to be on the other side of that helping the team out. My game is starting to feel really nice. Just need to kind of match everything up like I did today for the rest of the season, and I'm sure myself and this team will be up there, so I'm looking forward to the rest of the season for sure."