Sign up for our daily newsletter

Latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion, plus unmissable deals for bunkered subscriptions, events, and our commercial partners.

Talor Gooch has declared himself “one of the best players in the world” after winning the LIV Golf League Individual season title.  

Gooch, 31, lost out in a playoff to Brooks Koepka at the final LIV event of the regular season in Jeddah but his runner-up finish was enough to top the Saudi-funded circuit’s standings for 2023. 

The American, part of Bubba Watson’s RangeGoats team, has had a superb year on LIV, winning three times in 13 starts.  

And after holding off former Open champion Cam Smith to take the No.1 spot on the individual rankings and, with it an $18million bonus, he was understandably thrilled. 

• Four players relegated from LIV Golf League

• LIV Golf blasts OWGR rejection

“I’ve always felt that I was good enough to be a professional golfer and play against the best in the world,” said Gooch. “Now to be here to, I think, consider myself one of the best in the world, it’s what I’ve been dreaming about since I was nine years old.  

“To get to this point in my career and to have this validating of a season, words can’t describe how much it means and just how satisfying it is.” 

Gooch’s bullish appraisal of his own game is not, of course, reflective of his current position on the Official World Golf Ranking.  

• Ian Poulter not ruling out DP World Tour return

Having started 2023 in 40th place on the standings, he is now ranked a lowly 187th. That’s unlikely to improve any time soon, either, following news last week that the OWGR board has rejected LIV’s application for world rankings accreditation. 

Gooch, though, is paying no heed.

“You’ve got I don’t know how many major champions and Ryder Cuppers and Ryder Cup captains and Hall-of-Famers, but you’ve got 48 of the best players in the world with some legends and some current great players, major champions,” he added.  

“When you’re playing all kind of courses across the world in different climates, in different parts of the world and back home in the States and everything over the span of a season, to beat everybody over the course of that, it speaks volumes to the quality of golf that you’ve played. 

“For me, again, it’s a validation of all the hard work, all the patience and the years it took to get my game to this spot to, I think, be considered one of the best players in the world.” 

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses