Oklahoma pro golfer Talor Gooch previews LIV Tour coming to Broken Arrow
The LIV Golf Tour is coming to Broken Arrow next week and will include big-name players and talent with Oklahoma roots. The event at Cedar Ridge County Club in Broken Arrow is slated for May 12-14.
LIV Golf’s 12 teams are led by the likes of four-time major winner Brooks Koepka, reigning Open Champion Cameron Smith, World Golf Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson, two-time major winner Dustin Johnson, 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia and 2020 U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau. More than a quarter (13) of the league’s global field are major champions, with 24 major victories amongst them.
Local fans will see many familiar faces when the players tee off next week. The field includes former Oklahoma University star Abraham Ancer and five players who competed at Oklahoma State University: Talor Gooch, Eugenio Chacarra, Charles Howell III, Peter Uihlein and Matthew Wolff.
Players are in pursuit of the 2023 LIV Golf Individual Championship and 2023 Team Championship, and after five events, each of the top three players in the individual standings are former OSU Cowboys: Gooch (first), Uihlein (second) and Howell (third).
Here, Oklahoma State University star Talor Gooch -- fresh off back-to-back individual titles and a team win for RangeGoats GC -- talks about next week's tournament.
TALOR GOOCH: I have such a love for Oklahoma. It's my people, I feel like. I'm just excited for them to actually see it up close and in person. It's going to be such an exciting week. I keep hearing about the support has been really good for ticket sales and just the local community. We love our sports in Oklahoma, and it's going to be fun to see the turnout.
Q. Who will be there to watch you in person?
TALOR GOOCH: Man, I've got so many family and friends that are going to be there all week. I can't even begin to count. Yeah, the Gooch gang that week will be deep.
Q. What do you know about Cedar Ridge?
TALOR GOOCH: I haven't played it since high school, actually. I played the U.S. Am back in 2009 there, so it's been nearly 15 years. But I think I was 16 or 17 when I played that last.
I remember thinking it was a big-boy course at the time. I know it's still revered as one of the best courses in Oklahoma, so I'm just hopeful we're going to have some good weather.
This time of year in Oklahoma, it can get a little windy, so us golfers know when it gets windy, it gets tough. Hoping we get a little Oklahoma wind that week.
Q. Five Cowpokes are in the field. Who do you think is going to be the crowd favorite?
TALOR GOOCH: Man, we're all going to be crowd favorites. We love our sports. We love supporting our own. Eugenio and Wolffy and Charles and Peter and me, it's going to be great. Abe is going to get a bunch of support from the Sooners. It's going to be a great week for Oklahoma, for Oklahoma golfers. You'll hear a bunch of "Go Pokes" out there, I'm sure.
Q. The state of Oklahoma has a rich college golf history. What does it mean for the state to host a LIV event with all the top players?
TALOR GOOCH: Man, it's just so cool, especially with how many Oklahoma State golfers are in the field and a part of LIV Golf.... it's just historic. Oklahoma State golf is historic. It just feels right. It feels like there was always going to be some Oklahoma State guys that were going to be a part of LIV and kind of kick-start this new venture in golf.
I know everyone back home is proud of us Oklahoma State guys out here on LIV, and yeah, it's going to be cool, and we're all very, very excited about it.
Q. From your perspective as a LIV player, what does it mean for LIV to visit a state that doesn't get to see elite golfers on an annual basis?
TALOR GOOCH: Oh, absolutely. It's funny, in all of my travel, everyone is always like, what's your favorite NFL team, what's your favorite baseball, blah, blah, and I'm like, college is king where we're from. Obviously we have the NBA, we have the Oklahoma City Thunder, which is what we love and cherish in Oklahoma from a professional sports level, so yeah, we just don't get professional sports often in our state, especially in Tulsa.
With golf being such a big deal in Oklahoma, we love our golf. To have a week, again, where some of the best players in the world are there, it's just going to be cool, and I know the state is going to love it. I'm hopeful it can become a staple on the schedule.
Q. You've always maintained a pride about your Oklahoma roots; why is it important for you to be an ambassador for golf in Oklahoma?
TALOR GOOCH: Man, again, I'm here because of Oklahoma. If it wasn't for where I grew up and how I grew up and the people that supported me along the way, I wouldn't be where I am today.
I want to be a part of helping continue to grow the game always in Oklahoma and be someone that kids can aspire to be. When I was growing up, it was Bob Tway and Scott Verplank and Willie Wood and guys like that that kind of carried the torch for Oklahoma. It's just part of my duty as a guy from Oklahoma to continue to push it forward for all of golf, whether it's junior golf or whether it's a local muni that needs better funding and support. I want to be able to be someone that can help make golf a priority in our state.
Q. Can you describe what it's like to be a part of the brotherhood of OSU's golfing legacy?
TALOR GOOCH: Yeah, it's always compared to like a fraternity. Once you're in, you're always in and you're always a part of the Oklahoma State fraternity basically. Anytime we're at tournaments, doesn't matter if it's in Asia or in America, the Swinging Pete, it has a brand and a name in its own way. It's special a part of it, and it's part of the allure of why I decided to go to Oklahoma State.
Q. If one of the teams had all OSU players in the lineup, how much support would there be? Would it be like the Rippers in Adelaide?
TALOR GOOCH: That would be the closest comparison. They had a whole country behind them. I don't know if we would have a whole country, but we would for sure have the whole state, so that would be really cool. We would have a pretty good team.
Fan festivities begin on Friday, May 12 at 9:30 a.m. local time when gates open to welcome guests of all ages to the variety of unique activations on site. Parking is free all three days in advance of the tournament’s 12:15 p.m. CT shotgun start on Friday and Saturday, and noon start Sunday.
Grounds passes for LIV Golf Tulsa start from $50 per day and are all-inclusive of the live music, fan activities, and golf competition. Youth 12 years and under receive complimentary admission to the tournament as do active-duty military and veterans, in addition to a guest.
In celebration of Mother's Day, a special offer going on sale soon to receive four tickets for the price of three for Sunday, May 14, will allow moms to attend for free with family and friends.
To purchase and learn more, visit LIVGolf.com.