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April 23, 2023

Talor Gooch

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

The Grange

Range Goats GC

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Welcome our champion of LIV Golf Adelaide, Talor Gooch from Range Goats GC. Welcome, Talor. What a week you had. Obviously the first two days you went incredibly low, set a record for LIV. Struggled a little bit out there today. Do you think that was the pressure from getting up on the podium for the first time?

TALOR GOOCH: I think golf is just really hard. It's hard to put back-to-back days together like I did and even harder to do it three times in a row. I actually played fine out there today. The golf gods I think said, we don't want this first win to be easy on you.

Had a couple bad breaks here and there, so it made things interesting, but it was cool to kind of overcome the adversity and dig deep after I made a double on No. 10. It was kind of a point of we're either going to dig deep and do this or you're going to stumble coming in. It was cool to dig deep and get the job done.

Q. You've been with us from the beginning and been knocking on the door for so long. There's been so many times you were right there. How does it feel to get on the podium and get that first place win today?

TALOR GOOCH: Oh, incredible, and even more special with my caddie being from Australia. We've been looking forward to this tournament for so long, and I couldn't have picked a more fun, more meaningful tournament to win on LIV than here in Australia in front of the greatest crowds we've had, the greatest environment we've had. The course was phenomenal. Everything about it was just first class.

Like I said, just that much more special with my caddie being from Australia and getting him a win here in his home country.

Q. This is your first one obviously with the Range Goats. How has that team support been, and how was your captain today encouraging you? Tell us a little bit behind the scenes with the Range Goats.

TALOR GOOCH: Yeah, I unfortunately didn't help us get a team win today, but when I finished up and got the win they were all there to greet me and tell me congrats, and Bubba came and gave me a big hug and told me how nervous he was for me throughout the day.

Yeah, we've got a cool group, and hopefully we can get on the podium as a team really, really soon. I would prefer it to be in Tulsa. Let's do it next week, but especially Tulsa would be super, super cool.

Q. Talor, how did you balance individually versus the team? Obviously you knew you guys were in a battle, especially with the 4 Aces and all that stuff, too. Take us through the day and how you kind of managed, if you were pressing more for the team or for yourself.

TALOR GOOCH: Yeah, I mean, like I said to everyone yesterday, I knew we had to come out hot, try to get some birdies going early as a team so that we could get a lead and try to capture a win, and unfortunately I didn't help the team today. It was tough enough just trying to play good golf myself, but I was also very aware of what was going on with the team, and I was rooting -- I knew my score wasn't going to count, unfortunately, so I was rooting hard for the other three guys.

Obviously I was trying to get a win, but I was just as tuned in to the team as I was to myself for the back nine especially. It was frustrating that we couldn't get the win for sure, but it was a step in the right direction for us as a team, and I think it's just a matter of time before we're up on that podium.

Q. How proud of yourself were you that you were able to -- you talked about after the double, that that was kind of a tipping point. Did you look at the leaderboard and see at one point that your lead has shrunk to two, and what was going through your mind?

TALOR GOOCH: Yeah, I don't really remember where it was, but I noticed that I was only two or three ahead at one point in time.

I kind of had a gauge early, like 15-under, it felt like a lot of guys are going to get around there and then there's going to be a lot of guys down the stretch pull up close to me. Obviously I was trying to shoot another 62. Quickly in the round I realized that wasn't going to happen.

Yeah, I kind of knew if I could stay at 20, I was going to be tough to catch. It was nice to not have to make a birdie on the last to stay at 20 and get the win, so it was nice coming down the stretch having a couple shots' cushion.

Q. That moment that just happened with Thomas Pieters that came up, your fellow teammate on Range Goats, gave you a hug. I think that really symbolizes what the team environment is like out here on a non-based team competition, would you ever have another player come up and give you a hug and congratulate you in the middle of your press conference?

TALOR GOOCH: And what's really cool is he struggled this week. Early on in the week, he didn't have his game, and he was so locked in and so focused and he was putting extra work in. He was working so hard to help the team out.

In spite of him not being on his "A" game this week, for him to come out and support, that's what it's about. I was talking with Pat Perez coming down the stretch, just what a cool, unique and different environment it is that we have a team pulling for each other. We have people we can lean on. We have people that are going to help lift us. Yeah, that was super cool that Thomas gave me a hug.

Q. Does it make golf a more enjoyable support now that you're part of a team?

TALOR GOOCH: Yeah, I grew up playing football, basketball, baseball. I love team sports. I love having a locker room feel. I love having guys you can kind of talk a little crap to and that give each other a hard time but also push each other and just help grow as individuals and as a team.

For me, like I've said numerous times, the selling point for me with LIV was the team aspect. It's really cool that it's come to fruition like I had hoped and anticipated that it would.

Q. Can I quickly ask about 18, you hit your approach in and then you get in the crush of people and then you burst out and the ovation there. Can you put that into words?

TALOR GOOCH: No. So had a security guard with me the last couple days, and he told me the last couple days, he's like, I've got your back. These guys might get a little crazy out here, I've got your back. So right when that was happening, I looked, and he was like, I got you. It was unlike anything I've ever experienced on a golf course. I looked at Mel as we were walking through, and we just started laughing. It was just something you'd never expect to experience, and it was super cool. It just shows you how into it this crowd is, how passionate these fans are. That's why we play golf, to entertain and to go out and win a tournament in front of thousands and thousands of passionate fans. It's as cool as it gets.

Q. My question is did you talk to your dad today?

TALOR GOOCH: Oh, yeah. Called him --

Q. What was the conversation?

TALOR GOOCH: Again, we're pretty boring. He says basically the same thing. He's like, all right, go hit a bunch of fairways out there, hit a few greens and see if you have a good one. Go have some fun. One thing he said not every time but a little often is they can't eat you. The first time he said that to me I was playing in Canada back in 2015 and I was in a similar position trying to win a tournament, and I'm super focused, I'm locked in, and he's like, they can't eat you. I'm like, well, of course they can't, dad, what are you talking about. He's like, just relax, it's not like you're life-and-death out there, go out and have some fun. It immediately like calmed me.

Today before I hung up, he goes, Hey, they can't eat you. It was cool. It was special, and something -- I love calling him before the rounds. It's cool.

Q. How much are you looking forward to talking to him now, now that you're holding that?

TALOR GOOCH: Yeah, I don't know if he's still going to be up. He actually might be. He's probably got a little bit of adrenaline flowing right now, so I'll definitely be calling him when I get done here and see if he's up, but if not, I'm pumped to give him a call tomorrow and hash through it all and him ask me why I did a couple things that I shouldn't have done probably, and then yeah, it'll be cool to hash it all out and just live through it again.

Q. I just wanted to get a feeling for what your caddie did for you this week. We saw him on the 18th green. He walked over and he was giving you a line. Just give us a bit of an insight into what role he played, from the macro to the micro.

TALOR GOOCH: Yeah, like I've said the last few days, his green reading ability out here is incredible. I leaned on him more this week than I have in a long time. He was so spot on early on, and it just gave me confidence in him, and I think it gave confidence in himself.

I made a bunch of putts the last couple days, a bunch of 8-, 10-, 12-footers, and without him, I don't make as many putts, plain and simple. Having the confidence in his green-reading ability was a huge difference maker, and then today, when things were shaky, he was a constant. He does a great job of not wavering, not getting too high, not getting too low, and he knows that I don't need a cheerleader that's going to kind of pump me up when I'm down. He knows that, you know what, we're just going to keep doing the same things, and we know if we do what we're supposed to do, good things will happen.

Today he did a really, really good job of just not wavering and just being himself and just acting like this is another round of golf, even though it was a huge round of golf for us.

His constant mentality and emotions, just how he conducts himself in those moments are huge for me for keeping me calm and making things easier than what they feel like they are in the moment.

Q. Do you guys laugh much out there on the course?

TALOR GOOCH: Especially this week, yeah, because there was probably half the stuff that was being said I probably couldn't understand out there because y'all have your own language here. No, we have a blast. We laugh out there. We know when to be focused. We know when to cut it up. Yeah, we have a good time out there for sure.

Q. Are you guys going to celebrate tonight?

TALOR GOOCH: I think we'll do a little celebrating tonight.

Q. Any plans?

TALOR GOOCH: It will involve for sure some south Australian wine, and that's the only plans.

Q. I wanted to ask you about the goat chain. Have you basically been wearing it since Friday? Is that how it works?

TALOR GOOCH: No, I wanted to get the win before I threw this thing on. This is like a victory chain. Yeah, right as I got off the last, though, Gabe came up and was like, you want it? I'm like, absolutely.

I'll look forward to all of us somehow figuring out how to pass this amongst each other on the podium when we win hopefully next week in Tulsa.

Q. I was curious, you jumped to the Range Goats mainly because of your friendship with Harold. What did he say after the round today?

TALOR GOOCH: He just gave me a hug and said, good work.

Again, it could have been a lot better day for us, and so it's kind of bittersweet in a sense. I know that everyone wishes we all would have been up there, so like I said, there's a little bit of that frustration and disappointment, but they all -- all of them came up, gave me a hug, said congrats, proud of me, so it was cool.

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