'54 Holes Is More Exciting For The Fans' - Talor Gooch Wants LIV To Stick To Shorter Format

Talor Gooch says LIV Golf should keep the more exciting 54-hole format as he says the fans find it more exciting

Talor Gooch celebrates winning the 2023 LIV Golf title
(Image credit: LIV Golf)

Despite the likes of Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson saying LIV Golf could extend events to four rounds, Talor Gooch is not a fan, saying 54-hole tournaments are more exciting for fans.

Along with the shotgun start and team format, playing just 54 holes was one of the main selling points for LIV Golf when Greg Norman introduced the Saudi-backed venture into the golfing world.

Mickelson said he "wouldn’t be surprised if some or all of LIV events went to 72" recently, and Rahm, who was never a fan of 54 holes, agreed. 

New LIV signing Rahm told BBC Sport's Iain Carter: "If there ever was a way where LIV could go to 72 holes I think it would help all of this argument a lot.

"The closer I think we can get LIV Golf to some other things the better. I think it would be for some kind of unification to feed into a world tour or something like that. I don't know if I'm alone in this, but I definitely wouldn't mind going back to 72 holes."

But 2023 individual LIV champion Gooch does not agree, with the three-time event winner last year saying the shorter format is a more exciting watch for golf fans.

“We need to focus on the fans,” Gooch said on a media call ahead of upcoming LIV Golf events in Adelaide and Singapore - where he is the defending champion at both.

“How do we tailor a product and exciting event to the fans; and just my opinion through my experience of 54 holes, it just appears to be more exciting.”

Gooch, who is 10th in the current LIV Golf individual standings, added: “It’s just funny to me, this arbitrary number of 72. Why is it not 90? 

“Why is it not 108? We just decided to make that number the number, for what reason?"

The quest for Official World Golf Ranking points is one reason behind thoughts of extending LIV Golf events to 72 holes, but Gooch says that would ignore the needs of the fans.

“Everyone’s talked about world ranking points and all this stuff, but no one’s talked about what do the fans enjoy more? 

"People want something that’s going to be more exciting. And I personally think that the 54 holes is more exciting for the fans.” 

Talor Gooch posing with the trophy after being named 2023 LIV Golf individual champion

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Gooch obviously enjoys the 54-hole format, winning back-to-back in Adelaide and Singapore last year as two of his three victories.

The 32-year-old has not managed to get a win this season after moving to Brooks Koepka's Smash GC team, but hopes returning to Australia can do the trick.

He added that managing expectations has been an issue, with Gooch being among the favourites for each event after his stellar season last year.

“You have different expectations because you’ve obviously performed well in Australia,” Gooch said ahead of his Adelaide return.

“You can’t win the golf tournament on day one, so you just have to figure out how to get rid of those expectations and just get locked in. It’s something that I look forward to, the challenge of trying to fight those expectations.”

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.