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Offseason Improvements Turn Cleeks GC From Laughingstock Into Contender

Captain Martin Kaymer of Cleeks GC is seen walking on the course during the pro-am before the start of LIV Golf Adelaide at the Grange Golf Club on Wednesday, April 24, 2024 in Adelaide, Australia.

Martin Kaymer’s fortunes changed in a huge way this past offseason as his Cleeks were able to add DP World Tour standout Adrian Meronk and newcomer by virtue of the Abu Dhabi LIV Promotions event, Kalle Samooja.

Kaymer’s Cleeks GC were arguably one of the worst teams during the 2023 LIV Golf Season, coming in third to last in the 2023 standings, with zero individual winners, and perhaps most importantly little to no air time due to poor play.

Adrian Meronk of Cleeks GC hits his shot during the pro-am
Adrian Meronk of Cleeks GC hits his shot during the pro-am before the start of LIV Golf Adelaide at the Grange Golf Club © Jon Ferrey/LIV Golf

Going into 2024, the former PGA Championship winner knew changes had to be made in order to thrive and survive in the ultra-competitive and improving LIV league. 

Both Europeans, Meronk (Poland) and Samooja (Finland) scored 9-under and 8-under at LIV Singapore, respectively, good for two top-fifteen finishes. Kaymer helped his team’s cause by scoring a 7-under coming in tied for 19th place.

Richard Bland, who is having what can only be described as a renaissance season, finished a respectable 6-under on the weekend.

The Englishman, who is playing some of his best golf at the age of 51, is second oldest on the field only to Phil Mickelson.

Singapore marked an incredible team effort that took one of LIV’s worst teams out of obscurity and into the limelight. 

Cleeks Finally Get Their Podium Finish

Meronk and Samooja’s efforts did not go unrewarded. Great early play from the two newcomers plus solid finishes from Kaymer and Bland resulted in the Cleek’s first podium finish; a tie for second with Sergio Garcia’s Fireballs.

Even though Adrian Meronk faltered down the stretch, finishing par on Sunday with Kaymer and Bland not moving the teams standing much either, it was Kalle Samooja who left everything on the course Sunday, posting a 7-under which vaulted the Cleeks into team championship position.

Had Meronk and Kaymer scored just a bit better on Sunday we would be talking about perhaps the greatest upset victory in LIV Golf history, but alas, Cam Smith’s Ripper GC are just too hot right now with back-to-back wins after their recent victory in Australia and yesterday in Singapore.

Cleeks GC fans can finally hold their heads up high after suffering through an embarrassing 2023.

While they are not likely to finish the regular season in the top three, there remain six additional events for Adrian Meronk to make a run at an individual championship, Richard Bland to continue his reliable play, Samooja to remind people why he belongs in the league, and Kaymer to bring his game back to what it once was. 

How Did They Get There?

According to LIV’s App Statistics, the Cleeks were impressive in all facets of the game at Singapore.

65% of Fairways Hit for 3rd Place Overall

73.9% of Greens in Regulation for 2nd Place Overall

74.5% Scrambling for 2nd Place Overall

What’s Next?

Captain Martin Kaymer heads to the PGA Championship at Valhalla May 16-19. Kaymer, who won the PGA Championship in 2010 has a lifetime invitation.

He will be looking to dethrone fellow LIV golfer and reigning three-time champion and recent victor at Singapore, Brooks Koepka.

The rest of the Cleeks will get about a month’s time rest until LIV picks back up at Houston June 7-9.

While Bryson DeChambeau’s Crushers remain in first place thanks to back-to-back wins in Jeddah and Hong Kong and an opening 2nd place finish in Mayakoba, Ripper GC will clearly be the team to beat.