Written by
Mark Lamport-Stokes, LIV Golf Correspondent
Apr 29 2024
- 3 MIN
Cleeks Adelaide recap Kaymer image

ADELAIDE, South Australia – Heading into this week's LIV Golf Adelaide at The Grange Golf Club, Cleeks GC had been hoping that all four players would click in the final round when all four scores count.

That hope came to fruition on Sunday as the all-European combination posted one of the lowest aggregate scores of the day, lifting the team into a tie for seventh place at 40-under.

Captain Martin Kaymer led the way with a sparkling 8-under 64, new signee Adrian Meronk weighed in with a 66 while the ultra-consistent Richard Bland and Finland's Kalle Samooja both carded 69s. The Cleeks' 20-under total on the day was bettered by only two other teams - Stinger GC, with 24-under, and Fireballs GC, at 22-under.

The Achilles heel for the Cleeks was their collective form over the first two days at The Grange.

After the opening round, they were tied for ninth out of 13 teams with counting scores coming from Englishman Bland (68), Samooja (69) and German Kaymer (71). By the end of a low-scoring day two, they had slipped to 10th place after Bland, Kaymer and Poland’s Meronk had all carded 68s.

"It's just a question of coming together for all three rounds," the 51-year-old Bland said at the start of the week. "We seem to get about two and a half of it and we've just got to finish the job off basically.

"That's kind of the story for us - if we have a day where we're maybe not at the races, it seems like all of us are not there whereas you always need two guys to be playing well at a minimum, and certainly on the Sunday you need three to play well and one to be okay. At the end of the day, everybody on our team is out there giving it 100 percent. I think there's good stuff coming round for us."

A lot of good stuff certainly came the Cleeks' way on Sunday.

Kaymer made an explosive start with a birdie on his opening hole, the par-4 eighth, followed by consecutive eagles at the par-5 ninth and 10th. Though he bogeyed the par-4 11th, he picked up further shots at the 13th and 14th to get to 11-under overall - just four strokes off the individual lead.

Another birdie followed at the par-4 15th before he stumbled with a bogey at the par-4 18th. However, Kaymer picked up another shot at the par-4 first on his way to a 64 and a tie for 14th place at 12-under. He ended the round ranked joint first in putting with Ripper GC's Marc Leishman, with 1.33 putts per hole. 

Bland, usually very reliable, experienced an up-and-down day. He bogeyed his opening hole, the par-4 fifth, then birdied the par-5 seventh and the par-5 10th. Another bogey followed at the 13th before he birdied the 14th and 15th. Bland then mixed two more bogeys and three additional birdies on the way to a 69 and a share of 22nd at 11-under.

Meronk was, in the main, spectacular. He bogeyed his first hole, the par-4 11th, but then rebounded with birdies at the 12th, 16th and 18th to get to 2-under for the round. Though he dropped another shot at the third, he rebounded with birdies at the fourth, fifth and seventh before holing out for eagle with his wedge approach at the par-4 eighth en route to a 66 and joint 27th spot at 10-under.

Samooja, meanwhile, closed with a 69 that included an eagle at the par-5 seventh, a triple at the 17th, six birdies and two bogeys. He wound up in a tie for 40th at 6-under.

As the Cleeks now prepare for the May 3-5 LIV Golf Singapore at Sentosa Golf Club, they will look to replicate their final-round form in Adelaide for all three days.