Written by
Mark Lamport-Stokes, LIV Golf Correspondent
May 01 2024
- 4 MIN
Cleeks GC Singapore

SENTOSA ISLAND, Singapore – While much has gone right for Cleeks GC this season, the all-European combination has all too often struggled to deliver a final round when all four players have produced good form.

For the first time, that missing ingredient was added at LIV Golf Adelaide on Sunday and the Cleeks will now be looking to build on that very positive development at this week's LIV Golf Singapore, which starts on Friday.

At The Grange Golf Club last week, the Cleeks posted one of the lowest aggregate scores in the final round, lifting the team into a tie for seventh place at 40-under.

Captain Martin Kaymer led by example with a superb 8-under 64, 2023 DP World Tour Player of the Year Adrian Meronk fired a 66 while the ever-reliable Richard Bland and new signee 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 with 22-under.

In a strange twist from how most of this season has so far played out for the Cleeks, their weak point in Adelaide was their collective form over the first two days.

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

"It's just a question of everything coming together for all three rounds," said the 51-year-old Bland. "We always seem to have one day where we're maybe not at the races. 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."

Prior to Adelaide, the Cleeks had performed well over the first two days in both Hong Kong and Miami before losing steam.

At LIV Golf Hong Kong, the Cleeks contended strongly for team honors and held the lead for an extended time during the final round before slipping back into fifth spot.

"What happened there in Hong Kong, a couple of our guys had a bad hole at the same time and suddenly we went from two in front to two or three behind," said Bland. "One team makes a couple of birdies, another team makes a couple of bogeys and there you go - that's four shots. And that's the beauty of Sunday when it's all four (scores) to count - you get that volatility in the scoring."

It was a similar story at LIV Golf Miami where they were placed fourth after the second round. With the ultra-consistent Bland and Meronk playing good golf, a rare podium spot was firmly in their sights.

However, both Bland and Meronk failed to capitalize after making good starts to the final round and the Cleeks had slipped five spots in the pecking order by the time the final putt of the day dropped.

"We were doing quite well going into the last round in Miami and then we had not a great day," said Bland. "We were all one or two over par - and we suddenly went from fourth to ninth. That's how easy it is on Sunday to move up or move down. It's all about doing the right things at the right time. It's all got to come together."

The Cleeks will be looking for everything to come together this week at Sentosa Golf Club, though they will want to forget memories of this event one year ago.

Kaymer and company ended the 2023 LIV Golf Singapore in 12th place on the team leaderboard, the third time last season when they finished in the bottom spot after just five events.

However, captain Kaymer did deliver one high point when he produced the team's best score in Singapore with a sparkling 5-under 66 on day two in just his fifth round since returning from offseason wrist surgery. The Cleeks will be banking on multiple high points this week at Sentosa.