Written by
Mark Lamport-Stokes, LIV Golf Correspondent
May 06 2024
- 3 MIN
Kalle Samooja Cleek Singapore Team Site image

SINGAPORE – Riding the momentum of a strong finish to last week's LIV Golf Adelaide, Cleek GC fired on all four cylinders at Sentosa Golf Club before finishing in a tie for second place at LIV Golf Singapore on Sunday.

With LIV Golf Promotions winner Kalle Samooja leading the way in the final round as he closed with a sparkling 7-under 64, the all-European Cleeks posted their best-ever result in LIV Golf. It was their third career podium spot, following third-place finishes in Bangkok in 2022 and in Jeddah last year.

2023 DP World Tour Player of the Year Adrian Meronk was the best-placed Cleeks player, tying for 10th at 9-under after closing with a 71. Samooja wound up joint 14th at 8-under, captain Martin Kaymer shared 19th place at 7-under after signing off with a 71 and Richard Bland ended up in a tie for 22nd at 6-under after returning a 69.

"It's nice to know that we have a team now that we all play good golf, and we know that if we can play well, we actually have a chance to be on the podium," said Cleeks captain Kaymer, who had led by example in the opening round with a sizzling 66 that helped his team end day one in a share of third place. "Maybe, even the chance to win one of these events.

"It's nice to have Adrian on the team now, Kalle played a really good round today and Richard is always playing very solid – he doesn't make many mistakes. I feel like I am the one who needs to perform a little bit better in order to push through. I lacked a little bit today. It was not enough. But overall, being on the podium and finishing second for the first time, it gives us a little bit of a boost going back to the U.S. (for the June 7-9 LIV Golf Houston)."

Polish professional Meronk and Finland's Samooja were both new additions to the Cleeks before the start of this season and they have certainly given the all-European combination much more consistency, even though Samooja has taken longer than Meronk to adjust to the LIV Golf League.

Kaymer likes the trajectory followed by his team in recent weeks, with day three in Adelaide proof positive as they posted one of the lowest aggregate scores in the final round - a 20-under total that was bettered by only two other teams.

"Adrian and Kalle, they can go really low," said Kaymer. "Richard and me, when we have a good day, we can go low. So, the potential is all there. It’s just putting the good stuff together on the golf course.

"And today was one of those days where there was a lot more possible, I would say. It's nice to know that we can perform even better. If we just play to our strengths, then we will have a chance at one stage. We have such a good atmosphere and the team is fun to be around."

Prior to Singapore, the Cleeks had played very good golf for two days out of three in their three previous starts - in Hong Kong, Miami and Adelaide. It was always one round that cost them dearly.  

"We always seem to have one day where we're maybe not at the races," the 51-year-old Bland said as the team prepared for Singapore. "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."

Bland was certainly proved right in Singapore, and an important added ingredient was the improvement in form by Samooja.

"That performance today, it was very important for him," Kaymer said of Samooja's closing 64 on Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong course where the Finn secured his first points result (top 24) of the season. "He was struggling during the practice rounds and the last two days. He must have found something yesterday on the course.

"I think it's important for him in terms of confidence. He hasn't had a good start to the season and we all know it's different coming out here on LIV Golf. You take a few events to get used to everything. I think a round like this will help him a lot going into the next tournament."