Written by
Mark Lamport-Stokes, LIV Golf Correspondent
Apr 24 2024
- 4 MIN
Torque Ortiz Adelaide preview image

ADELAIDE, South Australia – Torque GC heads into this week's LIV Golf Adelaide knowing that an inspirational captain in Joaquin Niemann and consistent team play have given the Spanish-speaking combination much to be proud of this season.

The only thing missing from a long list of accomplishments during the 2024 LIV Golf League is a team title but that could well change over the coming days at a venue which seems to suit all four Torque players.

"This course sets up great for us," Mexican professional Carlos Ortiz said shortly before teeing off in Wednesday's pro-am tournament at The Grange Golf Club. "It's a great track, it's in great condition and obviously playing a round in front of so many people is awesome. I can't say it enough."

Last year's official spectator total of 77,076 at The Grange Golf Club made LIV Golf Adelaide the highest attended event of the 2023 season, and the tournament has become the league's gold standard for attendance and enthusiasm.

"The people here have been unbelievable, the hospitality is great and just playing around people that really appreciate golf is fantastic so, as a team, we are really excited for this week," added Ortiz, who celebrated his 33rd birthday on Wednesday.

Although Torque have yet to taste team victory this season, they have come very close in finishing third, sixth, fourth, second and tied for fourth in their five LIV Golf starts - the most consistent run of any team in the league.

Asked what they needed to do differently to secure a team win, Ortiz replied: "Just play better. Joaquin has been playing really good golf and we are all starting to get to that same place. I think it's just a matter of time before we get that win - and hopefully it will come in Australia this week. We all love this place, this golf course, and I couldn't think of a better place to win than here, in front of all the people."

Torque produced sensational form last year, clinching a league-best four team wins.

Niemann has been the hottest player in the LIV Golf League this season, winning twice in his first five starts. He clinched the season-opening LIV Golf Mayakoba on the fourth playoff hole after firing a spectacular 12-under 59 in the opening round, shared 30th place in Las Vegas, won in Jeddah by four strokes, tied for fourth in Hong Kong and then wound up joint ninth in Miami.

"Joaquin is great," Ortiz said of his team captain. "He pushes us hard, he's a great captain and that's what you need - a guy that works hard and pushes everybody to be even better. I'm just happy to be in his team and just watching him do what he is doing is actually pretty inspiring."

While Niemann has flourished for Torque this season, Mito Pereira is one of eight players in the league yet to earn a point and has yet to match his accuracy from last year when he led the league in greens in regulation.

Sebastián Muñoz, the only Torque player to finish inside the top 24 last year in Adelaide after sharing 21st spot, is currently 25th in the individual standings for this season. Ortiz is five places higher (in 20th place) and he is happy enough with his 2024 form after ending up just one stroke outside a three-way playoff for last month's LIV Golf Hong Kong.

"My play has been good and we are getting right there," said Ortiz, who won the 2020 Vivint Houston Open on the PGA Tour. "We are just warming up this season and only just getting started. I think good things are coming for me."