Andalucia Preview: Good vibes for Torque at Valderrama in hunt for first team title of 2024

Written by
Mark Lamport-Stokes, LIV Golf Correspondent
Jul 10 2024
- 4 MIN
Torque Andalucia preview STORY image

SOTOGRANDE, Spain – The stars seem to be aligned very nicely for Torque GC as the Spanish-speaking combination prepares for this week's LIV Golf Andalucía at Real Club Valderrama.

Although Torque have yet to taste team victory this season, they have been far and away the most consistent lineup in the league and have posted seven top-four finishes in nine starts to sit third in the standings.

Add to that the fact that they won last year's team title at Real Club Valderrama and it is easy to see why they have such high hopes ahead of Friday's opening round. Last year, Torque won a league-high four times while this season captain Joaquin Niemann has been an inspirational leader with two individual victories in his nine outings.

"I feel like we're trending," said Colombian Sebastián Muñoz, who produced his best finish of 2024 in his most recent start with a T7 at LIV Golf Nashville. "Definitely this year has been a little bit different. Joaquín started with a banger, and we were trying to keep up at the beginning of the year.

"Slowly but surely we're finding our form. We're getting closer for that first team win of the year, which is something that we definitely have in our objectives of this year. We have a talented team, and it's just getting the pieces together. We have had a lot of good finishes, and it's just waiting for that week when we can all kind of put it together and start rolling."

With Niemann yet again leading the way, Torque ended up third in the team standings at LIV Golf Nashville with a 34-under aggregate - just one shot behind Crushers GC and four strokes behind the triumphant Legion XIII. It was their third podium spot of the season, and extended a remarkably consistent run which has yielded finishes of 3rd, 6th, 4th, 2nd, T-4, 4th, T-6, T-4 and 3rd.

Niemann was the hottest player in the final round in Nashville, firing a 9-under 62 to rocket into a tie for third, while Muñoz closed with a bogey-free 65 at The Grove to clinch seventh place.

"We are feeling pretty good as a team," said Niemann, after securing his fourth top-3 finish of 2024. "Last year, we had four wins, and the team played amazing. I didn't play my best but we still managed to get four wins. But now we are moving close. I feel like we are doing everything pretty good. It's just a matter of time and a little luck."

Torque GC will certainly be experiencing good vibes this week as they return to Real Club Valderrama, where they won their third team title during the 2023 season. Niemann and Muñoz both signed off with 3-under 69s as Torque produced a final-round counting score of 7-under to finish at 16 under, a comfortable five strokes ahead of RangeGoats GC.

"That was an amazing feeling," Niemann said of his team's success at the 2023 LIV Golf Andalucía. "Being in Spain made it even more special. It makes it a lot easier when we do everything together like we are a team. You can see in the results ... we're playing great golf and having a good time, as well."

Niemann, who has been LIV Golf's standout player this season, is certainly one of the players to watch closely this week. He leads the league in both points and prize money earned this year while he ranks second in driving distance and total birdies, and third for greens in regulation.

"Everything is going better for me this year," said the Chilean professional. "I am more determined in my game and also my driver has been pretty good this year - it's the best I have seen it right now.

"Also, my putting has improved a lot too and I feel like that was something I was struggling a little bit with before. I am now getting to see the ball going into the hole more often and that is helping me to see some results."

With Niemann playing so well this year, Carlos Ortiz winning his first individual title in Houston and Torque ranking second in both greens in regulation and birdies per round, expect another hugely successful week for the Spanish-speaking combination at LIV Golf Andalucía.