CHICAGO PREVIEW: WILL TORQUE MOVE TO NO. 1?
SUGAR GROVE, Ill. – Joaquin Niemann and his Torque GC have four team wins this season. But they still remain in second place in the season-long standings, nine points behind the LIV Golf League-leading 4Aces GC.
Perhaps this is the week Torque finally catches the Aces and move to No. 1.
Torque will start LIV Golf Chicago just nine points off the lead. That means if Torque can win this week at Rich Harvest Farms and the 4Aces finish no better than third, then Torque would ascend to the top spot with one week left in the regular season.
Or if Torque finishes second and the 4Aces finish no better than fourth, Torque would also move to No. 1.
Torque could also take the top spot with a fourth-place finish, provided the Aces finish ninth or worse.
The top four teams in the season-long standings after the regular-season finale in Jeddah will receive byes in the quarterfinal round at the next week’s Team Championship in Miami. Depending on how other teams perform, Torque could clinch a bye after Chicago.
But the top seed is important because it allows the No. 1 team to select its opponent in the semifinal match play round on the Saturday in Miami. Niemann would love to have that option.
Rich Harvest Farms should be a good course for the Torque players.
Last year, Niemann tied for fourth on the traditional leaderboard, and he comes off his best LIV result of the season, a seventh place in Bedminster.
Plus, the 7,401-yard layout should be conducive to his big-hitting squad, as Torque leads the league in driving distance.
Mito Pereira and Sebastian Munoz have been steady performers – each rank in the top 12 in the individual points standings – but the X factor is the team’s youngest players, David Puig.
The 21-year-old from Spain has been in great form in recent weeks. He was in the final group at LIV Golf Greenbrier, and he’s held leads after multiple rounds, including at recent International Series events in England and Scotland.
“This last five weeks worked pretty good to me,” Puig said. “Been learning every day how to get better and try to score better.I played five tournaments the last six weeks and I led four of them at some point. Couldn't get it done at the end. You know, these players are very good. But I think I’m playing good.”
He'll seek to continue that good play when LIV Golf Chicago starts Friday.