Written by
Written by Mark Lamport-Stokes, LIV Golf Correspondent
Jun 06 2024
- 4 MIN
Torque Houston Walk

HUMBLE, Texas - Although Torque GC has been the most consistent team in LIV Golf this year, the Spanish-speaking combination has hit the reset button as the second half of the season begins this week at LIV Golf Houston.

While Torque captain Joaquin Niemann has already won twice in 2024 and been LIV Golf's standout player, his team has yet to taste collective success despite a string of close calls.

Torque GC has finished 3rd, 6th, 4th, 2nd, T-4, 4thand T-6 in their seven LIV Golf starts, and currently occupy the fourth spot in the season-long standings.

"I feel like we're trending," Sebastián Muñoz said while he and his teammates prepared for Friday's opening round at the Golf Club of Houston. "Definitely this year has been a little bit different. Joaquín started with a banger, and we were trying to keep up with him at the beginning of the year.

"I felt like 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 for this year."

This time last year, Torque GC had already won twice in the first seven events and they went on to amass a league-high four titles by the end of the season.

"I do feel like we have a talented team, and it's just setting the pieces together," said Colombian Muñoz, who held a one-shot lead after the opening round of LIV Golf Singapore before ending that week in a tie for 19th. "We haven't had the wins, but we have had a lot of good finishes. It's just waiting for that week when we can all kind of put it together and start rolling."

Mito Pereira agreed with his team mate's assessment: "This year has been good but not great. I think we have more ... we showed it last year, and we're really aiming for that first spot more than the top six. We're building. Every week we're trying to give our best, trying to be the best version that we can be."

Niemann has unquestionably been the hottest player in LIV Golf this season. He clinched the season-opening LIV Golf Mayakoba in a playoff after firing a spectacular 12-under 59 in the first round, shared 30th place in Las Vegas, won in Jeddah by four strokes, tied for fourth in Hong Kong, wound up joint ninth in Miami, ended up in a five-way tie for third in Adelaide and placed seventh in Singapore.

Now, he feels, is the time for him to reset as he looks to build momentum for the final seven events of the season.

"The season in golf is pretty long," said Chilean professional Niemann. "LIV is a little shorter, but it's still pretty intense, especially now that we've got the second half of the season and a lot of tournaments in a row.

"It's been a big message for me, knowing that it's already half of the season and you are kind of feeling tired a little bit, but then you've got to keep pushing yourself, keep doing what you started doing and keep that motivation up. I feel like we are just starting. We're going to have like a fresh start for this second half of the season."

Something else in Torque's favor this week is the appeal of a "home game" with both Muñoz and Ortiz being Texas residents.

"It's not a lot of times you can drive to events, and we're kind of used to the heat," said Muñoz, who played college golf at the University of North Texas. "We're kind of used to the people, the food. It's very comfortable for me, and for Carlos as well. Carlos has been in Texas since probably '09 and I've been here since '11. Been some years."

Ortiz, who won his first PGA Tour title at the 2020 Vivint Houston Open and resides in Dallas, added: "We really like Texas, and I actually really like Houston. My first PGA TOUR victory, I won it here. Playing here, it feels at home for us. And I'm really happy that we have LIV Golf tournaments in Texas now. We have two now."

Apart from this week's LIV Golf Houston, Texas will also host the season-ending Team Championship which will be played at Maridoe Golf Club outside Dallas from September 20-22.