Written by
Mark Lamport-Stokes, LIV Golf Correspondent
Feb 27 2024
- 5 MIN
Torque GC set for Jeddah

KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY, Saudi Arabia – Torque GC has a lot of bounce and swagger in its step and enjoys good momentum on multiple fronts heading into this week's LIV Golf Jeddah at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club.

The Spanish-speaking combination has made a strong start to the 2024 LIV Golf League with a third-place finish at the season opener in Mexico followed by a sixth-place showing in Las Vegas. Add to that the fact that they have very good memories at Royal Greens, having finished fourth here last year.

Individually, Torque GC has fared even better in 2024. Captain Joaquin Niemann won the team's first ever individual LIV Golf title when he beat Sergio Garcia on the fourth playoff hole at LIV Golf Mayakoba after starting the tournament by firing a spectacular 12-under 59. Then last week, he finished third at International Series Oman where he closed with a 67.

Niemann's new teammate this season, Carlos Ortiz, will also be bringing red-hot form to LIV Golf Jeddah. The Mexican, who was signed by Torque as a free agent before the start of this season, produced sensational golf to win the International Series Oman by four shots on Sunday. He closed with a 7-under 65 that included a stunning stretch of seven birdies in nine holes, starting from the sixth.

"I hope this is the start of a great year," said the 32-year-old, who had been a member of Garcia's Fireballs team since joining LIV Golf for the second event of the beta-test 2022 season. "It means so much to win an International Series event. I would like to play in majors this year and win on the LIV Golf League."

Niemann, who ended up five strokes behind Ortiz in the Asian Tour's second event of the season, was happy enough with his own form and excited about what now lies ahead.

"I gave myself a lot of chances on the back nine, but I didn't make birdies," said the 25-year-old Chilean professional who won consecutive tournaments co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour in Australia last December. "I fought hard, and it was a lot of fun. This is good preparation for the next two weeks on LIV."

Mito Pereira, also on Torque GC, tied for fourth place in Oman after signing off with a 66 so he will also be bringing good form to Jeddah.

Royal Greens Golf & Country Club has hosted professional events multiple times since opening in 2017, including the PIF Saudi International, the flagship event on the Asian Tour.

Keys to success here, especially when the wind blows, include avoiding the desert sand as much as possible and hitting accurate iron shots from the fairway. As a team, Torque performed creditably in all these areas last year.

Pereira ended his week at Royal Greens in seventh place at 11-under after firing scores of 68, 65 and 66. Niemann wound up 10th, David Puig finished 26th and Sebastian Muñoz ended up 40th.

By the time the 2023 LIV Golf League was over, Torque had won a League-high four regular-season tournaments and they are looking to improve on that this year.

"We had a great season last year, and I feel that the fun was what motivated that," said Muñoz. "We had fun going into these events and competing with each other and we kind of pushed each other to new heights. We couldn't get the total job done (winning the team title), but this year we're here for finishing that. That's our main goal, is to be the best team out here."

Pereira was in full agreement: "Yeah, I don't see why we can't have a better season this year. Four solid players, and we know we can do it. We just try to be our best version all year."

Just as they did in Mayakoba and in Las Vegas, Torque will aim to be their best version this week in Jeddah - and they have strong momentum on their side to help make that happen.