MUNOZ, ORTIZ IMPRESS IN TRICKY VEGAS CONDITIONS; TORQUE PLACE SIXTH
LAS VEGAS – While Torque GC failed to match its electrifying start to the 2024 LIV Golf League, the Spanish-speaking combination was able to celebrate a solid sixth-place finish in the team standings at the conclusion of LIV Golf Las Vegas on Saturday.
With Colombian Sebastián Muñoz carding an impressive 2-under 68 and recent signing Carlos Ortiz returning a 69 on a difficult day for scoring at a windy and chilly Las Vegas Country Club, Torque collectively posted a 16-under total for the week.
Muñoz bogeyed the par-4 seventh, his second hole of the day, but he bounced back with birdies at the 14th and the 17th to get to 6-under. He also birdied the par-4 fourth to finish in a tie for ninth at 7-under.
Mexican Ortiz bogeyed his first hole of the round before offsetting a birdie at the par-4 fourth with another bogey at the par-4 sixth. He then gathered some momentum with birdies at the 11th and 13th to wind up in a share of 39th spot at even par.
Captain Joaquin Niemann, who won the team's first ever individual LIV Golf title after a four-hole playoff with Sergio Garcia at last week's LIV Golf Mayakoba in Mexico, continued his red-hot form with opening rounds of 68 and 66 in Las Vegas. Although he lost momentum on Saturday, mixing three birdies with four bogeys and a triple-bogey at the 13th for a 4-over 74, he ended up in a share of 30th place at 2-under.
Mito Pereira did well to respond from a 6-over 76 in the opening round with scores of 64 and 72 at Las Vegas Country Club. On Saturday, he made a stumbling start with three bogeys in his first seven holes before eagling the par-5 first. Although he bogeyed the fourth and sixth to slip back to 3-over, he picked up one more shot at the eighth to finish 49th at 2-over.
Torque won a League-high four regular-season tournaments last year and they have already made a solid start to 2024 by finishing third at LIV Golf Mayakoba and then placing sixth in Las Vegas.
Niemann, Muñoz and Pereira all produced good form in 2023 and in Ortiz, who was signed as a free agent before the start of this season, they have inherited a very consistent performer. Ortiz had been a member of Garcia's Fireballs team ever since joining LIV Golf for the second event of the beta-test 2022 season and last year he was their top performer, ranking 15th in the season-long Individual points race.
With Niemann having already started the 2024 LIV Golf League in sensational form and Muñoz, Pereira and Ortiz all going low at some point in the first two events, Torque GC have every reason to look forward to the rest of this year with lofty expectations.