Written by
Mark Lamport-Stokes, LIV Golf Correspondent
Jun 17 2024
- 4 MIN
Torque GC Nash preview STORY image

NASHVILLE, Tennessee - Thanks to captain Joaquin Niemann and Carlos Ortiz, Torque GC has already earned three pieces of silverware this season but the team has yet to taste collective success despite a string of close calls.

As the Spanish-speaking combination prepares for this week's LIV Golf Nashville at The Grove, they will be eyeing the very top of the podium after finishing 3rd, 6th, 4th, 2nd, T-4, 4th, T-6 and T-4 in their eight LIV Golf starts.

According to Niemann, who has already won twice in 2024 and been LIV Golf's standout player, the only thing separating his team from a title this year has been an appropriate dose of good fortune.

"The team is obviously feeling pretty good and we have been playing well," said the Chilean professional, who clinched the season-opening LIV Golf Mayakoba in a playoff before winning in Jeddah by four strokes just two tournaments later.

"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. And I really like this new Sunday format with the four scorecards because, for our team, it gives us a better chance."

The LIV Golf League introduced a new policy this season whereby all four scores count in the final round.

"We have been giving ourselves some chances on the Sunday, which is good," added Niemann. "So, it's just a matter of time and a little bit of luck."

Ortiz was Torque's standout player in their most recent start, winning LIV Golf Houston earlier this month by one shot after outdueling Cleeks GC's Adrian Meronk over the back nine. Mexican Ortiz closed with a 5-under 67 at the Golf Club of Houston, effectively sealing victory at the par-five 15th where he birdied and Meronk bogeyed.

"It was just a matter of playing solid coming down the stretch," said Dallas resident Ortiz, who won his first PGA Tour title at the 2020 Vivint Houston Open. "I just knew that I had to par in pretty much, and it was mine.

"I've been playing really good, and I feel like I've played good enough this year. I just hadn't put three rounds together ... I just know when I'm doing the things the right way that this was going to happen. It was a matter of time.  I've learned with time that if you press you don't get anything. You just have to let it happen."

Ortiz narrowly missed out on qualifying for last week's U.S. Open at Pinehurst and now has his sights firmly focused on the rest of the LIV Golf season, the July 18-21 Open Championship at Royal Troon and the August 1-4 Olympic men's golf competition in Paris.

"I've been playing great and it was a shame I doubled the last hole to miss out in the U.S. Open qualifier," said Ortiz. "That hurt a lot. But I think, with time, we're going to get back into the majors because I know that I'm one of the best players in the world right now, and I deserve to be there.

"The way things are happening right now, it's kind of hard, but I'll do my best to get into the British Open, and I also have the summer Olympics, too, other than the LIV tournaments coming up. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season."

For now, though, Ortiz and his team mates have a new LIV Golf venue to contend with as they prepare for Friday's opening round at the par-71 Grove. Torque GC currently occupies third spot in the season-long standings while Niemann heads the individual points standings and Ortiz ranks 11th.

"As a team, we just need to play a little better," Ortiz. "Joaquin has been playing really good golf this year and the rest of us are starting to get to that same place. It's just a matter of time before we get that team win - and hopefully it will come this week."