Torque became the first two-time team winner this season in capturing last weekend’s LIV Golf DC. The Spanish-speaking team are also the youngest team in the LIV Golf League with a current average age of 25.75 years old — including the League’s youngest regular member, 21-year-old Spaniard David Puig.
After the DC win, Torque were asked about the biggest advantage in being younger than every other team. Replied Puig: “We hit it farther. You can check the stats.”
Indeed, Torque do lead the League in team driving distance, averaging 310.6 yards per recorded drive. Individually, Mito Pereira ranks third (314.7), while Puig and Joaquin Niemann rank T5 (313.4). Sebastián Muñoz ranks 25th (302.7).
“I’m the shortest on the team, so I’m thankful to these guys,” Munoz said.
With the 14-tournament League season having reached its halfway point — seven regular-season events have been played, with six more left, then the season-ending Team Championship — here’s a look at the statistical leaders going into the second half (must have played a minimum of 18 rounds):
PLAYER (AVG YARDS)
TEAM (AVG YARDS)
- 1. Peter Uihlein, 326.0
- 1. Torque, 310.6
- 2. Dustin Johnson, 317.4
- 2. 4 Aces, 308.5
- 3. Mito Pereira, 314.7
- 3. Stinger, 305.5
While Torque lead in team average, 4 Aces have the top two longest hitters in Uihlein and Johnson. No surprise for either one, as they finished top five in driving distance during the inaugural 2022 Invitational season
Uihlein’s league-leading average is nearly 13 yards higher than his average last season
LIV Golf newcomer Dean Burmester has added significant muscle to the Stinger line-up, as he ranks T5 in average with Puig and Niemann. Meanwhile, fellow South African teammates Branden Grace and Charl Schwartzel have made big jumps in their averages from last season and rank inside the top 13
Last year, Crushers captain Bryson DeChambeau ranked No. 1 with a 327.1 average; he currently ranks 4th at 313.5
Smash captain Brooks Koepka ranked third last season at 317.3, and he’s now 24th at 305.3. Of course, the reduction in yardage hasn’t stopped him from returning to major-winning form this season
Last season, 23 players finished with 300+ averages — there are currently 30 players at or above that number. Just a reminder on how averages are calculated: At each tournament, two holes are designated as recording holes for tee shot length. Thus, the averages are taken from a total of 42 drives (assuming players have competed in all 21 rounds to date).
- 1. Henrik Stenson, 76.19%
- T1. Fireballs, 62.41%
- 2. Abraham Ancer, 72.79%
- T1. RangeGoats, 62.41%
- 3. Talor Gooch, 68.37%
- 3. Cleeks GC, 62.16%
Last season, Ancer and Stenson ranked 1-2, so they’re clearly head-and-shoulders above all others the League in terms of hitting fairways
Iron Heads are just outside the top-three teams at 61.90 per cent and have three players inside the top 15 — Kevin Na, Scott Vincent and Tucson winner Danny Lee
Johnson and Grace each ranked outside the top 40 last season. Now they’re inside the top 16, each raising their percentages by three points
Muñoz is the highest-ranked newcomer at No. 6 with 67.35 per cent
Although Stenson leads the League, his Majesticks teammates have struggled to hit fairways, with Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Sam Horsfield outside the top 30 (with reserve Laurie Canter 30th).
GREENS IN REGULATION
- 1. Mito Pereira, 75.93%
- 1. Torque, 71.63%
- T2. Sebastián Muñoz, 74.60%
- 2. RangeGoats, 70.90%
- T2. Charles Howell III, 74.60%
- 3. Crushers, 70.83%
In addition to being the longest-hitting team in the League, Torque also hit the most greens, thanks to the additions of Pereira and Muñoz. Meanwhile, Niemann — who led the League last year in GIR at 81.48% — has seen his percentage drop to 71.43%, which ranks 16th
The 4 Aces are a close fourth in teams percentage, having hit just one less green in regulation than Crushers
Brooks Koepka ranks T5 at 74.07 per cent, nearly six points higher than his average last season
Vincent has seen his percentage improve by four points, while Matthew Wolff and Richard Bland have seen theirs drop by more than five points
The bottom five teams in the points standings are also the bottom five teams in GIR — Ripper, Iron Heads, HyFlyers, Majesticks and Cleeks.
- 1. Charles Howell III, 73.96%
- 1. Crushers, 65.76%
- 2. Branden Grace, 69.52%
- 2. RangeGoats, 62.95%
- 3. Scott Vincent, 68.42%
- 3. Stinger, 61.83%
Howell doesn’t miss many greens – and when he does, he usually succeeds in getting up and down. Crushers teammates Anirban Lahiri and Paul Casey also scramble well, ranking inside the top 15
Back-to-back winner Talor Gooch has made big strides with his scrambling, increasing his percentage from last season by nearly 10 points and ranks seventh in the League at 67.31%
Other players who are performing better than in 2022 include Vincent (from 39th to fifth) and Poulter (from 37th to T9)
Cameron Smith ranked No. 1 in scrambling after joining LIV Golf in the middle of last season; he ranks 12th this season.
PLAYERS (AV TOTAL PUTTS/HOLES)
TEAMS (AVG, TOTAL PUTTS/HOLES)
- 1. Cameron Smith, 1.52 (576/378)
- 1. 4 Aces, 1.58 (2384/1512)
- 2. Kevin Na, 1.55 (586/378)
- 2. Ripper, 1.58 (2389/1512)
- 3. Cameron Tringale, 1.55 (587/378)
- 3. Iron Heads, 1.60 (2425/1512)
Generally recognised as golf’s best putter, it’s no surprise that the Ripper captain ranks No. 1 in fewest putts needed for the full 21 rounds this season, averaging 1.52 putts per hole. He also ranked first in LIV Golf last season
Ripper teammate Matt Jones ranked outside the top 25 last season but ranks T7 this year
4 Aces’ Pat Perez also has improved and ranks inside the top 10 after ranking 36th last year
With Perez, Uihlein (T5) and Patrick Reed (T10), the 4 Aces have three players inside the top 10 in putting
Cleeks teammates Richard Bland and Bernd Wiesberger ranked near the bottom in putting last season but are now top-20 putters
Perhaps the lengthy layoff while recovering from knee surgery impacted Bubba Watson’s putter the most, as he ranks last with 638 putts needed (1.69 average per hole). Watson’s RangeGoats rank among the bottom three teams with Majesticks and Smash.