Free agents Carlos Ortiz and David Puig are switching Spanish-speaking teams for the 2024 LIV Golf League season, with Ortiz signing to play with Torque GC while Puig joins Fireballs GC.
Although the moves were announced Tuesday afternoon at the same time, it is not a trade since both players were free agents and able to sign with new teams.
Ortiz had been a member of Sergio Garcia’s Fireballs team ever since joining LIV Golf for the second event of the beta-test 2022 season. This year, he was the Fireballs’ top performer, ranking 15th in the season-long Individual points race.
Since Ortiz finished the season inside the top 24 Lock Zone, he was guaranteed a contract extension by the Fireballs. But the 32-year-old from Mexico rejected the offer in order to become a free agent, with Torque Captain Joaquin Niemann inking him to a new contract.
The consistent Ortiz joins a team that includes Sebastián Muñoz of Colombia and Mito Pereira of Chile. Last year, Torque won a league-high four regular-season tournaments but finished a disappointing third at the season-ending Team Championship.
Puig, who turns 22 on Thursday, was the youngest player on any LIV Golf team roster in 2023. His results improved in the second half of the season, with three top-12 points finishes in the last seven regular-season events, and he began making more appearances near the top of the leaderboard.
“Excited about this news,” Garcia posted on his X account. “David brings all the charisma and power to his golf.”
The big-hitting Spaniard, who ranked fifth in driving distance in 2023, broke through with his first professional win in October at the Asian Tour’s International Series Singapore. It was a dominant performance, as he went wire-to-wire and held a nine-shot lead through three rounds before cruising to a five-stroke victory.
Puig ended the season ranked 31st in LIV Golf’s individual standings, leaving him in the Open Zone as a free agent.
By adding Puig to the lineup, the Fireballs now have LIV Golf’s two youngest players along with 23-year-old Eugenio Chacarra. With Garcia as the captain, the Fireballs’ lineup consists of three players from Spain along with Mexico’s Abraham Ancer.
Image: LIV Golf