Written by
Joy Chakravarty, LIV Golf Correspondent
Feb 28 2024
- 5 MIN
Fireballs GC hot entering Jeddah

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia – Young Fireballs Golf Club member David Puig has revealed the secret of his red-hot form – three weeks of playing golf with world No. 3 and Legion XIII Captain Jon Rahm.

The 22-year-old Spaniard said he spent three weeks in Arizona during the off-season, and that included playing several rounds with the Masters champion at Silverleaf and Whisper Rock courses, where both Rahm and Puig are members.

“I hardly practiced during the break but played a lot of golf. I was in Spain and played a few rounds with my dad and friends, and then went to Arizona, where I played a few rounds with Jon, Nicolai (Hojgaard) and a few other guys. They were just fun rounds – 10 minutes in the range at the most,” said Puig, who recently won the IRS Prima Malaysian Open on the Asian Tour and secured his spot in the 152nd Open Championship at Royal Troon.

“It was while playing with Jon that I learned a very important lesson – greens in regulation is the most important stat in golf. Jon is probably the best player in the world right now and if you look at his game, he does make mistakes and make bogeys, but you will rarely see a big number on his card.

“And that’s because he will somehow hit the green in regulation. Last week in Oman, I played so well and made only three mistakes, but they ended up in two triple bogeys and a double. That was the reason I did not win. On a par 3, I am better off 30 feet toward the center of the green rather than attacking a tucked pin and then having to rely on my short game to make an up-and-down. It’s always better to make a solid par than make a triple.”

Puig’s best finish in LIV Golf last year, when he played for Torque GC, was a fourth in Greenbrier. However, he won the International Series Singapore last year for his first professional win and followed it up this year with another in Malaysia.

Having risen to No. 141 in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), Puig is now keen to be contending regularly on LIV Golf under the guidance of his childhood hero, Fireballs Captain Sergio Garcia.

“We do get a lot of LIV players on the Asian Tour, but the field is a lot deeper here. It’s not easy to win against such world-class players, but that is my goal this year,” said Puig.

“Also, we have three rounds in LIV Golf, which means you cannot have the luxury of even a single bad day in any tournament. One of the things that was very evident last year was that I wasn’t getting off to a good start. I was playing catch-up all season. My best start was a 7-under in Greenbrier, and I managed to finish in the top-5 there.

“My gameplan this year is to curb my aggressive instincts and try and find more greens in regulation, and at the same time, show a bit more aggression in the first round.”

Fireballs are the defending team champions in Jeddah and Captain Garcia was looking to replicate the same this year.

“It was a good week. I remember we all played solid that week. It was our second win for the year, so it was nice to finish the year strong,” said the 2017 Masters champion.

“We want to come back and kind of do a little bit more of the same. Hopefully, all four of us will play solid and give ourselves a solid chance at defending our title here.”

Garcia lost a playoff to Joaquin Niemann in Mayakoba. The team finished sixth that week in Mexico, followed by an eighth place in Las Vegas.

A new addition to the Fireballs this year, Puig was asked what he brought to the table for the team.

“I hope I’ll add better scores so we win by extra shots as a team. I’m trying to have the best preparation I can on the course and trying just to keep learning the course, and hopefully, I can put three good scores and just help the team the best way I can,” said the Arizona State University alum.