Written by
Joy Chakravarty, LIV Golf Correspondent
Apr 05 2024
- 4 MIN
Fireballs Ancer Miami Preview image

MIAMI – Despite the individual win for Abraham Ancer at LIV Golf Hong Kong, it turned out to be a bittersweet week for Fireballs GC as they let go of a great chance to secure their first team title of the season.

However, with the form of all members trending in the right direction, the Sergio Garcia-led team will be looking for a rare double this week in Miami.

With Ancer shooting a 63 and 62 in the first two rounds, Fireballs combined for 12 under and 16 under for the first two days. Heading into the final round, they were three shots ahead of nearest challengers Ripper GC and seven ahead of eventual champions Crushers GC.

On Sunday, with all four scores counting, only David Puig was in red numbers (-2) as the team tallied 1-over par and slipped to sixth place.

But here is the good news for the all-Spanish speaking Fireballs – each of their players has shown how deep they are capable of going. Garcia was runner-up in the opening tournament of the season and Ancer won his first LIV Golf title in Hong Kong. And Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra got into the act with superb rounds of 64 and 66 to challenge Ancer, even though he did have a stumble on the final day and finished tied 15th, his best outing of the season.

Garcia and Fireballs are now waiting patiently for Puig to explode in LIV Golf just as he has done in almost every other tournament he has played outside the League.

The 22-year-old has already won the Malaysian Open on the Asian Tour this year and was second after a playoff loss in the International Series Macau Open. However, his best result in LIV Golf is a tied 15th in Las Vegas.

“It’s a bit frustrating that I have played so well in other tournaments but haven’t really made my mark yet on LIV Golf,” said Puig.

“I definitely think that all I need is a good opening round and I will be okay after that. I have not played well at all on Fridays. Given that we play just 54 holes on LIV, it becomes a huge task to catch up if you do not start well.”

The Blue Monster is a strong, ball striker’s course, which would always make Captain Garcia a serious challenger. A win will help Garcia in getting over the heartbreak of his seven-hole playoiff loss to Joaquin Niemann in Mayakoba, and also place him in good stead ahead of his Masters appearance next week.

Ancer’s fairway-finding ability should give him a distinct advantage on a course that seems to have more water than dry land in play. The Mexican, who moved to 5th in the Individual Standings, is tied first in fairway percentage (64.88%) and T10 in GIR (71.76%).