Written by
Joy Chakravarty, LIV Golf Correspondent
Jun 25 2024
- 4 MIN
Fireballs Nash Recap STORY image

COLLEGE GROVE, Tenn. – If there is one thing every team and individual on LIV Golf wants, it’s a fast start. With just 54 holes to make their mark, a good Friday becomes crucial.

Equally important, especially from the team perspective, is for all four teammates to play good golf on Sunday, as all scores count towards the team total starting this season.

Sergio Garcia’s Fireballs managed to achieve the first part of the plan at LIV Golf Nashville, but they failed to take that momentum into the weekend and finished eighth in the team championship.

On Friday, the Fireballs were untouchable. Abraham Ancer led the way with a brilliant 7-under 64, which gave him the solo lead on top of the individual leaderboard, and with Eugenio Chacarra and Garcia contributing 4-under and 3-under respectively, the all-Spanish speaking team opened up a big four-shot lead over Crushers GC in the team competition with a 14-under par tally.

Mexico’s Ancer, winner of this year’s LIV Golf Hong Kong and one of the most consistent players of the League, started with a birdie on the 18th hole and added six more in a bogey-free outing.

“Extremely happy the way I fought today,” said Ancer after his round on Friday. “Even the last hole, I put myself in a tough spot and then made a longish putt for par, which was really nice. You don’t want to finish on a bogey.”

However, nothing went right for Ancer and the team in Saturday’s second round. Only Chacarra broke par with a 70. Garcia was 71, while Ancer struggled with his usually trusted putter and wound up making a 4-over 75. The flamboyant David Puig wasn’t much help either as he finished with a 73.

Ancer rediscovered his touch with a 3-under 68 on Sunday, albeit a late double bogey on the 2nd hole ruining what could have been a far better card. Garcia matched Ancer’s 68, while Chacarra matched Ancer’s double bogey on the 2nd hole for a 70. Puig had a horrible stretch of three holes, from his 14th to 16th, making a double, a triple and a bogey to shoot a 75.

Eighth place was disappointing for the Fireballs, who came into the tournament with back-to-back runners-up finishes in Singapore and Houston. They continued to remain in eighth place in the season-long Team Standings.

Ancer, Garcia and Chacarra were all tied 18th at 6-under par total. While the two veterans are well placed in the points table and No.10 and No.7, Chacarra was 41st with 12.17 points and needs a good finish in the next four tournaments if he has to charge into the Lock Zone of top-24.

Field ranking in parentheses

Fairways Hit
Ancer – 32 (T11)
Garcia – 31 (T15)
Chacarra – 28 (T29)
Puig – 19 (T52)

Driving Distance Avg.
Ancer – 306.8 (41)
Garcia – 322.7 (13)
Chacarra – 333.2 (6)
Puig – 328.5 (11)

Greens in Regulation
Ancer – 38 (T16)
Garcia – 36 (T28)
Chacarra – 32 (T48)
Puig – 32 (T48)

Total Putts
Ancer – 83 (T16)
Garcia – 84 (T21)
Chacarra – 80 (T4)
Puig – 83 (T16)

Total Birdies
Ancer – 14 (T16)
Garcia – 11 (T33)
Chacarra – 16 (T10)
Puig – 7 (T52)