Written by
Joy Chakravarty
Oct 19 2023
henrik team pick

MIAMI – It’s the moment of reckoning for the Majesticks GC. Throughout the season, they have produced solid rounds, but somehow, haven’t managed enough low rounds together to make an impression on the team standings as they head to LIV Golf Team Championship in Miami.

It could all change this week as LIV Golf goes full match play. The three Co-Captains – Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood – are Ryder Cup stalwarts and the first two have also won the WGC-Match Play Championship titles.

Westwood signaled a return to form with a brilliant bogey-free seven-under 63 round on Sunday in Jeddah. Stenson has had a solid regular season, finishing 25th in the individual standings with four top-10 finishes. And Poulter is always a huge threat in match plays. Sam Horsfield has just returned to competitive golf after a long injury layoff with two tournaments under his belt since his return.

Having finished 11th in the team standings, Majesticks were picked by Fireballs for the Friday quarter-finals – a very gutsy decision by Captain Sergio Garcia given the pedigree of their opponents.

Stenson will face Garcia in the singles and it should be a fascinating battle between two players who are both former Players Championship winners in Miami. Horsfield takes on Eugenio Chacarra-Lopez. The foursomes will feature Poulter and Westwood against the all-Mexican pairing of Abraham Ancer and Carlos Ortiz.

Poulter explained the rationale behind their choice of pairing, saying: “The way it’s worked out is that Henrik’s played the best golf. When you look at what our potential matchup was going to be, who potentially was going to pick us, you probably want your lead guy, the guy that’s played the best this season, to go out there and obviously take down the Captain. So, Henrik going out in singles was a really simple one.

“Sam played foursomes last year. The fact that he’s come back off injury, the fact that he feels very happy with his game, it’s probably best not to just throw him into a foursome situation.

“Lee and I have played a ton of foursomes golf, our games are similar, we use exactly the same golf ball. It may sound silly, but actually it’s a big thing. Sam uses a different ball to what we use. So, the team has picked itself. It was a simple, simple pick.”

Westwood alluded to the format of the Team Championship and the fact that they still have a good chance of turning the whole season with a good week.

“None of us have really been erratic enough through the season. We have been almost too consistent. But shooting level par or a couple under in this format is no good. You got to shoot rounds like I did in Jeddah. A couple of our guys need to do that consistently. You need at least one of your players each day to be on fire, and we did not do that enough,” said the former world No. 1.

“But the beauty of the format this week is that we all have a chance. Hopefully, we will all play well this week. It would be a nice way to finish the season.”

If the Majesticks make it to Saturday’s semi-finals, one of the four top teams – 4Aces, Crushers, Torque and RangeGoatS – will pick them up for the match.