MAJESTICKS INTENT ON RISING LIKE A PHOENIX IN MAYAKOBA
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico – Safe to say the Majesticks are not pleased with what happened in 2023, and they are determined to turn around their fortunes in 2024, beginning with Mayakoba this week.
The team, comprising three stalwarts of the sport as co-Captains – Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood – and young Englishman Sam Horsfield, have done a lot of soul-searching and dug deep into statistics to find out what led to their 11th place finish out of 12 teams last year.
None of the players finished inside the Lock Zone (top-24) and there was no podium finish either. In fact, there were only two top-10 finishes in individuals (by Stenson in Washington DC and Chicago).
When regular season ended in Jeddah, Westwood said: “It’s not that we played disastrous golf. We were solid, but in this format, you need at least two of your guys to go deep in every round. That was something that never happened to us as a team.”
Majesticks have been the most successful team outside the golf course with sponsorships and outreach activations, and they are so serious about improving their on-course performance that all four players and staff camped up in Poulter’s house in Florida for a week, going over all aspects of the game.
“Obviously, we want to make this franchise work. Not to say the other teams don’t. But we have been very invested in making sure that this business works. Has that sacrificed our performance? I don’t really know, but I am not happy. I don’t think anyone would be happy finishing 11th. It’s also a personal disappointment that I feel I’ve let the team down,” said Poulter during the week-long camp, that was filmed and is available on YouTube.
“We went through a lot of data to see where we are lacking and where we were good. One of the things that came out is that we are getting old and it is difficult for us to hit the ball 360 yards past some of these younger players,” said Stenson, the 2016 Open champion.
“So, we’ve got to try and be better in things that we can be good at and improve the ones that need the sharpening.”
The good news for Majesticks is that Horsfield, who missed a majority of the season after undergoing a hip surgery, is feeling fully fit, and so is Westwood, who was battling a few niggles towards the later half of the season.
Majesticks 2024 Team:
Ian Poulter (co-captain)
Henrik Stenson (co-captain)
Lee Westwood (co-captain)
Majesticks are one of three teams in the league this season that remains unchanged. The fact that all three co-Captains finished outside the top-24 and still retained their places invited criticism on social media, but Co-General Manager Oliver Banks had a valid explanation.
“All three are giants of the sport. The way I see it, every Tour in the world gives exemptions to players who are major champions, Order of Merit winners, or Ryder Cup players. This is a similar situation with LIV Golf,” Banks said.
Given his injury, Horsfield deserved another chance, and he has impressed his Captains with his commitment to go through the rehab, and his hard work on the range.
Majesticks at Mayakoba
El Camaleón Golf Course in Mayakoba kind of set the tone for Majesticks as they finished 11th in the season-opener with a score of 1-under. They then went on to finish 11th in the regular season and 11th again in the Team Championship in Miami.
Poulter solidly started the season, shooting a 3-under on the opening day to climb to tied-6th place. But he could only manage rounds of even par and 1-under over the weekend and ended up tied 11th at 4-under.
Stenson had a solid 2-under final round to climb to tied 23rd place on a difficult Sunday, but was edged out of points based on a countback. Even though he was first in the field in fairways hit, his putter refused to cooperate, and he needed 88 putts to complete the three rounds.
Westwood was tied 41st at 8-over, while Horsfield was tied 44th at 11-over, which included an 8-over on Sunday.
Majesticks in 2023
Majesticks’ best finish as a team was a couple of fifth places in DC and London. They are still searching for their first win in LIV Golf.
Stenson, winner in Bedminster in his first LIV start in 2022, was the best-placed Majesticks player in the individual standings, finishing 25th thanks to his two top-six finishes in DC and Chicago. The Swede aggregated 55 points. Poulter, whose best finish was an 11th place in London, was 33rd in the standing with 22 points, while Westwood was 45th with seven points. In his five starts, Horsfield managed to earn 16 points and was in the 40th place.
The lowest round of the season for Majesticks was courtesy Westwood, a sparkling 7-under 63 in the final round of his regular season in Jeddah. Poulter saved his best for home, shooting a 6-under in the final round of London. Stenson had four rounds of 5-under and nine of 4-under during the season. Horsfield’s best in 15 rounds was a 5-under on Saturday of Orlando.
Stenson had the highest number of counting rounds towards the team total – 33.