NEW-LOOK RANGEGOATS GC PUMPED FOR MAYAKOBA
Team: RangeGoats Golf Club
Members: Captain Bubba Watson, Thomas Pieters, Peter Uihlein, Matthew Wolff
2023 Team Finish: 2nd
2023 Individual Standings: Uihlein (12th), Wolff (27th), Pieters (33rd), Watson (36th)
LIV Golf Mayakoba Preview: Don’t mess with a good thing. That’s exactly what Captain Bubba Watson expected to hear after some high-profile roster moves following a super successful 2023 season. But there was a method behind the offseason movement, and it could pay off as early as this week at the season-opening LIV Golf Mayakoba.
Let’s reset before looking ahead. RangeGoats GC made a huge run at the Team Championship in Miami and was firmly in the mix for the trophy before finishing second. Talor Gooch had the best season of any player, won three times and claimed the season-long individual title. Teammate Harold Varner III won LIV Golf D.C. and hit his stride.
No one would have blamed Watson for standing pat during the offseason and not engaging in any potential trade discussions. But the savvy captain is a proven and successful businessman, and he knows the importance of evolving. In short, Watson traded Gooch to Smash Golf Club for Matthew Wolff and worked another move to send Varner III to 4Aces Golf Club for Peter Uihlein. It led outsiders to question the changes, but by digging deeper, Watson’s reasoning for the changes was astute, as he explained here.
The payoff could be massively rewarding. Wolff, 24, will now have a close friend on his team in Uihlein, and Watson is perfectly placed to be a shoulder to lean on when needed. Wolff’s professional record at such a young age is to be envied. He has a second-place finish at a U.S. Open and a professional victory. He and Uihlein will also add some flash considering they are two of the longest hitters in professional golf.
Thomas Pieters returns to RangeGoats GC off an up-and-down 2023, but he flashed nicely at different times later in the season. He had a top-10 finish at LIV Golf London, and shortly after had a 13th-place finish at LIV Golf Chicago. Pieters seemingly counts a score when his team is in need, and tough golf courses do not discourage him.
As for Watson, he said he wants to perform better in 2024. His showing at the Team Championship in Miami might be a sign of things to come. He shot a bogey-free 67 during the final round at Doral and helped boost RangeGoats GC to second place.
Putting it all together as the season gets going this week at Mayakoba wouldn’t be much of a surprise considering the talent on the team. And the venue should feel comfortable. Uihlein finished second here last year and Wolff tied for seventh. With more of the same, Watson’s offseason moves will prove to be masterful for the Masters champion.