NEW-LOOK RANGEGOATS SHOW FLASHES IN MEXICO
Follow the leader. Or in the case this week, follow the captain.
Bubba Watson and his RangeGoats Golf Club entered the season-opening event at LIV Golf Mayakoba with a new-look roster and plenty of positive vibes. And as often happens, it takes time for new players to gel on any team.
RangeGoats GC finished in 12th place, but there were plenty of signs pointing to success in 2024. Watson said during the offseason that he wanted to focus on better on-course results from himself as he settled in as a team owner. Also, he said he finally felt healthy. That showed during the first two rounds when he shot a pair of 2-under 69s to lead his team. Although he shot 73 on Sunday, he had counting scores all three days, finished the week under par and had the best overall finish of any team member (21st).
Matthew Wolff’s migration to his new team was closely followed, and many are hoping the young star hits a new gear with his new team. If the early returns are to be trusted, it appears a change of scenery is already paying off. Wolff opened with rounds of 72 and 73, with both scores counting. But his best would come in the final round when he shot a 3-under 68. It was the lowest round of any RangeGoats GC member during the week and came on a day when conditions were tricky.
Wolff’s ability to lead the way at times will help take the pressure off teammates Peter Uihlein and Thomas Pieters. Mayakoba provided a brief peek into how the roles might shake out. Watson and Wolff led the way at different times, nicely complementing each other. Then Uihlein and Pieters added some valuable scores when needed.
Uihlein, one of the League’s more consistent players during stretches in 2023, will mostly look to put this week behind him and reset after rounds of 79 and 74 to open the week. Neither scores counted, but with a new rule in 2024 that states all four scores will count in final rounds, his even-par 71 on Sunday was big. Uihlein could have hung his head after the first two rounds, but he instead bounced back and posted his best score of the week, knowing it would count.
Pieters is expected to be a key contributor for RangeGoats GC as well. He won’t need to feel the pressure to lead the way, but contributing positive scores will help elevate his team on leaderboards and in the standings. He was steady in Mayakoba, with back-to-back rounds of 72 before slipping a bit with a 73 on Sunday.
Pieters is the kind of player that teams want. He might not go super low, but he won’t hurt the team with a big score, either. It’s especially important now when all final-round scores count.