Torque GC LIV Golf
All four members of Torque GC are playing in Oman Image Credit: Supplied

The season-opening International Series Oman marks the first time that two full LIV Golf League teams tee it up alongside one another on one of the Asian Tour’s elevated events.

Torque GC’s South American stars Joaquin Niemann, Sebastian Munoz, Mito Pereira and Carlos Ortiz have all been confirmed in a star-studded field along with Stinger GC’s South African quartet of Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace and Dean Burmester on the testing Al Mouj Golf from 22-25 February.

International Series Oman is the first of 10 elevated events on the Asian Tour calendar which offer bigger purses, world-class destinations and an open pathway to the LIV Golf League for players from all over the world.

Like several events on The International Series schedule this season, it also offers something invaluable for the stars of the LIV Golf League - aside from the prize money.

The first date of the 2024 season takes place a week before the LIV Golf Jeddah event at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, offering the perfect opportunity for a team tune-up and world ranking points.

In-form Niemann, the team captain at Torque GC and winner of the season-opening LIV Golf Mayakoba event in Mexico, has a number of reasons for wanting to compete at Al Mouj Golf, where he finished T5 last season behind Japanese star Takumi Kanaya.

The Chilean, who shot a stunning 59 on his way to victory in Mexico, and also won the ISPS Handa Australian Open earlier in the season, said: "The International Series events are big for me right now. It will be a lot of help to play good there, get some points, and try to get into the Majors.

“The events are great. They run like first-class tournaments, and they are always at really nice venues and great golf courses. I can only say great things about those tournaments. I've played in two or three of them, and it's been unbelievable. Each one of them.

“It will be nice to have the whole team playing on The International Series. I think as a team, we're not only obviously competing together during the LIV Golf season, but we're going to try to play almost every tournament we can together.

“With all The International Series, we're going to try to fly together. It will be nice to be playing against each other at Oman for the first tournament, we’re looking forward to it. Hopefully, we get a nice Sunday where we’re going to all play together. It’ll be cool,” added the Chilean.

Mexican team-mate Ortiz added: “It's great, we've always been a team, we always like to play the same events and went to the same places together, so it just makes sense continuing the season there.”

Stinger GC LIV Golf
Oosthuizen' Stinger GC team will be hoping to bank some vital World Ranking points Image Credit: Supplied

Stinger GC skipper Oosthuizen explained the thinking behind the decision to enter the whole team this year. The 2010 Open champion said: “We’re excited because after that we have got LIV Golf Jeddah and Hong Kong, so we decided to do a whole trip. We can warm up in Oman, but also I played there last year and I loved the golf course. It is a good track and a good way to start the international ‘swing’ for us.

“You can definitely work out a good schedule to play before the LIV events, to play yourself into a little bit of form. I think those are very important to have, those one or two extra events just to get ready for the season.”

2011 Masters champion Schwartzel agreed with the assessment. “Oman’s a great place, I went there last year, so I managed to convince everybody to come and join. We are really excited about playing in The International Series.

“Some guys can get away with playing very little golf, while some guys really need to play in tournaments. I am one of those guys - I like to get tournament fit, so playing an event like International Series Oman before a LIV event, definitely helps me get fine-tuned.”

Burmester, who finished T3 in LIV Golf’s season opener in Mexico at the start of February added: "It's special. We spoke about it when the schedule came out and all of us were excited to go back to Al Mouj and Oman, it's a great golf course.

"We're always really, really well looked after there, so we're excited to head there and to have all four of us. Hopefully, one of us can compete or lift the trophy.”

The 34-year-old is keen to add further dates on The International Series into his diary, as he explained: “Last year I played back-to-back events in Scotland and England, and this year, I am looking to widen my horizon and see where they fit into the schedule.

“We’ve got some exciting places, Morocco, and Macau, we've got so many beautiful places to go and play those events and then come back to LIV Golf sharp and ready to compete.”