Joaquin Niemann is making history on the PGA Tour…
The 20-year-old Chilean professional golfer hasbecame the first player from Chile to win on the PGA Tour after shooting a 6-under 64 on Sunday for a six-stroke victory in A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier.
Niemann entered the final round of the season opener with a two-stroke lead and held off challenges from Tom Hoge and Richy Werenski. Niemann birdied the final three holes to finish at 21-under 259 at Old White TPC, which has quickly become one of his favorite venues.
“I just never thought this moment was possible,” Niemann said. “I can’t wait to go back home and celebrate with all of my friends.”
While eight players already qualified for the Presidents Cup International Team that will play the U.S. team in December at Royal Melbourne in Australia, Captain Ernie Elswill choose the four remaining team members the week of November 4, and Niemann is now officially on his radar.
“Being on the Presidents Cup is just a dream,” Niemann said. “It’s a really good team this year. There’s a lot of good players fighting for those spots. This win definitely helps.”
Niemann grew up in Santiago, Chile, won a pair of junior world titles and was the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world before turning pro in 2018. He played his first full season on tour in 2019, finishing No. 67 in the FedEx Cup standings.
In 2017, Niemann finished tied for 29th as an amateur at The Greenbrier after receiving a sponsor’s exemption. He improved to a tie for fifth in 2018.
Niemann said the resort’s dozens of amenities have steered his mind away from the pressure of golf. Among the activities he participated in before the tournament started was exploring the rugged side of West Virginia with his caddie in an off-road vehicle.
“I was just feeling like I was going to win the tournament from the first day,” he said. “I was in that mindset.”
Niemann is the first third-round leader to win at The Greenbrier since its debut in 2010. He shot 64 in the final round for the third straight year.
He told himself before the round started to go out and have fun.
“I was just trying not to think of anything else,” Niemann said. “My caddie made me laugh to try to forget about it. The last couple of holes I was feeling great.”
It marks the first year since 1931 that there has been more than one tour winner under 21. Matthew Wolff won the 3M Openin June at 20 years, 2 months.