WiretoWire: Joaquin Niemann shines bright among stars at Riviera
February 21, 2022
By Staff , PGATOUR.COM
- February 21, 2022
Joaquin Niemann goes wire-to-wire to win at Genesis
NEAR-FLAWLESS NIEMANN DRIVES AWAY AT GENESIS
Historic course. An event with a storied history. And the event host is Tiger Woods. As if there wasn’t enough pressure on Joaquin Niemann entering Sunday with a three-shot lead at The Genesis Invitational. But the 23-year-old from Chile settled in after a slow start, pulled off plenty of pressure shots and capped it with a final-round 71 to win by two strokes at The Riviera Country Club. Niemann, who opened with rounds of 63 on Thursday and Friday, became the first player to win the event in wire-to-wire fashion since Charlie Sifford in 1969. “This weekend felt like a month,” Niemann said. “I’m so happy it’s finally done. I’m really proud of the way my caddie and I battled.” It was Niemann’s second PGA TOUR win. His first came in 2019 at The Greenbrier. Niemann also came within one shot of tying the event’s scoring record. He finished at 19-under for the week, one short of Lanny Wadkins’ tournament record of 20-under which came in 1985. That remains as the longest standing active scoring record on TOUR. Niemann moved to No. 7 in the FedExCup standings after picking up 550 FedExCup points. The elevated event also brings with it a three-year exemption.
The PGA TOUR switches coasts for The Honda Classic, the start of the Florida swing. Matt Jones’ win last year was his first victory in seven years. He returns to defend, while South Florida locals Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger top the list of notables in the field. Koepka’s brother, Chase, will play on a sponsor exemption, as will 20-year-old Nicolai Hojgaard. The two-time winner on the DP World Tour, including earlier in February, will make his first star on the PGA TOUR at PGA National, the Tom Fazio design that was re-worked by Jack Nicklaus. The course has long been known as one of the toughest on the PGA TOUR thanks in large part to The Bear Trap from hole Nos. 15 to 17. Big names including Louis Oosthuizen, Sungjae Im, Keith Mitchell, Padraig Harrington, and Rickie Fowler are all set to tee it up. The winner will pick up 500 FedExCup points.
Tiger Woods met with the media last week prior to the start of The Genesis Invitational, which he hosts each year. It was a year ago when Woods was severely injured in a single-car accident. He suffered multiple fractures in his right leg and shattered his ankle. “I wish I could tell you when I'm playing again,” Woods said. “I want to know, but I don't. My golf activity has been very limited. I can chip and putt really well and hit short irons very well, but I haven't done any long stuff seriously. I'm still working.”
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
A one-of-a-kind view of Rory McIlroy’s wedge game at The Riviera Country Club
“This has to be one of the toughest courses we play during the year. “I surprised myself with how good I played. During the weekend, I just told myself that we have to finish this and to stay focused.” - Joaquin Niemann, winner of The Genesis Invitational
BY THE NUMBERS
64 – After shooting his age in Round 1, Bernhard Langer (64) went on to win at the Chubb Classic in Naples, Florida. Already the oldest winner in PGA TOUR Champions history, Langer broke his own record after winning a record fourth Chubb Classic title.
17 – Under-par score for Byeong Hun An to win at the Korn Ferry Tour’s LECOM Suncoast Classic.
COMCAST BUSINESS TOUR TOP 10
This Week Name Points 1. Hideki Matsuyama 1,276
2. Tom Hoge 1,115
3. Scottie Scheffler 1,063 4.
Talor Gooch 1,000
Sungjae Im 894
6. Luke List 803 7. Joaquin Niemann 792 8. Sam Burns 775 9.
Cameron Smith 754
10. Collin Morikawa
The Comcast Business TOUR TOP 10 highlights and rewards the extraordinary level of play required to earn a spot in the TOP 10 at the conclusion of the FedExCup Regular Season as determined by the FedExCup standings. The competition recognizes and awards the most elite in golf.