Joaquin Niemann opened his 2024 season with the round of every golfer’s dreams.
The Chilean captain of Torque GC fired a 12-under-par 59 Friday on the first day of LIV Golf Mayakoba, LIV’s season opener in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
Niemann began his round on the second hole at El Camaleon Golf Course and quickly went on a birdie spree, making five straight at Nos. 3-7. At the par-4 11th, his second shot took one hop on the green and dunked into the hole for an eagle that brought him to 9 under par.
He added the final three of his 10 birdies at Nos. 13, 15 and 17 to get to 12 under par with two holes to spare. His par-par finish secured the course record and the second sub-60 round in LIV’s three-year history; Bryson DeChambeau shot a final-round 58 to win at Greenbrier last season.
The sparkling performance put Niemann five shots clear of the field. Patrick Reed of 4Aces is second after a bogey-free, 7-under 64. Fireballs GC captain Sergio Garcia of Spain opened with a 6-under 65 to take third place.
World No. 3 Jon Rahm of Spain made his LIV debut after switching allegiances from the PGA Tour in December. The captain of the all-new Legion XIII opened with five birdies in seven holes and was 7 under through 15, but a bogey-bogey finish set him back to a tie for fourth at 5-under 66 with Englishmen Laurie Canter and Richard Bland.
Torque leads the group competition by five shots, as well, thanks to Niemann’s 12-under round plus the scores of Colombia’s Sebastian Munoz (3-under 68) and Chile’s Mito Pereira (2-over 73).
–Field Level Media
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