Joaquin Niemann followed his opening 59 with a 1-under-par 70 on Saturday in the second round of LIV Golf Mayakoba to hold a four-shot lead heading into the final round.
Niemann sits at 13-under 129 through 36 holes, four shots ahead of Dean Burmester, who shot 66 in the second round, and Jon Rahm (67) in his LIV debut. Sergio Garcia (70) is a distant fourth at 7 under. Another three players are eight shots off the lead in a tie for fifth.
Niemann wasn’t as sharp as he was Friday but his four birdies kept him atop the leaderboard.
“The course was playing a lot tougher. That wind was tricky. It never stopped since the first tee,” Niemann said. “I knew it was going to be a tough day. I just needed to be in position all day. I got a few bad holes where I was able to kind of bring it back, but overall I’m still happy the way I played and the way I’m still hitting the ball.”
Burmester remained within striking distance despite bookending his round with bogeys. But in between, he carded seven birdies.
“I played nicely today. I played nicely yesterday. It’s just nice to know that I’m playing well. Whatever happens tomorrow happens,” the South African said.
Rahm posted five birdies against a bogey.
“Fantastic day on a much tougher golf course, much tougher conditions, a lot windier, where in a place with fairways this narrow I managed to keep it in play very, very well. I played really well tee to green. It was a great day,” Rahm said.
Niemann’s Torque GC team sits at 15 under and owns a five-shot lead over Rahm’s inaugural Legion XIII. Smash GC, captained by Brooks Koepka, is third at 9 under.
–Field Level Media
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