MEXICO CITY: Chile’s Joaquin Niemann fired 10 birdies and an eagle in a 12-under par 59 Friday within the first spherical of the LIV Golf season-opening occasion at Mayakoba in Mexico.
Niemann stole the highlight from Masters champion Jon Rahm, the most recent recruit to the league coming into its third season amid ongoing negotiations to convey it along with the PGA and DP World Excursions.
In LIV’s shotgun begin format, Niemann teed off on second gap of the par-71 El Camaleon course, opening with a par earlier than he birdied seven of his subsequent eight holes.
On the par-four eleventh, his second shot from the golf green discovered the inexperienced and hopped into the cup for an eagle and he added birdies at 13, 15 and 17 — the place he landed a shot from the tough inside 5 toes.
Niemann parred his final three holes to notch the second sub-60 spherical ever on the LIV Golf circuit. Bryson DeChambeau carded a 58 to win the LIV Golf Greenbrier title in August.
“It was clearly a tremendous spherical,” Niemann mentioned. “I performed strong because the starting and I by no means stopped taking part in good.
“It was good to hit good tee photographs on the final couple holes the place they’re sort of difficult, particularly 16, 18, and No. 1. I gave myself a couple of probabilities additionally the final couple holes to go even decrease, however yeah, nonetheless actually, actually blissful.”
Niemann mentioned he knew early on a low rating was on the playing cards, however because the birdies piled up he didn’t do the calculations on whether or not he was heading towards one thing below 60.
“I knew that the course might have been (par) 71, might have been (par) 72. However I didn’t need to do the maths and begin counting what number of par-fives and par-threes there’s on the golf course.
“Then I received to 18 and some guys had been shouting, Come on, Joaco, go for the 18, and I used to be like, wow, I’m proper there.
“I missed that putt on 18; it broke much more than I believed. However I hit an excellent tee shot additionally on No. 1, gave myself a very good quantity. I simply mis-hit it a bit bit and misjudged the wind.”
Sub-60 rounds stay uncommon. There have been 12 on the US PGA Tour, one on the LPGA Tour and one on the European Tour.
Niemann had a five-shot lead over American Patrick Reed with Spain’s Sergio Garcia in third on 6-under.
World No. 3 Rahm was in a tie for fourth on 5-under and referred to as it a “profitable” begin to his LIV profession.
He mentioned he “would have wager some huge cash towards a 59 right here this week” due to the tight fairways and difficult tough.
“I don’t know what his stats had been,” he mentioned of Niemann. “He will need to have hit fairways or made a whole lot of putts. No matter it’s, it’s a heck of a spherical.
“What’s it now, 23 LIV Golf occasions, there’s a 58 and a 59?” Rahm mentioned. “It’s fairly spectacular.”
As beautiful as Niemann was, nonetheless, Rahm famous that with two extra rounds to play within the 54-hole occasion he wasn’t unbeatable.
“You continue to want two extra rounds,” Rahm mentioned. “Clearly we’re going to need to method 20-under par, and it’s doable.”