ATLANTA — Joaquin Niemann had nowhere to be on Sunday, however he determined to play the ultimate spherical of the Tour Championship as if he had been in a rush.
An enormous hurry.
Niemann, taking part in first and alone as a result of Brooks Koepka withdrew on Saturday with a wrist harm, raced round East Lake Golf Membership in a single hour and 53 minutes on Sunday. He teed off at 11:40 a.m. and was completed some half-hour previous to the leaders teeing off.
He additionally received a good-natured scare from the PGA Tour, which advised him afterward he was being fined — letting him stew for jiffy earlier than lastly telling him it was a joke.
“I did not understand how quick I may get 18 holes, however on the entrance 9, I made a decision to play fast however not like loopy fast, not like speeding and hurrying up,” mentioned Niemann, 22, who’s from Chile and is ranked twenty ninth on the planet. “However then they advised me I did like simply over an hour, I used to be like, ah, I am simply going to hurry it and attempt to break the document. It was fairly good, the again 9.”
The “document” was 1 hour, 59 minutes, set by Kevin Na on the 2016 Tour Championship. The PGA Tour mentioned its unofficial document for quickest spherical was set by Wesley Bryan on the 2017 BMW Championship, the place he completed in 1 hour and 29 minutes.
At occasions, Niemann would jog to his ball within the fairway or run between greens and tees. Because the spherical wore on, he seemingly performed fasted, conscious that the “document” was in view. He completed final among the many 29 gamers. Maybe extra below duress was Niemann’s caddie, Gary Matthews, who mentioned they lightened the golf bag previous to the spherical to make the trek simpler.
“Positively lighter than regular,” Matthews mentioned. “He had three golf balls. He did not have the standard 9. He did not have a rain cowl. He did not have any little devices that we had. He solely had one glove, 5 tees. Not a lot shakes and stuff like that within the bag. Umbrella was gone.”
Matthews mentioned after they received to the fifteenth tee, they observed that the group taking part in behind them, Stewart Cink and Hideki Matsuyama, was solely on the eighth gap. When it was over, Niemann was greeted within the scoring space by PGA Tour official Andy Pazder, who advised him and the caddie that they’d disrespected the sport and the event. And that he can be fined $10,000.
“I have a look at him like, I used to be burning inside,” Niemann mentioned. “I used to be going to say one thing and he is like, ‘All proper, forgive me. Earlier than you say one thing, I used to be simply kidding,’ I used to be like, ‘Oh, I hate you.’ He gave me a extremely exhausting time.”
Niemann mentioned he was disillusioned that his sport was off this week and that he was not taking part in notably effectively. “I used to be in final place and wasn’t going to win,” he mentioned. “I used to be fairly far behind from the fellows in entrance of me, so I used to be like, let’s make it enjoyable and have enjoyable.”