Joaquin Niemann made history at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier as he claimed his first PGA Tour title by six shots
Just a few short hours after Suzann Pettersen made Solheim Cup history for Team Europe, Joaquin Niemann raced to a convincing six stroke victory at the first event of the PGA Tour season at The Old White TPC.
In doing so Niemann became the first player from Chile to win on the PGA Tour with a final-round 64, finishing at 21-under-par to win A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier.
"It's been unbelievable, yeah, for my whole country," said Niemann, who also became the youngest winner in the tournament's history. "They were watching me. I got a couple text from them, so really happy to get the trophy for my family, for my coach, and everyone back there in Chile.
"From the beginning of the week, since the first day, I felt with a lot of confidence coming off like three weeks off. So I feel like fresh. I was playing really good. I had practice a lot with my coach this off-season, so my game was feeling great. Mentally was awesome.
"So I was just feel like I was going to win this tournament since the first day. I was in a really good mindset."
It was a fitting place for the 20-year-old to earn his maiden tour win, having played his first ever PGA Tour event here two years ago when he was the World No.1 ranked amateur, where he finished T29.
"The Greenbrier has been awesome with me," said Niemann. "Has treat me really well. It was the first tournament I play on PGA tour. I was an amateur and finish like 20 something, so it was unbelievable place. I wanted to come back the next year, and the crazy life it is, the next year was getting my card here in this event.
"And then this year was the year after I won my first PGA TOUR event, so it's just crazy. I mean, I love this place. I been playing really good golf here, so going to be here couple more times."
Niemann started the final round with a two-shot victory, but made sure he didn't get too ahead of himself throughout the day.
“I just couldn't think about this moment, like holding the trophy,” he said. “I was like, man, take it easy. We got 18 holes to play. Don't think about that yet. Just go out there and have fun.
“I just couldn't think about that moment in the entire day, so I was just trying to think about anything else. My caddie is very funny, so he was just talking to me and make me laugh to just try to forget about that.
“Then the last couple holes I was feeling great. I was really enjoying.”
He began the day with four straight pars before rolling in a seven foot birdie putt at the fifth, and added another gain at the par three eighth from five feet.
Niemann's first of two dropped shots on Sunday's final round came a hole later after missing a five-foot par save, but quickly recovered with an excellent approach to just a few feet at the 10th.
It was the start of six birdies during a back nine 31, making putts at both 12 and 13 to increase his lead.
He dropped a shot after finding the greenside bunker on 15, but finished his round in impressive style with a trio of birdies that included a putt from 21 feet for a three at the last.
Tom Hoge, who fired a final round 65, finished six behind in second place, with Brian Harman, Harrish English, Nate Lashley and Richy Werenski sharing third at 14-under-par.
Viktor Hovland, the young PGA Tour star who gained his card in the Korn Tour Ferry finals, finished T10 after a final round 64.