Joaquin Niemann produced a shocking ’59 spherical’ to construct a five-shot lead on the LIV Golf League season opener in Mayakoba, the place Jon Rahm impressed on debut.
Niemann carded an eagle and 10 birdies in a bogey-free spherical in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, to register solely the second sub-60 whole since LIV Golf launched in 2022.
The Chilean – starting on the second gap on the par-71 format – fired 5 consecutive birdies from the third and adopted back-to-back features from the ninth by holing out for eagle on the par-four eleventh.
Niemann took benefit of the par-five thirteenth and added additional birdies on the fifteenth and seventeenth to maneuver to 12 beneath, with a par-par end breaking the course document and giving the Torque GC captain a commanding benefit over closest challenger Patrick Reed.
“It was clearly a tremendous spherical,” Niemann stated. “I performed strong because the starting and I by no means stopped taking part in good. I gave myself just a few possibilities over the past couple holes to go even decrease, however nonetheless actually, actually completely satisfied.”
Reed birdied his final 4 holes to shut a bogey-free 64 and seize second forward of Sergio Garcia, who combined eight birdies with two bogeys throughout his opening-round 65.
Rahm made a quick begin to his LIV Golf debut, having signed from the PGA Tour in December to captain the all-new Legion XIII group, with the Masters champion birdieing 5 of his opening seven holes.
The Spaniard was seven beneath with three holes remaining however a bogey-bogey end dropped him again to tied-fourth alongside English duo Laurie Canter and Richard Bland.
“I feel it is virtually not possible to be 100 per cent certain of how you are going to play, however I am all the time assured that I can carry out,” Rahm stated. “I really feel like a kind of bogeys, 17, was avoidable. 18 was simply unlucky. Nevertheless it would not take away from how good I performed these first 16 holes.
“It was good to get off the bounce, simply get going and play good golf. To date I might say it was a really profitable begin.”
Dustin Johnson and Dean Burmester share seventh place on 4 beneath, whereas PGA champion Brooks Koepka began with a two-under 69 on a day the place solely 25 of the 54 gamers completed beneath par.
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