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LIV Golf

Joaquin Niemann assessed late two-stroke penalty, lead over Jon Rahm down to 2

February 04, 2024

Manuel Velasquez

The first LIV Golf event of the season now has a little more drama heading into the final round.

Leader Joaquin Niemann, who shot an opening-round 59 at Mayakoba on Friday, appeared to shoot one-under 70 on Saturday to take a four-stroke lead into Sunday. However, LIV Golf announced Sunday morning that Niemann was assessed a two-stroke penalty, meaning his 70 turned into a 72 and his four-shot lead over Jon Rahm and Dean Burmester now is only two.

The violation was regarding a drop from the cart path on the par-5 13th hole. It was determined that Niemann failed to drop the ball within a club length, meaning that he played the ball from the wrong position, which is a two-stroke penalty. It falls under Rule 14.7a. Under the exception in Rule 3.3b(3), as LIV Golf posted on Twitter Sunday morning, the rules committee added the penalty to Niemann’s scorecard, giving him a 7 instead of a 5 on the 13th hole.

Niemann stands at 11-under-par total, with Rahm and Burmester at nine under. Sergio Garcia is four shots off the lead and a group of three others are further back at five under.