Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)

LIV Golf

Joaquin Niemann was on a 57 Watch before settling for 59 in LIV Golf opener

February 02, 2024

Joaquin Niemann, shown playing in the 2024 Hero Dubai Desert Classic, shot 12-under 59 in the first round of LIV Golf's Mexico event.

Warren Little

Despite making seven birdies and an eagle over this first 10 holes, Joaquin Niemann swears he didn’t know what he was shooting on Friday in the LIV Golf season opener in Mexico. Even if he was threatening to shoot 58 or lower. For that matter, he didn’t even know what par was for the course. “I didn’t want to do the math,” he would later say with a smile.

The Mayakoba Resort’s El Camaleon Golf Course in Playa del Carmen is set up at par 71, and the math was easy at the end for Niemann. Starting on the course’s No. 2 hole because of LIV’s shotgun starts, the Chilean recorded 10 birdies and the eagle to shoot the first 59 in the two-plus years of LIV. Niemann set the course record and tied LIV’s lowest single-round score in relation to par at 12 under, though Bryson DeChambeau’s 12 under was a 58 he scored in the final round of LIV Golf Greenbrier last season.

“I just kind of realized,” Niemann, 25, said immediately after his round of what his score was. “I was really in the zone and playing along great … until I got to 18 and people were shouting to ‘go for a 58.’ But this is a par 71.”

When Niemann birdied the 17th, he got to 12 under and had two holes remaining to possibly shoot the first 57 in an official round in pro golf history. But he could only make a pair of pars, pulling his birdie putt at the 18th and coming up short with his approach at his last hole, No. 1.

Niemann played alongside Jon Rahm, the World No. 3 who was competing in his first LIV event. Rahm shot five-under 66 and was tied for fourth, two shots behind Patrick Reed and one behind Sergio Garcia.

Niemann is less than two years removed from winning the PGA Tour's Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club. He announced in Augusta 2022 that he was moving to LIV.