Joaquin Niemann broke Kevin Na’s mark for the fastest PGA Tour round ever at East Lake this past Sunday.
The 22-year-old Chilean raced his way solo around the course to play his round in one hour 53 minutes, along with his South African caddie Gary Matthews and a group of scorers. In 2016, Na played a round in 1:59.
“I used to run a lot in high school, but now I hate it,” Niemann told media afterwards. “I just did it for fun and it was pretty fun.”
Niemann began the day in last place on the PGA Tour Championship leaderboard and teed off first, alone, as the injury-enforced withdrawal of Brooks Koepka had resulted in an odd number of players in the field.
“It has been a long three or four weeks that I’ve been playing, and I wasn’t playing my best golf this week,” Niemann explained. “I was in last place and wasn’t going to win. I was pretty far behind, so I was like, ‘Let’s make it fun’.”
Matthews said he had prepared for the rushed round by strategically emptying out the bag.
“He had three golf balls. He didn’t have the usual nine. He didn’t have a rain cover. He didn’t have any little instruments that we had. He only had one glove, five tees.”
Niemann rubbed the caddie’s stomach and chirped: “Didn’t have breakfast this morning, so he was light.”
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