Former amateur world No. 1 Joaquin Niemann of Chile scored an emphatic wire-to-wire victory at the Genesis Invitational, a tournament hosted by Tiger Woods, at the Riviera Country Club last weekend (February 20) in Pacific Palisades, Calif. .
The 23-year-old world No. 20, who became the fourth golfer in history to lead from start to finish and the first since Charlie Sifford in 1969, describes the joy of winning his second PGA Tour tournament which featured the top-10 golfers in the world.
Here is his player blog from February 2022:
Oh my god, this weekend feels like it took forever…it felt like a month! I’m so glad it’s finally done. I’m so proud of the way I fought, of all the hard work and it’s amazing.
Seeing the Chilean flag over here leaves me a little more speechless, it’s awesome. I think this is one of those courses you need to do everything right; you have to hit the tee well, you have to hit your irons well, and you have to putt amazingly, especially on these types of greens because they are so fast.
I was more surprised at how well I behaved. I know I didn’t play my best golf like I did on the first two days (63-63), but I was impressed with how I handled it. Looking back, I think there were a few tournaments I didn’t win, I think my attitude wasn’t the same as here, so that’s a big positive change.
There are no words to describe this victory. It was such a great week off the course and on the course.
Every night we have dinner with my friends, Sergio Garcia, Carlos Ortiz, Mito Pereira, everyone is there, and there is nothing more important than that. I’m very grateful. They are great.
All Latinos, it makes our lives easier, more fun, more entertaining. Obviously we play 30 weeks a year and out of those 30 weeks a year you want to have as much fun as possible. We stay together, we play practice rounds together. We are really united all together and we have a great relationship.
Knowing that they are there for me, waiting to see me receive the trophy was something really special. I’m really grateful and happy because of the friends I have.
This is one of the most challenging golf courses we have played all year. There is the best board, the best players are there and that proves to me that I can compete with the best.
I can be up there in the world rankings. I think it will give me a lot of confidence for the future. I think at the start of the year I just started playing golf at Torrey Pines (Farmers Insurance Open).
Coming to Riviera, I felt really confident in my game and I was able to manage it during the week. After the first two days, I said to myself ‘we have to finish this, stay focused’ and we did it pretty well. I was just thinking about I want to win, I want to win.