Third time’s a charm as Niemans wins Junior Invitational

Joaquin Niemann from Chile celebrated his third start in the Junior Invitational with a four stroke victory over American Austin Eckroat at the Sage Valley Golf Club.

The Chilean carded rounds of 67, 70 and 67 to triumph on 204 and don the prized Gold Jacket as the prestigious junior championship’s second international champion after 2015 winning Marcus Kinhult from Sweden.

“This is awesome,” said Niemann of his victory. “I feel really good to win in my third and last Junior Invitational. I’m very happy.”

Americans Davis Shore Garrett Barber and overnight leader Min Woo Lee from Australia tied for third at 209.

Niemann trailed Lee by a lone stroke after two rounds, but he didn’t hit the gas pedal until after a bogey at the third – the second of just three blemishes all week – dropped him another shot behind Lee.

Birdies followed at four, five and seven, and trio of birdies at nine, 10 and 11 rocketed Niemann five shots clear of Lee.

“I just kept making birdies and I was able to really enjoy the last nine holes,” said the elated Niemann, who entered the week as the number two ranked junior according to the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Following Friday’s second round, the 54-hole field was entertained by world number three Jason Day, who shared some secrets of his swing and mental game with juniors and their parents.

“I will remember every day and everything from this week,” said Niemann, when asked what he’ll recollect about his three years of adventures at Sage Valley. “I will also remember Jason Day, of course, and every hole of this Junior Invitational.”

The 54-hole Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club is widely recognized as one of the premier junior tournaments in the world. The prestigious event attracts many of the game’s top-ranked junior golfers on an annual basis.

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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA, a SAGA and WGSA Not-For-Profit company.

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