LIV Golf’s Joaquin Niemann shoots a 59. Then came an epic admission

Joaquin Niemann

Joaquin Niemann on Friday on the 1st hole at Camaleon Golf Course.

Let’s begin here by going blow-by-blow. Pulling back the curtain, we try our best to steer clear of prose that sounds kinda like white noise — ‘Player makes birdie and plays well’ — but in this case, the player, Joaquin Niemann, made some history on Friday, and that’s worth some detail. But there was also an admission at Friday’s end, and maybe the best way to set it up is to frame it the way Niemann saw it, which was mostly shot after shot, hole after hole.

OK, here goes. 

Niemann birdied the par-4 3rd hole at the par-71 Camaleon Golf Course in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, his second hole of the day, during the first round of LIV Golf’s season opener. He hit his second shot to 4 feet. It was good. 

There’s more. 

Niemann birdied the 4th. He hit his tee shot on the par-3 to 5 feet. It was good. 

There’s more. 

Niemann birdied the 5th. From just off the green on the par-5, he putted to a foot. It was good. 

There’s more. 

Niemann birdied the 6th. He hit his second shot to 7 feet. It was good. 

There’s more. 

Niemann birdied the 7th. And the 9th. And the 10th. His first nine holes were done. They were good. 

There’s more. 

Niemann eagled the 11th. This was good. From the fairway on the par-4, he one-hopped his approach into the hole. Only he didn’t quite see it. He mouthed: “In?” He looked to his right. He eventually got the signal. In. He smiled. He high-fived his caddie. 

There’s more. 

Niemann birdied the 13th. He did so on a 7-foot putt. It was good. 

There’s more. 

Niemann birdied the 15th. On the par-3, he hit his tee shot to 5 feet. It was good. 

There’s more. 

Niemann birdied the 17th. After hitting his tee shot into the rough on the par-4, he hit his second shot to 6 feet. It was good. 


How many freaking birdies and eagles was that? Afterward, he said he was thinking the same thing. Ten birdies. One eagle. And what was par here? That was listed all the way back in paragraph three of this story! So, let’s do the math. Actually, for Niemann, some folks already had. On 18, they were shouting. 

You’re 12-under! 

Par is 71! 

You’re on the doorstep of golf’s magic number! A 59! Only 12 have done that combined on the PGA Tour and LPGA. Or maybe you can do better! Only two have shot a 58 — Jim Furyk in 2016 on the PGA Tour, and Bryson DeChambeau last year on LIV. You still have two holes left!   

Niemann parred the 18th, his penultimate hole. He parred the 1st, his last hole. 

He had the 59. He waved to the crowd. He shook hands with playing partners Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson. He signed his card. On-course announcer Dom Boulet came over. He asked what shooting the number meant to him. 

“I actually just realized that,” Nieman said.  

There’s more. 

“I was really in the zone,” he said. “I mean, I was playing great and I said to myself, I just want to keep doing the same.”

There’s more. 

“Until I got to the 18th and people started shouting at me, go for the 58, I was like, s**t, it’s par-71.”



“I think I got to 12 [under], I didn’t realize if it was 72 or 71 and I didn’t want to do the math,” he said. 

“I was just like, all right, I don’t give a s**t, I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing. 

“And then on 18, I started — yeah, people started saying, go for the 58, and I was like [clenches teeth]. No. 1 is a tricky one, but yeah, I hit a good shot and then not my best wedge shot there.

“But yeah, I was able to be under 60, which that was pretty cool.”

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at