Written by
Mark Lamport-Stokes, LIV Golf Correspondent
Mar 05 2024
- 4 MIN
Niemann hot entering Hong Kong

HONG KONG – Red-hot Joaquin Niemann has been a talismanic figure for his Torque GC team in the first three events of this season and all the signs point to that being the case again at this week's LIV Golf Hong Kong.

With Niemann winning twice and tying for 30th in his first three LIV Golf starts of 2024, the Spanish-speaking combination has flourished. Torque finished third at the season opener in Mexico, placed sixth the following week in Las Vegas and then secured the fourth spot at LIV Golf Jeddah on Sunday.

Nieman has firmly established himself as one of the hottest players in the game with a run of three tournament victories in his last seven appearances worldwide. Under his inspired leadership, Torque will now be looking to return to the top of the team podium - something they were able to do four times last year.

"We have had some good finishes this year," said Niemann, who clinched the season-opening LIV Golf Mayakoba on the fourth playoff hole after firing a spectacular 12-under 59 in the opening round and then won last week's LIV Golf Jeddah by four strokes.

"Obviously it's a little bit harder with the format being the four scorecards," he added, referring to the new policy this season whereby all four scores count in the final round. "We've got to play the four of us really good golf. I think we've got a lot more to prove during the season."

Niemann will certainly be the player to beat this week in Hong Kong where he will take on the shortest course ever to host a LIV Golf event. However, it is also a layout that requires careful strategic thinking - especially with approach shots.

Since last year, Niemann believes he has improved every aspect of his game and his confidence received an extra boost on the eve of last week's LIV Golf event when he received a special invitation to compete at this year's Masters.

"I'm a believer that if you do things right, good things are coming your way," said the 25-year-old Chilean professional. "I just want to keep doing the same. This is what I love to do, come here, play tournaments, have a chance to win. It's always fun. I've just been enjoying this moment, and it's been great to get into the Masters. I'm just super excited for that."

Niemann is also excited by the all-round improvement in his game this year.

"When I look back now from last season, I wasn't playing my best golf, and I think everything was a little bit weaker," he said. "Off the tee, iron shots, putting, my routines off the golf course, the way I worked on my game and the way I did my preparation before the tournaments. I've been trying to improve on everything as much as I can.

"I made a few changes in my swing in the technique that I was struggling with a little bit, and it's been feeling a little bit better. I've been getting more confident in my swing, too, being able to see those shots and just committing to them, hitting them. It's just building confidence during the last couple months, and it shows whenever anything is going in the right direction, it's a little bit easier."

Niemann, who celebrated his first European Tour success with a playoff victory at the ISPS Handa Australian Open in December, is certainly backing himself to triumph this week in Hong Kong.

"I want to feel and I want to think I'm the best all the time," he smiled. "I think that's the only way to be confident and play good golf. I think it's something that you need - to believe in yourself to be out here playing competitive golf and winning tournaments."