JEDDAH RD. 3: NIEMANN’S CHARGE HALTED BY LATE DOUBLE BOGEY
KING ABDULLA ECONOMIC CITY, Saudi Arabia - A blinding round by Joaquin Niemann was abruptly halted when the Torque GC Captain hit his second shot into the water on the par-4 13th of Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, the toughest hole all week at LIV Golf Jeddah presented by ROSHN.
Niemann had raced to solo lead at 13-under with four consecutive birdies from the ninth hole onwards but found the fairway bunker with an errant tee shot on the 13th hole. From an awkward lie, he dumped his second shot in the water to the left of the green and wound up making a double bogey.
The 24-year-old Chilean then pulled his tee shot on the par-3 16th hole into the Red Sea and managed to make a courageous par from the beach, but the damage was done by then. He could not take advantage of the short par-4 17th, or the par-5 18th.
The three-under 67 round was good enough only for a tied 10th place at 10-under total.
What Niemann needed, and did not get, was a finish like his 21-year-old teammate David Puig, who closed with three straight birdies for a 66. Mito Pereira matched Puig’s 66 and the Torque were fourth in the team leaderboard at 28-under, just one shot outside the podium.
Pereira was tied sixth at 11-under and Puig tied 24th at six-under.
Puig, who won the International Series Singapore last week before coming to Jeddah, was disappointed with his overall performance.
“It was a good way to finish the tournament, but I expected a lot better from myself, especially since I have been playing good golf lately,” said Puig.
The fourth place ensured that the team with the most wins on the season (4) will go to Miami as the third seed and get a day off on Friday and a bye to Saturday’s semi-finals. They finished third on 183 points, three behind Crushers GC and nine behind 4Aces.