Niemann Wins Genesis Invitational By Two Strokes Over Morikawa and Young

Joaquin Niemann of Chile was solid, not spectacular, but it was good enough. 

The 23-year-old Niemann closed with an even-par 71 that gave him his second PGA Tour victory by two strokes over second-ranked Collin Morikawa and rookie Cameron Young in the 96th verson of what is now the Genesis Invitational at historic Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. 

Niemann became the first player to lead the old Los Angeles Open, which now is hosted by Tiger Woods and benefits his TGR Foundation, after all four rounds since legendary Charlie Sifford in 1969. 

“It was a good weekend, but it seemed like it lasted forever,” said Niemann, who also won the 2019 Military Tribute at the Greenbrier and twice lost in playoffs. “It was hard to get to sleep at night, and it went on-and-on, but it’s finally done, and this is such an amazing feeling. 

“I played really well all week long, maybe a little better at the start when I made a lot of putts. I hit some good putts on the weekend that didn’t go in, but it’s all good now and it’s great to win on this wonderful golf course. 

“All the fans were great, and it was nice to see the Chilean flag out there, too. Accepting the trophy from Tiger makes this even more awesome.” 

Niemann, who opened with scores of 63-63, built his lead to five strokes after he made a seven-foot birdie putt on the eighth hole in the final round, and he chipped in from 46 feet for an eagle at No. 11 en route to recording a score of 19-under 265. 

Morikawa, from nearby La Canada Flintridge and Cal, was eight strokes behind at one point but collected seven birdies and holed out from 89 yards for an eagle at No. 10 while shooting 65 but missed a nine-foot birdie putt on the last hole that would have put more pressure on Niemann. 

“Even when I was eight down, I thought I still might have a chance because this is a tough golf course,” said Morikawa, who has won five times on the PGA Tour, including two majors. “You never know what’s going to happen. 

“My game felt good all week and a made a lot of putts and I’m proud overall of the way I played, but I made some mistakes, too. I’d like to have that putt back at No. 18, but that’s the way it goes.” 

Said Young, who won twice last year on the Korn Ferry Tour and was seeking his first PGA Tour victory while closing with a 70: “I’m happy with the way I played all week, but I made a bad bogey at No. 16 that cost me in the end.” 

Fourth-ranked Viktor Hovland of Norway totaled 70 to finished five shots back in a tie for fourth with Adam Scott of Australia, a two-time winner at Riviera who made eagle putts of four feet on the first hole and 28 feet at No. 17 in a 66, while eighth-ranked Justin Thomas was one more down in sixth after a second straight 70. 

Ninth-ranked Scottie Scheffler, who won the WM Phoenix Open last week, shot 69 and was seven strokes back in a tie for seventh with Maverick McNealy of Portola Valley and Stanford, who sank a 10-foot eagle putt on the first hole, while C.T. Pan of Taiwan was done more down in ninth after a bogey-free 67. 

Fifth-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland closed with a 68 and was nine shots back in a tie for 10th with defending champion Max Homa of Valencia and Cal, who had a 71, and Chez Reavie, who chipped in from 20 feet for an eagle on the first hole in a 66. 

Seventh-ranked Xander Schauffele, the Olympic Gold medalist from La Jolla and San Diego State, finished in a tie for 13th following a 70, top-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain eagled the 17th hole in a 65 to tie for 21st, third-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA tied for 33rd with a 71, and 10th-ranked Hideki Matsuyama of Japan came in a 70 to the for 39th. 

For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html  
    

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