Niemann maintains lead in Mexico – Golf News

Joaquin Niemann backed up his opening 12-under 59 with a solid 1-under 70 in windy conditions during Saturday’s second round at LIV Golf Mayakoba to take four-stroke lead over Jon Rahm and Dean Burmester into Sunday’s final round at El Camaleon.

“There’s a lot that can happen in 18 holes,” said Niemann said after his second round, while featured four birdies and four bogeys. “I’m just looking forward to Sunday. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m going to play with Jon [Rahm] for the first time in a final round, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Jon Rahm trails Niemann by four shots but will be playing alongside the Chilean in the final group on Sunday

Rahm shot a 4-under 67 that he described as a “fantastic day on a much tougher golf course.” He hit a field-best 16 of 18 greens and made several par putts from 5-7 feet after an early bogey.

“I’m just happy that on my first start that I have a chance to win. It’s that simple,” Rahm said. “After having as much time off as I did, I’m always confident in myself, but I wasn’t sure I was going to come out, and to start this way, I’m very, very pleased.”

Burmester’s 5-under 66 tied for low round of the day. Like Niemann, he’s celebrated a team win last year as a member of the Stinger GC but not an individual win. He’ll be in the final group off the first tee with Niemann and Rahm.

“Look, he’s the guy to catch,” Burmester said of Niemann. “There’s no better place to be than right behind him and watch what he’s doing because that can dictate what you need to do sometimes.”

Niemann’s Torque leads the team competition at 15 under, five stroke ahead of Rahm’s Legion XIII. Smash GC, with its revamped lineup that includes 2023 Individual Champion Talor Gooch, had the lowest team score (-8) on Saturday and moved into solo third.

For the first time in LIV Golf’s regular season, all four rounds will count towards the team scores on Sunday, thanks to a format change for the 2024 season. Torque will be looking for its fifth team victory overall, having won a league-leading four times last season.

“There’s a lot of golf to play,” Niemann said. “There’s four scorecards we’ve got to post tomorrow, which makes it more interesting.”

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