Winning wire-to-wire on the PGA TOUR is not an easy feat. Winning wire-to-wire at Riviera is nearly unheard of. And that’s just what happened as Joaquin Niemann won the 2022 Genesis Invitational.
Niemann stole the show with back-to-back record setting rounds of 63 on Thursday and Friday. With consistent golf all weekend, Niemann shot an even par final round to finish at 19-under, holding off a late charge by Collin Morikawa to come out on top of the best field in tournament history.
“It’s the toughest tournament I think during the year,” Niemann said following his victory. “It’s got the best field, the best players are here and that proves to myself that I can be competing with the top guys, I can be up there in the world ranking.”
The win on Sunday is Niemann’s second of his young career. In addition to the history of winning at Riviera, winning 96th edition of The Genesis Invitational carries additional significance. In his corner throughout Sunday’s round was a vocal group of Chilean golf fans cheering ‘Joaco’ throughout the grounds at Riviera. Fellow Latino PGA TOUR pros Sergio Garcia, Jhonattan Vegas, Mito Pereira and Sebastián Muñoz waited for the final putt to drop to celebrate with Niemann. On top of all that, Tournament Host Tiger Woods was a part of the historic victory.
“I think there’s nothing better like what I’m feeling right now,” Niemann said. “Winning a PGA TOUR event, getting a trophy, having Tiger there, all the history behind, there’s nothing that can compete with this.”
Adding to the history and significance of the win, is the fact that the last time a PGA TOUR player went wire-to-wire to win the tournament was Charlie Sifford in 1969. Sifford’s impact on the PGA TOUR is a major part of The Genesis Invitational as the tournament honors Charlie’s victory and legacy each year with the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption. This week at Riviera, the tournament celebrated what would have been the year Charile turned 100.
“Charlie was the last winner going wire-to-wire and being the same year he’s turning 100 is some coincidence,” Niemann said. “I’m just happy to be the winner here at Riviera.”