Sunday's golf: Niemann wins at Riviera; Langer breaks own Champions age record
Los Angeles — Joaquin Niemann survived a few nervous moments at Riviera and polished off a big week Sunday when he closed with an even-par 71 to become the first wire-to-wire winner of the Genesis Invitational in 53 years.
Staked to a three-shot lead, Niemann’s margin was down to one when he made a 7-foot birdie on the eighth hole and PGA Tour rookie Cameron Young sailed the green and made bogey.
The 23-year-old from Chile chipped in for eagle on the par-5 11th to stretch his lead to five, and he held on for a two-shot victory over British Open champion Collin Morikawa (65) and Young, whose last hopes ended with a bogey from the bunker on the 16th. Young shot 70.
About the only thing Niemann missed was a chance to break the oldest tournament scoring record on the PGA Tour. With two bogeys on the back nine, Niemann finished at 19-under 265, one short of the score Lanny Watkins had in 1985.
Morikawa holed an eagle chip on the infamous and reachable 10th hole that one-hopped into the cup, and two late birdies gave him a chance. But he missed a 10-footer on the 18th in his bid to win and reach No. 1 in the world.
Niemann picked up $2.16 million for his second PGA Tour victory. He opened with a pair of 63s and set or matched a tournament scoring record of some variety each day but the last one.
PGA Tour Champions
In Naples, Florida, already the oldest winner in PGA Tour Champions history, Bernhard Langer completed a wire-to-wire victory for his record fourth Chubb Classic title.
Langer won at 64 years, 5 months, 23 days to push his victory total to 43 on the 50-and-over tour, two behind Hale Irwin for the record, and win for the 16th straight season. The German star became the oldest tour winner in October at the Dominion Energy Charity Classic in Virginia.
Langer closed with his second straight 4-under 68, birdieing the par-5 18th on Tiburon Golf Club’s Black Course for the third day in a row, to finish at 16-under 200. He beat Tim Petrovic by three strokes after taking a two-stroke lead into the final round.
Langer opened Thursday by shooting his age with a 64. In the final round, the two-time Masters champion had six birdies – going 4 for 4 on the par 5s – and two bogeys.
Langer also won the event in 2011 at The Quarry and 2013 and 2016 at TwinEagles. Irwin won the event three times.
Petrovic finished with a 69. Retief Goosen was third at 12 under after a 70. Brian Gay closed with a 69 to finish fourth at 10 under in his senior debut.