Joaquin Niemann made the trip to Augusta National this year to watch his best friend, Toto Gana, compete as an amateur in the Masters. He also saw Sergio Garcia capture his first major title in the form of a green jacket.
On Sunday, it was Garcia watching Niemann win.
The 18-year-old Chilean, who is ranked No. 2 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (and expected to move to No. 1 on Wednesday), won the AJGA Sergio Garcia Foundation Junior Championship in a playoff over Lynn University commit Jorge Villar of Mexico.
The victory is the third straight for Niemann, who also won Garcia’s event last year. Last month, Niemann won the AJGA TaylorMade-Adidas Golf Junior at Innisbrook before capturing the prestigious Junior Invitational at Sage Valley the following week.
“I’m playing really, really good golf right now,” Niemann said after his Sage Valley triumph.
He continued that play this week. Despite opening with a 7-over 79 in blustery conditions at ChampionsGate’s International Course in Davenport, Fla., Niemann followed with a final-round 67 to finish the 36-hole event at 2 over along with Villar.
Niemann, who will pay at South Florida this fall, then made par on the first playoff hole, the par-4 10th, while Villar carded a double bogey.
Jenny Kim of Heathrow, Fla., won the girls division with a 4-over 148 total.