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ATLANTA – Waiting for Joaquin Niemann in the scoring area following his final-round 72 was Andy Pazder, the PGA Tour’s chief of tournaments and competition.
“Come over here, we need to talk,” Pazder told Niemann. “Listen, Joaquin, as a professional, you've disrespected the game, you've disrespected the Tour Championship. This is not how professionals act, and [caddie Gary Matthews] you've been out here a long time and you should know that and here is a fine for $10,000.”
A long furious moment passed before Pazder delivered the punchline, “I’m kidding.”
Who said the Tour can’t be fun?
Niemann had just completed the fastest Tour round ever played at East Lake in an impressive one hour and 53 minutes, which was five minutes faster than it took Kevin Na to play as a single at the 2016 Tour Championship.
Full-field scores from the Tour Championship
Niemann, who was left playing by himself when Brooks Koepka withdrew on Saturday with an injured wrist, was aware of Na’s record before he teed off but it wasn’t until he made the turn in just over an hour that he set his sights on the record.
“I was like, I'm just going to rush it and try to break the record. It was pretty good, the back nine,” said Niemann, who finished at 4 over for the week and was 29th out of 29 players.
Although he said the fast pace probably didn’t help his play, Niemann did admit that it was much harder on Matthews, who prepared for the day’s pace by essentially emptying Niemann’s bag.
“He had three golf balls. He didn't have the usual nine. He didn't have a rain cover. He didn't have any little instruments that we had. He only had one glove, five tees,” Matthews laughed. “It was really cool.”
The unofficial record for the fastest Tour round is held by Wesley Bryan who finished his final round at the 2017 BMW Championship at Conway Farms outside Chicago in one hour and 29 minutes.