Joaquin Niemann wants more LIV players to follow his lead and play Australian Open

Joaquin Niemann wants more LIV players to follow his lead and play Australian Open
  • PublishedApril 26, 2024

Reigning Australian Open champion, and two-time LIV winner, Joaquin Niemann transferred his Sydney victory last December into a Masters berth and Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley opened the door for others to follow.

So Niemann, back in Australia for the first time since he lifted the Stonehaven Cup, is hopeful plenty of his LIV cohort return with him when he defends his title in Sydney in December as the national championship moves closer to regaining its lofty status among the world’s best.

After offering Niemann his special Masters invitation, a shock given his LIV allegiances, Ridley highlighted the Australian Open as one of the “great, great championships in the world” and pivotal in the decision.

Former Ryder Cup captain, and leading commentator, Paul McGinley even floated the idea that the Australian Open winner should qualify for all four majors. Currently, winning gives an exemption only into the British Open.

Niemann, the No.1-ranked player on the LIV tour this year with earnings in excess of $14m already, said he used the two Australian tournaments he played last summer, the PGA in Brisbane and the Open in Sydney, to springboard into 2024.

He also banked the rankings points he was after, got into the British Open and the Masters, and said there was no doubt the “prestige” of his Sydney win resonated with other LIV players keen to get themselves back into the majors.

“I think the Australian Open has a lot of prestige, the names on the trophy are names you normally see on major trophies and I think that’s what the Masters officials were looking at, they were looking at history,” Niemann said on Thursday.

“You have the US Open, the British Open and the Australian Open, I feel like it’s close. Australia has some of the best players in history and it’s a really important event and an Open I enjoyed winning.”

Beyond winning more LIV events, and another Australian Open, Niemann also wants to get a tournament in his homeland of Chile to feel the same experience Australian star Cameron Smith and his teammates get to feel in Adelaide.

“That will be my goal, and I know Greg (Norman) and the whole team in LIV are working hard to have the captains play in their home country, have one event in each,” he said.

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“I’m going to try my best to do something in Chile. I’m going to find the people that have the same energy I have to make something happen.”

Looking to net a third LIV win in Adelaide this week, Niemann said everything in his game was “a little bit better this year” and his confidence, and success, on Australian courses would help his cause.

“It’s a little bit of everything, my preparation, the way I tried to fit on the golf course, everything around, other than golf too. Everything’s kind of in a better shape,” he said.

“And I think Australia is a little bit different than all the other countries whenever it comes to sports or to golf. For us, the atmosphere is more electric you know, they’re here to watch you have a good time and that’s what it’s all about.

“On the courses, everything is super tight, everything’s super firm and fast, which I think that’s the way golf should play.”


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