WHITE SULPHER SPRINGS, W.Va. — Add a Chilean to the PGA Tour’s list of tournament winners.
Joaquin Neimann, who turned professional in 2018, never flinched Sunday in the final round of the Military Tribute at The Greenbrier.
Playing as though he had ice water running in his veins, the seemingly unflappable Neimann became the first third-round leader or co-leader ever to pull off a victory in the tournament.
Neimann’s final round of 6-under-64 left him with a winning 72-hole total of 21-under 259 and a six-shot cushion over runner-up Tom Hoge.
Perhaps it shouldn’t have come as any surprise. It marked the third straight year in which he has shot 64 here in the final round at the TPC Old White Course.
“It’s crazy,” Neimann said after his triumph. “I’m really happy for my family. Hopefully, they’re really happy back in Chile.”
“Today was pretty much an intense situation,” Neimann said of being in the final twosome of the day. “But I learned a little bit from Saturday’s third round and I felt a lot better today.”
Certainly, the 20-year-old has to be added to the list of young studs doing damage on the circuit.
“There are so many good players right now and there are more to come,” Neimann said. “The tour is getting a lot of tough young players and it’s going to be tougher and tougher to win. It’s nice to get that first win.”
Two Houdini-like big par saves on Nos. 6 and 11 — on each occasion he had left his previous shot short in a sand trap — kept him ahead of Hoge.
Brian Harman and Harris English each shot final-round 65s and tied for third, seven shots behind Neimann, who said he felt from the first day he saw the course that he could win here.
“It’s crazy, I love this place. I’ve played really good golf here.”
How did the young winner keep his mind on business at hand?
“I woke up and I couldn’t think about holding this trophy,” Neimann said. “Just go out and have fun and just try not to think about anything else
“By the last couple holes, I was feeling great. Just love it!”
Former Virginia standout Denny McCarthy, who shot 9-under 61 in Friday’s second round, drained a 62-foot birdie putt on the par-3 18th to cap a 67 that allowed him to finish tied for 31st at 7-under 273.
Ex-Virginia Tech golfer Johnson Wagner closed with a 71 and tied for 64th at 278.