Joaquin Niemann Was Hilariously Pranked by a PGA Tour Chief After Setting Tour Championship Record

Published 09/06/2021, 6:45 AM EDT
Sep 5, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Joaquin Niemann laughs with his caddie Gary Matthews after falling out of his shoe on the 8th hole during the final round of the Tour Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports


Record-breaking efforts are often lauded. Very rarely do we see athletes getting slapped with a fine for breaking a record in any sport. However, 22-year-old Joaquin Niemann encountered a bittersweet moment at the 2021 Tour Championship after he broke the unofficial record for the fastest round at the East Lake Golf Club. 

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The East Lake Golf Club has been the permanent host of the Tour Championship since 2004. We’ve seen various records being broken at this venue, and Kevin Na achieved an unofficial feat back in 2016. 

Na finished his round in 1 hour and 59 minutes, which was then the unofficial record for the fastest round in the Tour Championship. It was an achievement to behold. Niemann was chasing this record during Round 4 of the 2021 Tour Championship, and he succeeded in his attempt. 

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While Joaquin Niemann did break Kevin Na’s record for the fastest round at the East Lake Golf Club, he was massively pranked by a tour official.  

Sep 5, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Joaquin Niemann laughs after falling out of his shoe on the 8th hole during the final round of the Tour Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Joaquin Niemann had a shocker after breaking the unofficial record 

The Tour Championship is the season finale. Hence, one can expect the golfers to chase any kind of record while playing the event. Joaquin Niemann made one such attempt – he was chasing the fastest round record at East Lake. 

Niemann shot a 2-over-72 in the final round in just 1 hour and 53 minutes, meaning that he had just broken Kevin Na’s 2016 record. Throughout the round, Niemann and his caddie were seen sprinting between the fairways and greens. 

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However, as Niemann walked off the 18th green after setting the new record, he was greeted with an unpleasant smile from PGA Tour chief of tournaments and competition Andy Pazder. Niemann was informed by Pazder that he had disrespected the professional game with his antics. 

What’s worse is that Andy Pazder imposed a $10,000 fine on Joaquin Niemann for disrespecting the sport. Niemann was stunned, and he said this after: 

“I look at him like, I was burning inside,” Niemann said. “I was going to say something and he’s like, ‘all right, forgive me. Before you say something, I was just kidding.’

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What a massive prank by Andy Pazder! Niemann almost believed it to be true and was taken out of his senses. That’s when Pazder revealed that he was just pulling the Chilean’s leg. 

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Arjun Athreya

2105 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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