Pre-Tournament Interview With:

Joaquin Niemann

Tuesday May 1, 2018

SHARON SHIN: All right, I would like to thank Joaquín Niemann for coming into the press conference room today. Joaquín, you're coming off a pretty impressive pro debut at the Valero Texas Open, a sixth place finish. How's your week been since that tournament?

JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, it was a really fun week last week. Gave me a lot of confidence and I just practice all week last week for being prepared for this amazing week at the Wells Fargo. Yeah, I prepared a lot.

SHARON SHIN: And with that top-10 finish, has that changed your expectations for this week at all?

JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, of course give me a lot of confidence being here after having a really good week at Valero and just want to try to play my game, play against the course. After the, we can see how it goes.

SHARON SHIN: Great. We'll open it up for questions.

Q. I know you won a lot as an amateur. Is there a type of course you prefer? Longer courses, shorter, tighter courses, what kind of works best for you?

JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, I think like tree-lined courses like San Antonio was really, really tight, and because I like to hit like my low drivers and I feel really confident with that. Yeah, I mean this course is really long. I've got to hit it long, big drivers, and yeah, I feel really good.

Q. Did you get to practice today, did you get a round in today?

JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, I played 18 holes with my friend from Chile and also with Roberto Diaz and Abraham Ancer from Mexico, so it was a really fun round.

Q. When you talk about the fairways being tree lined, did you see that same thing here?

JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, there is a lot of driver that you have to fade, you've got to draw, you've got to hit all of those shots. I mean, it's a really good course and it's tough from the tee

Q. Do you feel like you're getting acclimated to the States and playing over here now?

JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, I've been playing a lot here in the U.S. and I feel like every time I feel like more home maybe, like I know I feeling really comfortable with where I am, with who I'm playing with and with my game also.

Q. What would be your strongest part of your game? You mentioned your driver, but what's the other part of your game you like?

JOAQUIN NIEMANN: I mean for this week it's the key to be straight with the driver, and yeah, I think right now my putter's been really good. I think that's the best part of this last two weeks. So having my putter good, it gives me a lot of confidence with all my game.

Q. Are there any other players that are mentoring you or helping you out this week?


Q. Are there older players who are helping you that you lean on, that they help you?

JOAQUIN NIEMANN: At the Masters I played with Freddie Couples and he gave me a lot of advice of how it's going to be playing on Tour or how you're going to manage your game in every course. Also I've been playing also with these guys from Mexico, they've been here for a year and they're really nice guys and they know how to play.

Q. How would you rate your consistency as far as hitting fairways? Is it something you're pretty solid with?

JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, I think hitting fairways is one of my best part of my game. Yeah, just need to hit fairway because this rough is really big and also the course is really long, so you don't want to hit 5-irons from the rough. So it's going to be key for having a good week, being on the fairway.

Q. What was your determining factor in your decision to turn pro?

JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, after I got a really good amateur career and I say that I want more, like I just want to turn pro and play with the best guys in the world. I think I just was -- I was done with my amateur career, I just needed to play the Masters as an amateur, and then after I did it I feel like I was ready for being a pro.

Q. Could I back up to playing with Freddie Couples? Freddie has a very casual game to play. How did that fit with your style? Do you like to play a little faster or is that going to be a deterrent when you play with different players out here this week?

JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, Freddie is really smart on the course; he knows where to hit it, he knows where to miss it. Yeah, he hit it -- for how old is he, he hit it really long, and yeah, he's really good.

Q. How do you feel playing with the other pros as you are now, particularly in Texas, with that confidence you've got? L?

JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, it feels really nice. I played the third day with Trey Mullinax. He shot 10 under that day, it was incredible how he play there. Almost win that tournament, so feels nice to be playing with these guys and also I'm trying to learn a lot from them and try to get a lot of experience.

SHARON SHIN: And a follow-up, your second start as a professional, how do you feel like your life has changed since becoming a professional golfer?

JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, it has been -- it has been pretty much the same. I just playing golf in beautiful golf courses, enjoying every moment I'm here on the course, and with these guys are really, really good. So being here is really nice and it helps a lot my game to grow up.

Q. Have you changed your practice in and around a tournament now from what you did as an amateur to what you're doing as a pro? Tell us what you'll do now after this round and your practice day.

JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, when I was an amateur, I just did the same as what I'm doing now. I just feel that if I play good as an amateur doing what I was doing, just want to keep it the same and it has been the same.

Q. Did you grow up a Tiger Woods fan, and if so, how did he influence you?

JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, I grew up watching Tiger. Yeah, he was incredible. Yeah, it's amazing now that I'm playing the same tournament as he, so I hope I can play with him on the weekend, it would be nice.

Q. Have you ever met him?

JOAQUIN NIEMANN: I met him at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley like two years ago. He went there to make like a golf clinic and played ping pong with us and it was fun.

SHARON SHIN: I would like to thank you for your time and good luck this week.