Spotlight on: Joaquin Niemann hoping home advantage will help at The Honda Classic

After his brilliant but gruelling win at the Genesis Invitational in California last week, the Chilean will at least get to sleep in his own bed as the PGA Tour moves east to Florida.

It's been one heck of a week for Chile's Joaquin Niemann after his wire-to-wire win at the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles.

The celebrations started on the final green when some of his closest PGA Tour pals, the Latino contingent of compatriot Mito Pereira, Spain's Sergio Garcia, Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas, Mexican Carlos Ortiz and Colombian Sebastian Munoz doused him in champagne. The revelry lasted for another 48 hours.

And who can blame Niemann for letting it all go. Winning a prestigious event at famed Riviera and securing the biggest payday of his career was a huge moment for the 23-year-old.

From here Niemann can reach for the stars but perhaps it's no bad thing that he plays in Florida this week and gets back to the grind.

Leading for all four rounds at Riviera would have taken it out of him but, thankfully for Niemann, the schedule has worked out perfectly.

This week's Honda Classic takes place over the Champions Course at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens and that just happens to be on his doorstep after he moved to the area when turning pro in 2018.

Can sleeping in his own bed and other home comforts help Niemann launch another title tilt? Here's what he said in his pre-tournament press conference.

Niemann on his Riviera win and getting back on the horse

"It's been awesome. It's been my best last two days, I have been really excited, a lot of celebrations with my friends, with the family. Yeah, we got to get back to this week and get started again this week.

"Everybody saw on the videos that Sergio, Johnny, Carlos, Sebastian, Mito, they were all there waiting for me on 18.

"And we were lucky enough to fly almost all together back here to Palm Beach and have a good celebration on the plane and, yeah, also we kept going a little bit when we arrived.

"But other than that, we recharge our batteries, try to sleep a little bit later today so I can get back to that rhythm and get back to workouts and practising and get ready for this week."

Niemann on The Honda Classic

"We start the year in really difficult courses like Torrey Pines, Riviera, this one this week, Honda.

"I always enjoy playing here because I can stay in my own bed, I have a lot of friends out here, so they will be watching me, following me.

"So it's one of those weeks that I really enjoy playing and, yeah, it's fun."

Niemann on how long it takes him to get to the course

"Depends on the car. (Laughing) No, it took like probably like less than 10 minutes."

Niemann on why he chose to live in the area

"I always like Florida. I always wanted to be here. And, yeah, it was an easy decision when I turned pro, I wanted to come here in Palm Beach because I know the best courses are around here, especially where I practice (he is a member at Dye Preserve and Medalist).

"Knowing that I'm going to have the best facilities during the whole year as the same as we play on PGA Tour tournaments, I know it will prepare me better.

"Because where I grew up in Chile we don't have the same surface, the same grass, same maintenance, so it's not the same. And you get used to good grass, tight lies into the grain, Bermuda, I think it helps a lot my game in these last four years.

"We get also a big group of Chilean players here in Palm Beach where we play a lot together."

Niemann on PGA National and playing tough courses

"I always like playing challenging courses. I like tournaments when you won with not good scores. I really like those type of courses, kind of like major tournaments, that they sometimes win with one digit under par.

"So I like playing those type of courses. I think it reflects and it pays a lot to guys that hit it good off the tee and good irons. So I think it could fit good my game, hopefully have a good week and why not go back-to-back?!"

Niemann's course form

This is Niemann's fourth start at the Honda Classic and he's yet to break the top 20 in three past attempts although last year was his best effort.

2021 - Tied 25th (69-67-73-69)

2020 - Missed Cut (74-71)

2019 - Tied 59th (71-70-71-71)

Niemann's record in Florida

The Chilean has made nine starts in Florida, making seven cuts.

While he has just one top 20, it's noticeable that his best two finishes have come on his two latest starts.

That was his tied 25th here last March and a tied eighth at the Valspar a couple of months later when sitting fourth going into the final round.

It suggests the local knowledge is really starting to kick in.

Niemann's current form and stats

Before last week's win at the Genesis, Niemann had finished tied eighth in the Saudi International and tied sixth in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

In other words, he's one of the form players on the PGA Tour.

Looking at his season-long stats, he's 7th for Strokes Gained: Around The Green, 8th SG: Tee-To-Green, 20th SG: Approach but only 115th for SG: Putting.

READ MORE: Daniel Berger in the Honda Classic at PGA National: Home boy using local knowledge

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