As the leading player in the 2017 World Amateur Golf Ranking™ at the close of the summer’s championship season, Joaquin Niemann, of Chile, is the winner of the Mark H. McCormack Medal.
"I am very honored to receive the prestigious 2017 Mark H. McCormack medal,” said Niemann, the first player from South America to win the McCormack Medal since its inception in 2007. “Thank you to the USGA and The R&A for this important award."
A 2016 Rolex Junior All-America First-Team selection, Niemann kicked off 2017 with a runner-up finish in the 3rd Latin America Amateur Championship, where he competed in a three-man playoff for the title. He also made several appearances in professional events in 2017, including the U.S. Open and the GreenBrier Classic, where he returned a 72-hole score of 5-under 275 that included a round-leading 64 in the final round. He also won three professional events in Chile, as well as the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at Innisbrook and the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club, both in April.
In last week’s U.S. Amateur at The Riviera Country Club and Bel-Air Country Club, Niemann lost to NCAA individual champion and 2017 USA Walker Cup Team member Braden Thornberry in the Round of 64, 1 down. A two-time winner of the IMG Academy Junior World Championship (2015-16), Niemann advanced to the quarterfinals in the 2017 Western Amateur.
Niemann, who joins Danny Lee (2008) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (2013) as the only 18-year-olds to earn the McCormack Medal, will receive an exemption into the 2018 U.S. Open Championship at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y. (June 14-17), and the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland (July 19-22), provided he remains an amateur.