Joaquin Niemann was handed a disappointing 22nd birthday present in being forced to withdraw from The Masters after testing positive for coronavirus.
The Chilean golfer, who celebrates his birthday today (November 7), had been set to make his second appearance at Augusta National in next week’s rescheduled final major of the year. Niemann made his Masters debut as an amateur in 2018 after winning the Latin America Amateur Championship, with the ultra-talented golfer earning an invitation to this year’s contest after his breakthrough PGA Tour victory at The Greenbrier last September.
In a statement, Niemann said: “I have tested positive for coronavirus and unfortunately I will not play in the Masters next week as a result. This event means a lot to me, and I have had incredible memories playing as the LAAC champion, as well as alongside some of the game’s greatest players last year. I am disappointed but will do everything possible to recover quickly while keeping my family and team safe.”
His withdrawal reduces the field in the 84th hosting of the Masters to 95 entrants though it’s understood that will be further reduced ahead of the 12th November start to the Masters.