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Niemann, 19, on cusp of earning status on Tour

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DUBLIN, Ohio – For Joaquin Niemann, a 19-year-old from Chile, this weekend at the Memorial represents multiple milestones.

Niemann will enter the weekend tied for the lead, his first 36-hole lead on the PGA Tour, and he’ll also have a chance to dramatically change his professional fortunes thanks to rounds of 65-68.

The Memorial is Niemann’s sixth start this season on Tour (he played the Masters as an amateur), and following top-10 finishes at the Valero Texas Open and Fort Worth Invitational he’s poised to secure special temporary status on Tour.

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Niemann needs 89 FedExCup points (a top-7 finish at Muirfield Village) to secure his status, which would allow him to accept unlimited sponsor exemptions in his quest to earn full playing privileges, not that he seemed too worried about that on Friday.

“I don't like to think about that. I just want to be out here and enjoy my round and try to play my best and see how it goes,” he said.

 Niemann is scheduled to play the U.S. Open qualifier on Monday in Columbus and earned a spot into the field next week at the FedEx St. Jude Classic (the next full-field event) via his tie for eighth in Fort Worth.