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Niemann (65) moves even closer to securing Tour card

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POTOMAC, Md. – Joaquin Niemann took another step towards securing this 2018-19 PGA Tour card Sunday at the Quicken Loans National.

The 19-year-old from Chile carded seven birdies and two bogeys in a final-round 65 to finish 6 under for the week, tied for 17th.

The reigning Latin America Amateur champion and former amateur No. 1 turned pro in April after cashing in his Masters invite. He needed just five professional starts to secure special temporary membership, doing so last month at the Memorial.

Since turning pro, he’s racked up three top-10 finishes, three missed cuts and now another top-25.

“I think this has gone better than I would have thought,” he told on Sunday. “I wasn’t expecting to play this well, but now that I’m here, it’s just really nice and I think my game is getting better every time.”

Able to receive unlimited sponsor’s exemptions for the remainder of the season, Niemann intends to make four more starts this season at The Greenbrier, John Deere Classic, Barracuda Championship and Wyndham Championship.

Full-field scores from the Quicken Loans National

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Although he isn’t eligible for the FedExCup playoffs, Niemann can secure full-time status on Tour for next season by finishing inside the top 125 this year as a non-member. He entered the week between in what would have been 125th and just picked up another 44 points to put himself in de facto 119th.

“Obviously, you’re thinking about getting that Tour card, but I just like to go out there and enjoy my round and not think about needing to play well to get status. I think that happened to me yesterday,” he said, referencing his third-round 74. “I just tried too hard to have a good round and couldn’t make it possible.”