As a Netflix original documentary series that offers a complete, objective view of what life is like for professional golfers on the PGA Tour roaster, ‘Full Swing’ can only be described as immersive. That’s because each episode centers around a few specific athletes during different stages of the 2022 season to really shine a light upon both their personal as well as professional experiences. Among those to thus feature here was Mito Pereira, leading his friendship with Joaquin Niemann to get its time in the limelight as well — so now, let’s find out more about the same, shall we?
Mito and Joaquin’s Full Swing Journey
While there’s no denying the Latin Americans tend to stick together during each PGA Tour event, the truth is the two Santiago, Chile natives, Mito and Joaquin, have been close for a long time. Their association actually goes way back to when they were mere teens hoping to find themselves not just as people but also as athletes in their homeland deep in the entire southwest region. “In Chile, golf is small, so everybody knows each other,” the former said in the show, to which the latter added, “we had a nice group growing up. We were like five-six guys doing the same thing.”
Mito added, “[Joaquin and I] have the same coach… When we were – – I was 17, I think, and he was 14; we probably practiced every day together. Every time we’re home, we try to play something.” This time period is particularly crucial since he’d just made a comeback to the world of golf after briefly quitting at the age of 15 despite having won nearly every tournament he’d participated in. Mito was hence Joaquin’s mentor in every sense of the term, yet his 2-year break cost him dearly as the latter soon found himself traveling to play the PGA Tour through sponsor exemptions.
In other words, while Joaquin acquired his debut professional PGA card in 2018, Mito earned his three years later by winning three 2020-2021 Korn Ferry Tour events in quick succession. The latter is actually only the 12th golfer in this whole tour’s history to land this direct three-win promotion — an achievement his loved ones, including his friends, definitely celebrated. Coming to the dynamic between this duo, it did change a little once PGA came into the picture as Mito was the one then looking to his friend for advice; though there was always a sense of mutual respect and compassion.
In fact, from what we can tell, Mito genuinely chose to settle down around Palm Beach Gardens in Florida upon relocating to the United States at North Palm Beach resident Joaquin’s behest. As for the supportive aspect, this much was evident from how the latter was genuinely devastated by Mito getting flustered during the 2022 PGA Championship and losing his lead to place third. It’s also imperative to note that Joaquin actually explained their real bond in the series by stating: “We always try to keep it competitive and friendly at the same time…In the course is one thing. Off the course is another.”
Are Mito and Joaquin Still Friends?
Yes, of course! Considering they not only reside nearby but recently also changed their entire career trajectory by joining the LIV Golf League, Mito and Joaquin are still as close as they can be. While the latter had become a part of this Saudi-Arabia-funded sports program in the summer of 2022, his sheer convincing power led his friend to follow in his footsteps in February 2023. However, the best part for them both is the fact they’re on the same team, with the younger, more-experienced professional serving as captain — their other teammates are Juan Sebastian Muñoz and David Puig Corrius.
We should mention Joaquin had even spoken to a Chilean newspaper called La Tercera regarding getting Mito defected to the rebel series just a short while prior, only for it to soon become a reality. “I would love to bring [Mito over to LIV],” Joaquin had asserted. “I’m doing everything possible, but in the end it’s his decision… I imagine him playing the LIV. It would be ideal for him to be on the team, but that is not yet known. I hope it is. For me, at least, it would be ideal if he was on the team.”
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