Monday was a big day for Clemson golfer Bryson Nimmer on and off the golf course.
Early in the day the Tiger senior was named to the Walker Cup practice squad.
Later in the day he shot his career best tournament round posting a 63 at the Sun Bowl All-American Classic to take the first round lead.
The tournament includes a select field of 29 top college golfers. Past winners have included Tiger Woods, Davis Love, III, Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson.
“I got the putter going a little bit and made some putts,” said Nimmer. “I didn’t play very well here last year and it mostly was the putters fault, to make putts this year felt pretty good,” he said.
Nimmer followed up his bogey free first round with a second round 3-under par 68 to finish the first 36 holes tied for the lead in the tournament being played at the El Paso Country Club in Texas.
“I played really good for the first 27 holes, but the back nine wasn’t great. I hung in there and got a little tired, it was a long day,” he said.
Nimmer is tied with Matthiro Schmid from Louisville going into the final round on Tuesday.
“I expect more of the same, pins tucked in corners. I have to go out and make some putts,” he said.
Nimmer could be the second Tiger to win the event. 1989 US Amateur champion Chris Patton won back to back Sun Bowl titles in 1988 and 1989.
Nimmer will have some more golf to play during the holiday break. The Clemson golfer from Bluffton is one of 16 players chosen to participate in the Walker Cup practice sessions that begin on December 14th.
Nimmer has had an outstanding start to his final year at Clemson.
He opened the season with wins at The Farm in Dalton, Georgia and The Maui Jim Intercollegiate in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The two victories earned Nimmer a spot on the first Haskins Award Watch List. The Haskins Award is college golf’s version of the football Heisman Trophy.
The Golfweek Men’s Collegiate ranking has Nimmer 11th while he is 10th in the Golfstat Statistic Rankings.
Being invited to the practice sessions does not make selection to the next Walker Cup team a certainty, usually about one-third of the invitees make the final squad.
“The practice sessions presents an excellent opportunity for the players, the captain and the USGA to become familiar with each other as we begin the process of team selection,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director of championships.
Recently two golfers with Palmetto State connections have made Walker Cup teams. The 2016 US Amateur champion Doc Redman from Clemson was on the winning 2017 team and 5-time SCGA Player of the Year Todd White from Spartanburg was on the winning 2013 squad.