By Stan Olenik, Editor-Publisher The Golf Club
The last time Jacob Bridgeman teed it up in something other than a college tournament he won.
He will get a chance to make it two in a row, but this time the competition will be the best players in the world.
Bridgeman has been extended a sponsors’ exemption to play in the PGA Tour’s Wells-Fargo Championship this weekend.
The event which has been played at Quail Hollow is being played this year at the TPC Potomac at Avenel Farms near Washington, DC. while the Charlotte course gets ready for the President’s Cup in the fall.
Bridgeman will play as an amateur and only be able to collect the experience of playing in the professional event, not any money.
Bridgeman’s victory at one of the PGA Tour Canada’s qualifying tournaments started the Clemson senior on a run that has moved him up to second on the very important PGA Tour University rankings.
At the end of the college season the top-five golfers in the ranking receive full exempt status to begin their professional careers on the Korn-Ferry Tour.
After his wire to wire victory over PGA Tour players and aspiring college golfers, back in college golf he won the Linger Longer Invitational.
Bridgeman won the event by six-shots after posting rounds of 67-66-67 for a 200 total to tie former Tiger golfer Doc Redman’s record for largest victory margin.
“When I get it going I think I can’t miss. When I get a lead I feel I can play free and no one can catch me,” he said after the win.
He followed up the victory with a third place finish at the Valspar Collegiate, shooting a second round 63 and the following week at the Calusa Cup he finished fourth.
Bridgeman entered the ACC championship as one of the hottest golfers in the country.
He shot rounds of 69-67-68 for a 203 total to tie for the lead at the end of regulation.
He defeated UNC’s Peter Fountain, the defending ACC champion, with a birdie on the second playoff hole for medalist honors.
“I’ve wanted to win the ACC Championship my whole college career. Now that I checked that one off, my next goal is to win a national championship,” Bridgeman said during an appearance on the Packer and Durham ACC Network program.
The Tigers will find out their NCAA regional assignment this week while Bridgeman will probably be playing a practice round for his PGA Tour debut.
At the PGA Tour Canada qualifying tournament Bridgeman got a look at what life will soon be like for him as a Tour player.
“Up till now I’ve been playing tournaments with other college guys who are my friends, out here it is different. There are older guys who have been at it for awhile. It is all business. It is a really different atmosphere, but I’m ready to get started,” he said in a Golf Club story in the April issue.
Bridgman will be joined in the field by a few other Clemson grads.
Lucas Glover, Jonathan Byrd, Doc Redman, Ben Martin, 2021 NCAA Champion Turk Pettit and Bryson Nimmer are competing in the tournament.
As a historical note, the last time an amateur won a PGA Tour event was in 1991 when Phil Mickelson won the Northern Telecom Open as a junior at Arizona St.
When Bridgeman finishes his college season after the NCAA tournament, it is anticipated he could begin his professional career at his hometown Korn-Ferry Tour event.
The BMW Charity Pro-Am is scheduled for June 9 th-12th at Thornblade Club in Greenville and the Carolina Country Club in Spartanburg. https://www.bmwgroup-werke.com/spartanburg/en/charity-golf.html
BMW Tournament officials would not confirm they have a spot reserved for Bridgeman in the local tournament.
Instead, tournament officials believe his ranking in the PGA Tour University poll will earn him a place in the field negating the need to issue a sponsor exemption as he received to play in the Wells Fargo championship this week.
Current PGA Tour University rankings https://www.pgatour.com/university.html
Any announcement of Bridgeman joining the field for the BMW may not be made until the completion of the NCAA Championship at the end of May.
Bridgeman’s tee time will be announced the day before the tournament. https://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/wells-fargo-championship/tee-times.html
ESPN+ and the Golf Channel will have coverage of the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday.
CBS will have the weekend coverage starting at 3PM each day preceded by early round coverage on the Golf Channel starting at 1PM
Categories: Clemson golf