Cary, N.C. Golfer Ben Kohles Leads Wyndham Exemptions

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Batting 1000 is a phase most often used in baseball, but sometimes it works in other sports – such is the case with golfer Ben Kohles who is one of nine golfers accepting sponsor’s exemptions to play in the 73rd annual Wyndham Championship, it was announced today.  Tournament week began today at 10 a.m. with the Kevin Harvick Foundation Pro-Am presented by Technology Concepts and Design, Inc.

Kohles, from Cary, N.C., won his first two Tour events, and he hoisted the champion’s trophy at both.  He won the July 29 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational in Columbus, Ohio and the Aug. 2 Cox Classic in Omaha, Neb.  Pick just about any World Golf Hall of Famer, and it will be tough to find anyone else who won his first two professional tournaments.  While he was unable to make it three in a row yesterday in the Price Cutter Charity Championship in Springfield, Mo., the 22-year-old golfer is second in Tour standings after just three tournaments.

Earlier this month, Kohles told the Raleigh News & Observer, “It’s totally been a dream come true. I never expected anything like this to happen to me. It was way beyond any of my wildest expectations and it’s still kind of hard to take it all in.”

A Texas native whose family moved to Cary when he was 10, Kohles played at Green Hope High School before starting his distinguished career at the University of Virginia where he won seven tournaments.  After graduating in May, few doubted his potential, but few, including Kohles, expected two wins in two tournaments.

Patrick Cantlay turned professional earlier this summer after a distinguished amateur career while at UCLA.  He won the Haskins Award this year as the nation’s most outstanding college golfer and the McCormack Medal as the world’s No. 1 ranked amateur player.  In the Masters earlier this year, he won the silver cup as the tournament’s low amateur. Since turning professional, he has made four cuts in five PGA TOUR events.

Another ACC alumnus, Chesson Hadley, will play the Wyndham Championship on an sponsor’s exemption.  He won the ACC Individual Golf Championship in 2010, representing Georgia Tech University.  He has played on the Hooters Tour and eGolf Tour where he has made 16 cuts in 17 starts this year.  The 25-year old golfer from Raleigh plays out of Raleigh Country Club.

Matthew NeSmith won the AJGA FJ Invitational in June and earned a sponsor’s exemption with his win at The Cardinal Golf & Country Club.  NeSmith is currently No. 1 in both the Golfweek and AJGA Polo Junior Rankings; he has five career AJGA victories. He will attend the University of South Carolina this fall.

Dicky Pride finished tied for second at the HP Byron Nelson Championship earlier this year. He is currently 79th in the FedExCup point standings and 61st in official money.  He has one PGA TOUR win but is also known for rescheduling his wedding so it would not conflict with a qualifying tournament.

Also playing the Wyndham on sponsor’s exemptions are golfers who have already been announced: Boo Weekley, David Duval and Japanese superstar Ryo Ishikawa. In addition, Nicolas Colsaerts, No. 35 in the Official World Golf Rankings, is playing the Wyndham on the PGA TOUR’s foreign exemption.

Contested annually on the Donald Ross-designed course at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., the Wyndham Championship was founded in 1938 and is the seventh-oldest event on the PGA TOUR.  Buy-one, get-one-free tickets are available at Piedmont Triad-area Harris Teeter locations, at or through the tournament office.  The tournament thanks title sponsor Wyndham Worldwide, presenting sponsor BB&T and Premier Partners, Cadillac, Harris Teeter, McConnell Golf, Sunbrella®, Technology Concepts & Design, Inc. and VF Corporation for their continued support.  Additional tournament information, including ticket packages and sponsorship information, is available at or through the tournament office at (336) 379-1570.  For more information about Wyndham Worldwide, please visit

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