GREENSBORO, N.C. – Two 19-year-old phenoms who appear destined for PGA TOUR stardom, Joaquin Niemann and Norman Xiong, will play the Wyndham Championship, the tournament announced today. The 79th annual Wyndham Championship is set for Aug. 14-19, 2018 at Sedgefield Country Club.
These players join defending champion and 2013 FedExCup champion Henrik Stenson, 2018 PLAYERS Championship and 2011 Wyndham winner Webb Simpson, 2007 winner and 2012 FedExCup Champion Brandt Snedeker, 2018 Ryder Cup Captain Jim Furyk, World Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els, 2011 FedExCup champion Bill Haas, three-time champion Davis Love III, 2016 winner Si Woo Kim and East Carolina University alumnus Harold Varner III in the Wyndham Championship field.
Niemann is a former No. 1 amateur in the world; a native and resident of Santiago, Chile, he turned professional earlier this year after one year at the University of South Florida. He finished tied for sixth at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide while playing on a sponsor exemption and earned enough FedExCup points to gain Special Temporary Membership on the PGA TOUR through the Wyndham Championship. He became the youngest player since Sergio Garcia (1999) to earn such status.
With that status, Niemann may accept unlimited sponsor exemptions. While he currently has no FedExCup standing because he is not officially a PGA TOUR member, the $1,156,857 he earned in his 10 previous starts this season would place him 98th among the PGA TOUR official money leaders. To earn his PGA TOUR card for next season, Niemann must either win the Wyndham Championship or finish with the same number of FedExCup points as the golfer that finishes 125th in the season’s final FedExCup standings. No. 125 currently has 353 points; Niemann has 464.
Niemann’s best finishes of the season are tied for fifth in A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier, sixth at the Valero Texas Open in his PGA TOUR debut, sixth at the Memorial Tournament and tied for eighth at the Fort Worth Invitational. He is currently No. 164 in the Official World Golf Rankings – not bad for a guy that’s still three months shy of his 20th birthday.
Xiong won the 2018 Fred Haskins Award as the nation’s most outstanding men’s college golfer and the Division I Jack Nicklaus Award as the top men’s collegiate golfer. An alumnus of the University of Oregon, Xiong was named First Team Ping All-American, All-Pac-12 first team, Ping All-West Region Team and was a semifinalist for the prestigious Ben Hogan Award. He played the AJGA Wyndham Invitational presented by BB&T at Sedgefield Country Club in 2015 and finished tied for 19th.
Xiong, who learned life skills and golf through The First Tee of San Diego, turned professional after his six-win sophomore season at Oregon and made his PGA TOUR debut earlier this month at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier. After three PGA TOUR starts, the Guam native of Chinese heritage is still looking for his first made cut. Like Niemann, he will turn 20 in November.
“It’s not every day you have two teenagers in a PGA TOUR event,” tournament director Mark Brazil said. “But these are two of the best young pros in the world, and I’m hoping Joaquin and Norman enjoy the Wyndham Championship and Sedgefield so much, they will want to come back to play every year once get their TOUR cards.”
About the Wyndham Championship:
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 sixth-oldest event on the PGA TOUR excluding the Majors. Tickets are available at http://www.wyndhamchampionship.com or through the tournament office at (336) 379-1570. The tournament thanks title sponsor Wyndham Rewards, presenting sponsor BB&T and Premier Partners, Cadillac, Harris Teeter, Lincoln Financial, McConnell Golf, Sunbrella® and VF Corporation for their continued support. Additional tournament information and sponsorship information are available at www.wyndhamchampionship.com. For more information about Wyndham Rewards, please visit www.wyndhamrewards.com. Stay connected with the Wyndham Championship through its social media channels, including the Wyndham Championship Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram.
About Wyndham Rewards:
Named a best travel rewards program for the past three consecutive years by U.S. News and World Report, Wyndham Rewards® is the world’s most generous loyalty program offering members a simple earning structure of a guaranteed 1,000 points for every qualified stay, along with a flat, free night redemption rate of just 15,000 points per room per night – the first of its kind for a major rewards program. Wyndham Rewards members can enjoy the benefits of the program at nearly 9,000 Wyndham Hotels & Resorts properties, as well as thousands of homes and condos in partnership with Wyndham Destinations. Join for free today at www.WyndhamRewards.com You’ve earned this.®
About Wyndham Hotels & Resorts:
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: WH) is the largest hotel franchising Company in the world, with nearly 9,000 hotels across more than 80 countries on six continents. Through its network of approximately 790,000 rooms appealing to the everyday traveler, Wyndham commands a leading presence in both the economy and midscale segments of the lodging industry. The Company operates a portfolio of 20 hotel brands, including Super 8®, Days Inn®, Ramada®, Microtel Inn & Suites®, La Quinta®, Wingate®, AmericInn®, Hawthorn Suites®, The Trademark Collection® and Wyndham®. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is also a leading provider of hotel management services, with more than 400 properties under management. The Company’s award-winning Wyndham Rewards® loyalty program offers more than 56 million enrolled members the opportunity to redeem points at thousands of hotels, condominiums and holiday homes globally. For more information, visit www.WyndhamHotels.com.
About Wyndham Destinations:
Wyndham Destinations (NYSE: WYND) believes in putting the world on vacation. Our global presence in 110 countries at more than 220 vacation ownership resorts and 4,300+ affiliated exchange properties distinguishes Wyndham Destinations as the world’s largest vacation ownership and exchange company, with North America’s largest professionally managed rental business. Each year our team of 25,000 associates delivers great vacations to millions of families as they make memories of a lifetime. Learn more at www.WyndhamDestinations.com. Our world is your destination.
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