GREENSBORO, N.C. – Wyndham Championship sponsor exemptions have been accepted by some of the best and brightest future stars of the PGA TOUR and two PGA TOUR veterans including a former Wyndham Championship winner, it was announced today. The 71st annual Wyndham Championship runs through Sunday at Sedgefield Country Club.
Mark Brooks won the PGA Championship in 1996 and the Piedmont Triad’s PGA TOUR event in 1991. The seven-time PGA TOUR winner turned professional in 1981, and with his addition to the field, 13 major championship winners will play the Wyndham Championship.
Drew Weaver played the Wyndham in 2008 as an amateur shooting two rounds of two-under-par 69 but missed the cut. The former British Amateur winner is an alumnus of Virginia Tech University. He played for the United States in last year’s Walker Cup matches.
PGA TOUR veteran Chris Smith has accepted an exemption. “Chris Smith has been a long-time friend of the Wyndham Championship,” tournament director Mark Brazil said. “Chris has been very supportive of this event and a good friend for many years. He’s been through a tough time in the last year and a half, and we’re happy to be able to give him an exemption.”
The winner of the 2010 AJGA FootJoy Invitational, Tanner Kesterson, earned an exemption when he won the FootJoy in June. Last year’s FootJoy champion, Justin Thomas, became the third youngest player to make the cut at a PGA TOUR event when he played in the Wyndham last year.
Exemptions were originally given to PGA TOUR veterans who might have needed them; John Daly, David Duval and Steve Elkington. Duval and Daly qualified for the Wyndham on their own, and Elkington is not playing. That opened the door for some future stars to join the field.
Brian Harmon won the AJGA FootJoy Invitational in 2004 and ’05. The University of Georgia alumnus has played two PGA TOUR events as an amateur, and this year, he has played in two Nationwide Tour events. Harmon played for the United States in last year’s Walker Cup matches.
2009 NCAA men’s golf champion Matt Hill turned professional earlier this year and has accepted an exemption. The 21-year-old NC State alumnus made his professional debut at The Memorial in Columbus, Ohio earlier this year; he was one of the top-ranked amateurs in the world last year when he won seven college tournaments besides the NCAA championship to earn the Haskins Award as outstanding college golfer.
Former Wake Forest University Player Brendan Gielow had a standout college career. Earlier this year, he became the first Wake Forest player to win the Byron Nelson Award by the Golf Coach’s Association of America. He made his first Nationwide Tour start last week and is making his first PGA TOUR start this week at the Wyndham Championship. He played for the United States in last year’s Walker Cup matches.
Seung Yul Noh, a 19-year-old South Korean, won the European Tour’s Maybank Malaysian Open in March and medaled at the British Open’s IFQ-Asia the next week. Last week at the PGA Championship, he managed seven first-round birdies at Whistling Straits and finished tied for 28th place.
These players join a Wyndham Championship field that includes world No. 14 Anthony Kim, 2008 Masters winner Trevor Immelman, 1992 Masters winner Fred Couples, 2009 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover, two-time Wyndham winners Davis Love III and Rocco Mediate, Justin Leonard, John Daly, David Duval, David Toms, Mike Weir, Boo Weekly, Chris DiMarco and the last three Wyndham Championship winners, Ryan Moore, Carl Pettersson and Brandt Snedeker.
The 2010 Wyndham Championship runs through Sunday at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C. Tickets are available at wyndhamchampionship.com, through the tournament office or at any Piedmont-Triad Harris Teeter location. The tournament thanks title sponsor Wyndham Worldwide and Premier Partners, BB&T, Flow Automotive, Harris Teeter and VF Corporation for their continued support. Additional tournament information, including ticket packages and sponsorship information, is available at wyndhamchampionship.com or through the tournament office at (336) 379-1570. For more information about Wyndham Worldwide, please visit www.wyndhamworldwide.com.