Cameron Champ has a second opportunity to spread his wings on the PGA Tour this coming season. As the 2018 recipient of the Charlie Sifford memorial Exemption Champ gains access to play in the Genesis Open.
Tiger Woods made the announcement of the honor which will be played at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., from Feb. 15-18.
“I am excited to have Cameron in the field for the Genesis Open,” said Woods, the tournament host for the Genesis Open. “On the course, Cameron has all the tools to compete at Riviera, and off the course, his commitment to growing the game is inspiring. I know Charlie would be proud to have Cameron play in the Genesis Open in his honor.”
The Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption started in 2009 and is named in honor of the first African American player to compete on the PGA Tour. It was created to represent the advancement of diversity in the game of golf and is given annually for the Genesis Open to a golfer representing a minority background. Sifford was a professional golfer who was the first African American to play on the PGA Tour and the first African American inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He died on February 3, 2015, in Cleveland, OH. Professional golfer Kevin Hall was the exemption recipient in 2017.
“I am incredibly grateful and humbled to receive the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption for the 2018 Genesis Open,” Champ said in a release. “This means a lot to me, as well as my entire family. Mr. Sifford’s legacy has had a huge influence not only on why I play the game of golf, but also how I seek to use the game as a vehicle for positive change, the celebration of diversity and to make a difference in our communities – all examples that were unquestionably set by Charlie Sifford. It gives me great pride to play in his name at Riviera this year.”
As a former standout golfer at Texas A&M, Champ made a grand public impression at last year’s U.S. Open. Throughout the 36 hole competition, he was watched by millions and finished the week tied for 32nd place.
At 22-years old, Champ’s involved history includes being a part of the American team that dominated the Walker Cup in 2017. After he turned professional, fall 2017, three PGA Tour starts followed, but he ended by missing those cuts. The owner of a Web.com Tour card, Champ has shaped statistics which show T-21 and T-40 on that tour in 2018.
It was Champ’s grandfather Mack who first exposed him to the game of golf, making many sacrifices along the way, defending himself, and his family, when racial inequality in America for African Americans rose its ugly head.
Champ, like his father Jeff, is the child of a bi-racial marriage. His first-hand life experiences have made him a strong individual keen to helping make the world a better place for all. The professional golfer keeps actively involved with golf organizations that include The First Tee of Sacramento, and, he’s been involved with The First Tee since 2003.