U.S. Walker Cup team member Cameron Champ will be the recipient of the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption for golf’s Genesis Open, which will be played Feb. 15-18 at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.
Tournament organizers have given a sponsor’s exemption to the tournament field to a golfer representing a minority background annually since 2009. The exemption was named in 2017 to honor the memory of Charlie Sifford, the first black player to compete on the PGA Tour.
The 22-year-old Champ is a Sacramento-area native who turned pro months after tying for 32nd in the 2017 U.S. Open. Champ starred at Texas A&M and was part of the U.S. team that defeated Great Britain & Ireland in the 46th Walker Cup at the Los Angeles County Club in September.
Champ said receiving the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption “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,” Champ said Wednesday after tournament organizers announced he would receive the exemption.
“It gives me great pride to play in his name at Riviera this year.”
—City News Service
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