Rising stars highlight special exemptions and invitations
Ten months after their thrilling playoff duel for the 2017 U.S. Amateur championship, Doc Redman and Doug Ghim have accepted invitations to compete in the 2018 Quicken Loans National alongside tournament exemptions Joaquin Niemann, Kristoffer Ventura and Dylan Meyer.
The group of rising stars, along with exemption recipients Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Jason Gore, will join tournament host Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama in the 120-player invitational field at TPC Potomac June 25 – July 1.
“We are excited to invite this distinguished group of young golfers to the 2018 Quicken Loans National,” tournament director Mike Antolini said. “The tournament has a longstanding tradition of showcasing golf’s up and coming stars, and this year’s group is among the best we’ll feature in a single year. We look forward to seeing these young men compete at TPC Potomac.”
Last August, Redman executed an improbable comeback to defeat Ghim over 37 holes in the U.S. Amateur championship match at the iconic Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. Down two to Ghim with two holes to play in their 36-hole regulation match-play final, Redman drained a 60-foot eagle putt on Riviera’s 17thhole and birdied Riviera’s closing par-4 18thhole to square the match and force a sudden-death playoff, which Redman won on the first extra hole. With the victory, Redman earned an invitation into the 2018 Quicken Loans National.
Redman, 20, tied for 15thin this May’s NCAA Individual Championships in finishing his sophomore season at Clemson University, then turned pro on May 29. The Raleigh, N.C., native earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors in his two seasons at Clemson – his 70.70 two-year scoring average is a record among any golfer’s career at the school – and has competed in four events on the PGA TOUR’s 2017-18 schedule as a sponsor exemption. In consecutive weeks in April, he played in the Masters and then placed T50 at the RBC Heritage.
University of Texas senior Ghim, 22, won the Ben Hogan Award – recognizing the top men’s college golfer taking into account all collegiate and amateur competitions over the past 12 months – and is currently ranked No. 1 in the men’s World Amateur Golf Ranking. The 2016-17 Big 12 Player of the Year was the only amateur to make the cut at the Masters (T50) in April and earned the Silver Cup for low amateur. He placed third in the 2018 NCAA Individual Championships at the end of May. Last year, he combined to post an 8-0-0 record for Team USA at the Walker Cup and Arnold Palmer Cup competitions.
Niemann, a 19-year-old phenom from Chile, has burst onto the PGA TOUR scene with three top-eight finishes in five starts since turning professional after playing in April’s Masters as an amateur. Finishing T6 at the Memorial Tournament, Niemann amassed enough FedExCup points to earn special temporary membership on the PGA TOUR for the remainder of the 2017-18 season. He ascended to become the world’s top-ranked amateur last year and qualified for the Masters by winning the Latin America Amateur Championship by five strokes in January.
Meyer, 22, tied for fourth at May’s 2018 NCAA Individual Championships representing the University of Illinois and recently qualified to compete in the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. Meyer was named Big Ten Player of the Year and a Ben Hogan Award finalist in 2017 before playing in his first PGA TOUR tournament last July. Prior to turning professional, Meyer made his second career PGA TOUR start in March, making the cut at the Valspar Championship.
Ventura, who recently finished his senior season at Oklahoma State University, helped the No. 1 ranked Cowboys to the NCAA Championship this past May. Posting a 3-and-2 win over Alabama’s Wilson Furr, Ventura and his teammates beat Alabama to earn the program’s 11thall-time national championship. During his collegiate career, Ventura racked up three tournament wins, eight top 5s and 12 top 10 finishes. He was selected all four years as a First Team All-Big 12 and earned medalist honors at the 2018 Big 12 Championships.
Tickets for the 2018 Quicken Loans National are on sale. Starting at under $30, all ticket optionsare available here. Tickets for kids 15 and under are complimentary when accompanied by a ticketed adult and must be redeemed at the box office.