A graduate of University of Nevada-Las Vegas in 2011, Wooding has conditional status on the Web.com Tour after advancing to the final stage of PGA TOUR q-school in December.
With the 2013 Northern Trust Open less than a month away, Wooding, 24, was chosen from a pool of applicants to receive the exemption, created and sponsored by Northern Trust (Nasdaq: NTRS). The annual exemption provides an opportunity for a top golfer who represents the advancement of diversity in golf and wouldn’t otherwise be eligible to compete in the event. The 2013 Northern Trust Open returns to Pacific Palisades, Calif., and Riviera Country Club February 12-17.
“The Northern Trust Open Exemption goes to Jeremiah Wooding for two reasons. He’s a competitive golfer and he also demonstrates a clear commitment to fostering diversity in golf,” said Northern Trust Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frederick H. Waddell. “Jeremiah serves as a mentor to young golfers in underserved communities and uses his own enthusiasm for golf as a means to inspire others. I’m especially delighted to announce Jeremiah as our 2013 exemption player on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, when we honor the memory of one of the greatest Americans.”
Wooding is the fifth recipient of the Northern Trust Open Exemption, following Vincent Johnson (2009), Joshua Wooding (2010), Joseph Bramlett (2011) and Andy Walker (2012).
“I feel so privileged to receive the Northern Trust Open Exemption,” said Wooding. “I know how much the experience of playing on one of golf’s greatest stages impacted my brother, and I hope I can also use this platform to further illustrate to young minorities how hard work, along with assistance from leaders in the community, can bring incredible opportunities, and with opportunity, great success can be achieved. I’m looking forward to competing with the best players on the PGA TOUR. I want to illustrate the true blessing of this opportunity and how it can change one’s life and path.”
Wooding graduated from Riverside Poly High School in 2006, where he played golf for two years. His team was 18-2 his senior year and won the Ivy League title. In addition to UNLV, Wooding was recruited by the University of Oregon.
“During my time at UNLV, I was privileged to learn from one of golf’s greatest coaches. Coach [Dwaine] Knight impacted my life tremendously, on and off the golf course. He had a big influence in jumpstarting my professional career.”
Among his other accomplishments, he advanced to the final stage of q-school and finished T130 with scores of 69-71-69-74-75-72 to earn non-exempt status on the 2013 Web.com Tour. He also finished first at a U.S. Open local qualifier at Bermuda Dunes in 2012.
Wooding works with Advocates USA, performing golf clinics and mentoring sessions for young minorities in the organization’s efforts to enhance the lives of children living in underserved communities.
Now in its fifth year, the Northern Trust Open Exemption is an extension of Northern Trust’s commitment to diversity. Northern Trust has received multiple awards for corporate excellence and diversity, including being named a “Best Company for Working Mothers” by Working Mother Magazine for 21 years, a “Best Company for Diverse Graduates” by Diversity Edge Magazine, a “50 Best Companies for Latinas” by LATINA Style Magazine and one of the “ 40 Best Companies for Diversity” by Black Enterprise magazine.
Candidates for the 2013 Northern Trust Open Exemption were identified through a number of sources including the PGA TOUR, PGA of America through the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, Nationwide Tour, The First Tee, World Golf Foundation, USGA and the Bill Dickey Scholarship Association, with additional outreach efforts to potential recipients of Hispanic and Asian descent both in the United States and internationally. Candidates were asked to provide general biographical information, details of their golf accomplishments and an explanation of how they have represented the advancement of diversity in golf. In order to qualify for the exemption, applicants must have a USGA handicap of zero or better.
The Northern Trust Open has a long history of promoting inclusion among minorities. In 1952, the tournament welcomed Joe Louis as the first African-American to compete in a PGA sanctioned event. In 2009, the inaugural tournament exemption was named in honor of Charlie Sifford on the 40th anniversary of his victory at the 1969 Northern Trust Open.
For Northern Trust Open ticket information, visit www.northerntrustopen.com. Fans are reminded that each year, youth 18 and younger are admitted free of charge to the Northern Trust Open when accompanied by a ticketed adult. There is no limit to the number of youth 18 and younger who can attend with a ticketed adult.