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10D AGO

After back-to-back Korn Ferry Tour wins, Tim Widing gets major call-up

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Sweden native is competing at PGA Championship on special exemption



    Written by Kevin Prise @PGATOURKevin

    Tim Widing is a people person. His wife Jazmine – their first date was a 16-mile morning run – is his biggest supporter. Her presence fueled his back-to-back Korn Ferry Tour wins in the past month, a remarkable run that cultivated the PGA of America’s attention. Widing received a special exemption into the PGA Championship, the Korn Ferry Tour’s first such invite since Sungjae Im in 2018.

    Widing also had some additional support during those two wins – the Veritex Bank Championship and LECOM Suncoast Classic – where he shot a combined 51-under, moving from intriguing prospect to imminent 2025 PGA TOUR member.

    Widing’s mental coach Peter Ostlund was on-site at the LECOM Suncoast Classic in Florida, where Widing defeated Steven Fisk and Patrick Cover in a playoff. Widing and his coach spent ample time together outside the ropes – including a round of miniature golf – which kept Widing in a good mind frame to navigate the inherent challenges of Korn Ferry Tour contention.

    Then his swing coach Peter Grimjford was on-site at the following week’s Veritex Bank Championship, where the Swede took a torch to the Korn Ferry Tour’s record books (which date to 1990). Widing finished 31-under at Texas Rangers Golf Club, surpassing Stephan Jaeger and Daniel Chopra (30-under) for the circuit’s low 72-hole score in relation to par. He carded 33 birdies, yet another 72-hole Korn Ferry Tour record, en route to a four-shot win.


    PGA TOUR Originals | The Weekend - Veritex Bank



    “Maybe I just need someone with me for that extra comfort,” Widing laughed last week after finishing a practice session at San Luis Obispo Country Club in his adopted home region of California’s Central Coast, also his wife Jazmine’s home region.

    Those two wins propelled Widing to this week’s PGA Championship, where he’ll compete at Valhalla Golf Club in the same field as his former high school teammate Ludvig Åberg. Last month, Åberg proved a quick study in his first major championship, finishing runner-up to Scottie Scheffler at the Masters Tournament.

    Widing wouldn’t mind following that example. He has done so before.

    Widing and Åberg played just one year of high school golf together, but even though Widing is more than two years older, he has learned a lot from the reigning PGA TOUR University No. 1 (a spot that earned automatic TOUR membership after the NCAAs). Last week, Widing shared an anecdote from the 2018 European Amateur Team Championship, where he caddied for Åberg in extra holes of a singles match against Finland during the quarterfinal round. Åberg lost on the 22nd hole, but his grateful attitude resonated with his fill-in caddie.

    Tim Widing caddying for Ludvig at 2018 European Amateur Team Championship. (Photo credits European Golf Association)

    Tim Widing caddying for Ludvig at 2018 European Amateur Team Championship. (Photo credits European Golf Association)

    “After the first hole, I remember him saying like, ‘Well this is this is awesome. This is what we practice for, what we play for,’” Widing recalled last week. “Just hearing him talk about how he kind of embraced that moment, although there's a lot of stress involved in playing for your country and it's a playoff, to hear him just say like, ‘Well, try to embrace that moment’ … that’s something I look back on today.”

    Widing will look to channel that energy this week in his major debut, as he navigates the sprawling Kentucky ballpark of Valhalla for the first time. Widing has gained notoriety among his Korn Ferry Tour peers for his dynamic game off the tee – veteran Cody Blick, who played with Widing at last summer’s NV5 Invitational presented by Old National Bank, described it as Rory McIlroy-esque. (Blick made this comparison early-week at the LECOM Suncoast Classic, before Widing embarked on his torrid stretch of form.)

    Sweden’s Vincent Norrman, who graduated from the Korn Ferry Tour in 2022, is now a PGA TOUR winner (2023 Barbasol Championship). Norrman hasn’t seen Widing too much in recent years – 2023 was Widing’s rookie Korn Ferry Tour season – but he remembers plenty about Widing as an amateur player back home.

    “He was always better than me,” Norrman remembered. “I just remember him beating me all the time … (His technique) is very efficient.”

    A photo of the Swedish national team with Ludvig Åberg in the bottom-left and Tim Widing second from top-left. (Photo credits Swedish Golf Federation)

    A photo of the Swedish national team with Ludvig Åberg in the bottom-left and Tim Widing second from top-left. (Photo credits Swedish Golf Federation)

    Fifty-one under across eight rounds? That’s beyond efficient. It’s the level of play that has earned Widing one of golf’s ultimate call-ups, a spot in the PGA Championship as a Korn Ferry Tour member.

    With another Korn Ferry Tour title this season, the University of San Francisco alum would earn an automatic Three-Victory Promotion to the PGA TOUR. It’s a feat that hasn’t been accomplished in one year since Wesley Bryan in 2016 (Mito Pereira won three times across the 2020-21 combined season).

    If not, Widing will likely earn his TOUR card for 2025. Regardless of when he gets there, his major experience at Valhalla will serve him well – and it will be fun, too.

    “When we got the news that I'm actually playing, through the email and my agent, we kind of just all went on a FaceTime call, kind of cheering and jumping around,” Widing said last week. “That was a good time.”

    Kevin Prise is an associate editor for the PGA TOUR. He is on a lifelong quest to break 80 on a course that exceeds 6,000 yards and to see the Buffalo Bills win a Super Bowl. Follow Kevin Prise on Twitter.

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