Nimmer set to make professional debut
May 29, 2019
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Bryson Nimmer will make his professional debut at this week's Bayview Place DCBank Open presented by Times Colonist. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
At 6 a.m. ET Tuesday, Bryson Nimmer became a professional golfer.
Sure, he had been planning it out for weeks – months and years, maybe – but as he sat in an airport waiting for his first flight of the day, taking him from Arkansas to Victoria, British Columbia, things were official.
Nimmer had to shift gears to focus on this week’s Bayview Place DCBank Open presented by Times Colonist quickly; his decorated collegiate career did not end the way he wanted.
His Clemson Tiger squad made it into a playoff against Southern Methodist University to determine who the final team would be to move on the match-play portion of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship earlier in the week at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
While all five of SMU’s golfers made par on the first playoff hole, Nimmer was one of two golfers from Clemson to make a bogey.
The cumulative score of even par to 2-over meant the Tigers’ season – and Nimmer’s collegiate career – was over.
It was not without some serious highlights, however.
Nimmer was ranked as high as 20th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and was a four-time first-team All-ACC selection, just the third golfer in the school’s history to accomplish the feat.
He was the ACC Player of the Year for 2018-19, his senior season – the first in school history since 2007.
He holds 27 Clemson records.
He won four tournaments in his final season, a school record, including the Puerto Rico Classic.
He played his first PGA TOUR event earlier this year – just days after the Puerto Rico college event ended, he teed it up on TOUR in Puerto Rico as well, where he made the cut.
Nimmer says it’ll be a learning experience as he gets in to his first full season as a professional after four years of college golf. He says the main difference is while college golf is team based and you’re still trying to play as an individual, he’s now lost that team aspect.
“You put your focus on trying to play the best you can for yourself,” he says.
Picking up golf as a teenager – baseball was his first love – he was never pressured into the game even though both his father and uncle were stars of Clemson’s golf team in the 1980’s.
“When I started out I wasn't very good (at golf) and it kind of made me mad,” Nimmer told PGATOUR.com in Puerto Rico. “It made me want to get better.”
Nimmer says his support system has been key as he made the decision to pursue golf as a full-time career. On the PGA TOUR, he says, the guys have a group of people around them that makes them better as a cohesive unit. That’s the approach he’s tried to take already, he says.
“I think my parents have always done that so that’s why I’ve been able to do what I’ve been able to do,” he explains. “They’re always supportive, no matter what it is, if it’s reasonable and I ask them, they usually do whatever they possibly can to make things happen.”
Nimmer has signed with Empire Sports based out of Charleston, South Carolina and will be wearing FootJoy while playing Titleist clubs – brands he wore and used while in his final few years of school.
He also won’t be the lone Clemson Tiger on the Mackenzie Tour this year, as his recent teammate Doc Redman is already teeing it up. Redman finished T-19 last week at the Canada Life Open and Nimmer says the former U.S. Amateur champion was texting him all week while Clemson was competing at the NCAA Championship.
“We’ll try to play practice rounds together as much as we can,” says Nimmer. “There are a lot of (familiar) guys up here.”
Although Nimmer has never been to Canada before (he says he’s looking forward to visiting Toronto during the Osprey Valley Open and maybe taking in a Toronto Blue Jays game), which adds another layer of newness to things these days, he says he’s looking forward to this next phase in his golfing life.
Despite Nimmer’s newfound professional status, he’s already got a plan in place for this summer on the Mackenzie Tour: he wants to try to compete for a title every week. He set a goal during this college season to try to be at the top of the leaderboard as much as possible, and that approach ended up producing the four victories.
“My mindset going into tournaments now (as a professional) is to just be in contention. If I have a chance to win with nine holes to go, that’s all I can ask for,” he says, “and I’m going to stick with that.”