KORN FERRY TOUR INSIDER
Nimmer comes in hot at Orange County National Championship presented by Knight 39
October 07, 2020
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Bryson Nimmer will be one to watch this week on the Korn Ferry Tour. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
The hottest player on the Korn Ferry Tour this week is not even a full-fledged member of the Tour.
Bryson Nimmer earned a spot in the field at the Orange County National Championship presented by Knight 39 thanks to his stellar play on the PGA TOUR’s LOCALiQ Series – organized by the PGA TOUR, the series is aimed at players who have qualified for the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada, PGA TOUR Latinoamerica, and PGA TOUR China for 2020 – where he is tops on the Points List through five events.
The golfer who was No. 1 on the series through the first four events earned a spot in the field this week in Winter Garden, Florida, and Nimmer’s spot was a foregone conclusion just two weeks in: he won both of the first two events.
He followed that up with a T14 and then a playoff loss. He finished T11 at the fifth event of the series and has a near-700 point lead over Carson Young, who sits second.
Nimmer was a star at Clemson University before turning professional in 2019. He’s played the PGA TOUR’s Puerto Rico Open twice, but this is only his second Korn Ferry Tour start (he missed the cut at the 2019 BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation).
He said he feels great about this week’s opportunity, since it’s one he’s earned.
“You Monday Qualify into an event and you don’t feel like you earned it 100 percent since it was just one round and you lit it up. It’s cool because (the LOCALiQ Series) is four tournaments and 12 rounds and it just feels like a lot more earned and you deserved to be here,” he said.
Nimmer had an all-time collegiate career while at Clemson. He was a three-time selection to the All-ACC First Team, and was the ACC’s Freshman of the Year. He also holds 27 records at the South Carolina school.
So far his collegiate success hasn’t quite translated into the professional game – he had just one top-10 finish on the Mackenzie Tour last season but had secured full status for 2020 in Canada once again – but his hard work during the COVID-19 break is paying off in spades.
Nimmer said when he got word about the 2020 Mackenzie Tour cancellation he was unsure as to when he’d play again – he almost got to the point where he accepted he would be off for the balance of the year.
“I just went ahead and started changing a lot of stuff,” Nimmer said.
The 23-year-old went back to the lab with respect to his fitness, his team, and his short game in particular. All this work got him peaking for when the LOCALiQ Series began, and he was off to the races.
Although he didn’t transform his body like the other Bryson on the PGA TOUR (DeChambeau, in this case, who put on 40 pounds and has won twice in six months, including the U.S. Open), Nimmer said he’s put on speed and got “a little” bigger.
“I had some areas on my body that were weak and it was causing me to get small injuries every once and a while. I’d had low back stuff and hip stuff that would pop up every once and a while and you have a little thing it can really mess with you over four rounds of golf,” he admitted. “It was strengthening areas I needed to work on with my body and also it’s been a big benefit to stabilize my entire golf swing.”
On the Korn Ferry Tour this week Nimmer said he’s been able to see a lot of his contemporaries from college. It’s a confidence boost for him, he said, since such a large percentage of the guys on the Korn Ferry Tour are guys he’s played against – and beaten – in the past.
“It’s not like you feel out of place this week,” he said. “This feels normal.”
Nimmer said after this week wraps up there is one last event on the LOCALiQ Series to play in (he’s missing an event this week to play the Korn Ferry Tour) and then he’ll spend the balance of the year playing mini-tour events or try to Monday Qualify into the remaining PGA TOUR events, all the while just trying to get better, he said.
But that’s what’s next. What about right now?
“I’m taking a bit of a different approach this week and gave my body a rest. I’ve played nine holes the last couple days and just haven’t pushed it too hard,” said Nimmer, who has, in the past, done too much for a PGA TOUR or Korn Ferry Tour event and suffered when tournament time rolled around. “Hopefully I’ll be ready.”
If his recent success is any indication, seems like Nimmer will be more than ready to test his mettle on the Korn Ferry Tour this week in Florida.