Sainz earns 2015 Northern Trust exemption
PGA TOUR rookie Carlos Sainz Jr. is former champion of prestigious Chicago Open
January 19, 2015
- January 19, 2015
- Carlos Sainz Jr. graduated from Mississippi State University. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES – PGA TOUR rookie Carlos Sainz Jr. has been awarded the 2015 Northern Trust Open Exemption. In 2013, Sainz won the prestigious Chicago Open, adding his name alongside an impressive list of former champions including Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Byron Nelson. In 2014, Sainz earned his 2014-15 PGA TOUR Card as part of his solid performance through the Web.com Tour Finals.
With the 2015 Northern Trust Open less than a month away, Sainz, 29, was chosen from a pool of applicants to receive the exemption, created and sponsored by Northern Trust. 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 2015 Northern Trust Open returns to The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California, February 18-22.
“On behalf of Northern Trust, we are pleased to give the Northern Trust Open Exemption to Carlos Sainz Jr.,” said Northern Trust Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frederick H. Waddell. “Carlos is a talented golfer with a bright future on the PGA TOUR, and we look forward to watching him play at Riviera next month.”
Previous Northern Trust Open Exemption recipients include Vincent Johnson (2009), Joshua Wooding (2010), Joseph Bramlett (2011), Andy Walker (2012), Jeremiah Wooding (2013) and Harold Varner III (2014).
“Coming from a half Pilipino and half Bolivian background, I have grown up in a very multi-racial home and community,” said Sainz. “From the city of Chicago to the suburbs of Illinois, I have experienced the true meaning of a melting pot, and through playing golf, I believe I have shown people – especially children and juniors – the possibilities for minority golfers to succeed in the game. I am so thrilled to get this chance, thanks to Northern Trust. Earning my PGA TOUR card was a dream come true, and now knowing I have the opportunity to tee it up at Riviera during my rookie year, it’s beyond my expectations. I hope I can take advantage of this exemption by not only playing well, but also by setting an example for juniors who may be inspired by a Chicago-kid like me competing in such a storied and revered tournament.”
Meet Carlos Sainz, Jr.
Sainz attended Mississippi State University, where he was a runner-up to Billy Horschel at the 2009 Men’s SEC Championship. After graduating, Sainz competed on PGA TOUR Canada in 2013, where he won the Players Cup in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and ultimately finished in the top 10 Order of Merit to qualify for the Web.com Tour. He also won the Long Boat Key Open on the West Florida Golf Tour in 2013.
While on the Web.com Tour, Sainz played in 24 of the season’s 25 events, recording four top-25 finishes, including an impressive tie for second at the Price Cutter Charity Championship, just one shot back from winner Cameron Percy, and a T12 at the Chiquita Classic (one of the four events in the Web.com Tour Finals). He posted a solid T31 at the Web.com Tour Championship to secure his PGA TOUR status for 2014-15, finishing 74th on the Web.com Tour money list.
Sainz recorded the first top-10 finish of his PGA TOUR career in November at the Sanderson Farms Championship, where he finished T9.
Now in its seventh 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 more than 20 years, 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 2015 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, Web.com 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 are 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 1948, the tournament welcomed Bill Spiller and Ted Rhodes as the first African-Americans to play in a sponsored PGA TOUR 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 more information, visit www.northerntrustopen.com.