Tiger Woods announces Champ as Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption for Genesis Open
January 31, 2018
- Cameron Champ was the No. 1 ranked amateur golfer for the 2017 season. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Tiger Woods has announced Cameron Champ as the recipient of the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption for the 2018 Genesis Open. Since 2009, the exemption has represented the advancement of diversity in the game of golf. Champ will join the field of 144 players at The Riviera Country Club February 12-18.
Champ, 22, is a Sacramento-area native who turned pro months after appearing in and placing T-32nd in the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills in Wisconsin. Champ attended and played golf at Texas A&M University, where he was a finalist for the prestigious Jack Nicklaus Player of the Year Award and rose to become the No. 1 ranked amateur golfer for the 2017 season. In September, Champ represented the United States in the 46th Walker Cup, helping the U.S. earn a decisive victory over the Great Britain & Ireland Team in Los Angeles.
“I am excited to have Cameron in the field for the Genesis Open,” Woods said. “On the course, Cameron has all the tools to compete at Riviera, and off the course his commitment to grow the game is inspiring. I know Charlie would be proud to have Cameron play in the Genesis Open in his honor.”
Throughout his amateur and professional career, Champ has given back to his community through his involvement with The First Tee of Sacramento. Champ got his start with The First Tee as a teenager in 2003. Through after-school and in-school programs, the organization strives to help shape the lives of young people from all walks of life by reinforcing values like integrity, respect and perseverance through the game of golf.
Champ’s father Jeff was a talented athlete in his own right who had his professional baseball career cut short by injury. After being introduced to golf by his grandfather, Mack, at the age of two, Champ went on to attend Heritage Peak Charter School in Sacramento, becoming a two-time Rolex All-American (2012-13) and a member of the 2012 Junior PGA Ryder Cup and 2013 Toyota Junior World Cup teams.
“I am incredibly grateful and humbled to receive the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption for the 2018 Genesis Open,” Champ said. “This means a lot to me, as well as my entire family. Mr. Sifford’s legacy has had a huge influence not only on why I play the game of golf, but also how I seek to use the game as a vehicle for positive change, the celebration of diversity and to make a difference in our communities - all examples that were unquestionably set by Charlie Sifford. It gives me great pride to play in his name at Riviera this year.”
Named in 2017 to honor the memory of Charlie Sifford, the first African-American player to compete on the PGA TOUR, the exemption has been given to a golfer representing a minority background to play in the annual PGA TOUR event at Riviera for nearly a decade. Previous exemption recipients include Vincent Johnson (2009), Joshua Wooding (2010), Joseph Bramlett (2011), Andy Walker (2012), Jeremiah Wooding (2013), Harold Varner III (2014), Carlos Sainz, Jr. (2015), J.J. Spaun (2016) and Kevin M. Hall (2017).
Tickets for the 2018 Genesis Open are now on sale. Starting at just $20, all ticket options are available at GenesisOpen.com/tickets.
About the Genesis Open
The Genesis Open, L.A.’s PGA TOUR event, is bringing the next chapter in championship golf to The Riviera Country Club February 12 – 18, 2018. One of the most historic and longest-running events on the PGA TOUR, the tournament celebrated its 91st playing in 2017 as Dustin Johnson won the event and, in doing so, claimed the No. 1 world ranking. With TGR Live serving as the event management company for the Genesis Open, the Tiger Woods Foundation is the primary benefiting charity, with proceeds from the event supporting the foundation’s college-access programs in Southern California. The tournament’s title sponsor is Genesis, a global luxury car brand that delivers the highest standards of performance, design and innovation in its vehicles. For more information, visit GenesisOpen.com and follow the tournament on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About TGR Live
For 20 years, TGR Live has exclusively organized and managed fundraising events supporting the Tiger Woods Foundation. It focuses solely on creating amazing experiences for the foundation’s clients at world-class events. TGR Live provides a variety of services including hospitality management, public relations and marketing, tournament operations, and sponsor sales at three PGA TOUR events and two signature events which benefit the foundation. While many TGR Live events are televised, TGR Live does not provide TV or video production. For more information, visit TGRLive.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About the Tiger Woods Foundation
For over 20 years, the Tiger Woods Foundation has been an unwavering advocate for the transformative power of education. We have humble beginnings and a universal vision: give students in need the right resources to ensure lifelong success in school, their communities and the working world. Through our award-winning STEM curricula, college-access programs and teacher professional development, we offer underserved students the tools and support needed to thrive in school and beyond. The TGR Learning Lab unleashes the full capacity of students, preparing them for today's jobs and the ones that don't exist yet. Serving students in grades 5-12 in Anaheim, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Stuart, FL, our unique culture fosters the development of the whole person while providing critical STEM skills and college prep. With one of the highest graduation rates among scholar programs in the US, the Earl Woods Scholar Program currently has 196 students attending universities nationwide. And we recently embarked on an ambitious expansion plan, bringing our unique philosophy and educational curriculum to millions of teachers and students around the world. Find more information at tigerwoodsfoundation.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Genesis Motor America
Genesis Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., distributes, markets and services Genesis vehicles in the United States. Genesis is a global luxury automotive brand that delivers the highest standards of performance, design and innovation. A total of six new Genesis models will launch by 2021 and will compete with the world’s most renowned luxury car brands. All Genesis vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by an industry-leading warranty with enhanced roadside assistance and concierge services.