Tiger Woods announces Tim O’Neal as recipient of Charlie Sifford exemption


An important spot in next month’s Genesis Open field has been filled.

Tiger Woods announced via his website Wednesday that Tim O’Neal is the recipient of the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption. This grants him a spot in the 2019 Genesis Open, scheduled for Feb. 14-17.

The exemption, awarded since 2009, has represented the advancement of diversity in the game of golf and been given to a golfer representing a minority background. It’s especially pertinent this year seeing as its the 50th anniversary of Sifford’s second and final PGA Tour victory (the 1969 L.A. Open).

Sifford was a barrier-breaker, becoming the first African-American player to compete on the PGA Tour.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Tim compete in the Genesis Open,” Woods said. “Like Charlie did as a player, Tim has shown great determination in his professional career. I know Charlie would be proud to have Tim playing in the Genesis Open as the Charlie Sifford exemption.”

O’Neal, 46, will be making his seventh career PGA Tour start that week and his first since the 2015 U.S. Open. He has not yet made a cut in a PGA Tour start.

The man has proven plenty in his career, though, as he owns three wins on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica. On the APGA Tour in 2018, he was named Player of the Year after a win and four top-five finishes. He is that circuit’s all-time leading money winner.

O’Neal has also competed in 151 events on the Web.com Tour and posted stints on the Asian Tour, European Professional Development Tour in Morocco and the eGolf Tour in the U.S.

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