Reigning U.S. Amateur champion Doc Redman will forgo his final two years at Clemson and turn professional, the school announced Tuesday. He had been awarded a sponsor's in The Memorial Tournament this week as an amateur thanks to his USGA title last August; the Memorial, played at Muirfield Village, will now mark Redman's first competition as a pro.
“I can’t say enough good things about Doc Redman,” Clemson head coach Larry Penley said in the release. “He was a model student-athlete for us, a Dean’s List student in the classroom and an All-American on the golf course. I endorse his decision and believe he will have a long professional career. He has the game and the maturity to do very well. He showed that already by making the cut twice on the PGA Tour this spring. He is going to be a great representative of our program on the PGA Tour.”
The 20-year-old's tee shot on the course that Jack Niclaus built will be his first as a pro golfer, but the Raleigh, N.C. native already has a long history of success. He finished this weekend's NCAA Championships tied for 15th, helping Clemson to a 13th-place finish as a team.
Redman participated in 20 tournaments in his Clemson career, and cracked the top ten in 11 of them. He's a two-time member of the All-ACC team, soon to be a two-time All-American, and his career stroke average of 70.70 is the best in program history. He's the sixth fomer Tiger to jump to the pro ranks with college eligibility remaining.
Redman's career highlight to date was that thrilling come-from-behind victory at the U.S. Amateur in Los Angeles last August. Trailing by two strokes with two holes to go, Redman eagled on 17 before parring out on 18 to set up a playoff hole, which he birdied to snatch the title from Texas' Doug Ghim. That title gave Redman automatic exemptions into the Masters, the U.S. Open and the British Open, and helped him earn a place on last year's victorious Walker Cup team.
He participated in this year's Masters as an amateur, but to get a spot in the other two major events, he'll have to qualify as a professional, as the exemptions were contingent upon his staying amateur. Turning pro now enables Redman to be compensated for his work - if he was a pro, he would've made a combined $34,000 thanks to his finishes at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Heritage Classic earlier this year.