Awarded the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption by Tiger Woods, Aaron Beverly will be eligible to compete in the Genesis Invitational in 2022. Tiger Woods announced the award on Twitter.
The Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption is given out once a year and represents, ”the advancement of diversity in the game of golf.”
PGA Tour rookie Beverly will make his PGA Tour debut at the Genesis Invitational, which will be hosted by Tiger Woods and feature a 120-player field.
“Receiving the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption and having the opportunity to play in The Genesis Invitational is a true honor and the opportunity of a lifetime,” Beverly said.
“This is the moment all my hard work and dedication has been preparing me for and I look forward to competing at Riviera.”
Beverly competed on the Advocates Professional Golf Association (APGA) Tour in the most recent season, and in November, he won the APGA Tour’s Fall Series finale at Wilshire Country Club in California. During the two-round fall series, he was one of only three players to break par in either round.
It was a stop-start season for him in his first season on the APGA Tour, following a bout with Covid-19 that caused him to lose approximately 17 pounds during the season.
Beverly will make his PGA Tour debut at the Riviera Country Club in California from February 17-20, marking his first appearance on the circuit.
“I am beyond excited to announce that I will be playing in my first PGA Tour event,” said Beverly in an Instagram post.
“This is something my dad and I would talk about every single day,” added the 27-year-old Beverly in his post. “I know he’ll be watching over me with the biggest smile on his face.”
‘Hey I won a tournament’
Beverly received his bachelor’s degree from Sacramento State University in 2017, according to the university’s sports website.
According to the State Hornet, Beverly discovered that both of his parents had cancer just before the start of his Sophomore season.
“It was difficult for him,” Beverly’s mother Kim told the State Hornet. “He was supportive of both of us and he stepped back and took a break.
“I think it helped him to realize that life is precious and that you have to follow your dreams because you don’t know what is going to happen.”
Beverly’s father Ron died in September 2019.
“I think, for me, the bigger kind of emotional response was not being able to call my dad and just tell him that, ‘Hey I won a tournament,'” Beverly told the Haggin Oaks website after his success at the APGA Tour’s Fall Series finale.
“I’m looking forward to welcoming Aaron Beverly to The Genesis Invitational as the 2022 Sifford Exemption,” Woods said.
“Like me, Aaron learned the game from his dad. I know Charlie Sifford would be proud of Aaron as he makes his PGA Tour debut at Riviera next month.”
The exemption has been handed out yearly to a “golfer representing a minority background” to grant them access to the Genesis Invitational.
It was renamed to honor Charlie Sifford, the first Black professional golfer, in 2017.
Read the original article on CNN.