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Wolff, Hovland to make pro debuts at Travelers

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Published in Golf
Thursday, 06 June 2019 07:02

Two college teammates and headline-grabbing amateurs unveiled their pro intentions Thursday.

Oklahoma State stars Matthew Wolff and Viktor Hovland announced that they’ll make their pro debut in two weeks at the Travelers Championship. They’ll be joined in Hartford by former Cal standout Collin Morikawa (who is making his first pro start this week at the RBC Canadian Open) and former USC stud Justin Suh, who debuted as a pro at last week's Memorial Tournament.

Wolff, 20, was named the Haskins Award winner as the top player in men’s college golf earlier this week. Last season he won six times, including a runaway victory at the NCAA Championship.

One of the other finalists for the Haskins was Hovland, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion who earned the Ben Hogan Award as the top amateur and college player of 2018-19. Hovland will play next week’s U.S. Open as an amateur by virtue of his U.S. Am win last summer at Pebble Beach.

Fans will get plenty of opportunities to see these newly minted pros this summer. Beginning at the Travelers, Wolff is expected to receive sponsor exemptions into six of the final seven regular-season tournaments on the PGA Tour, fulfilling his max as a non-member. (He burned one of his seven available sponsor exemptions earlier this year in Phoenix.) Hovland will play at least the Travelers and John Deere Classic, as both invites were announced Thursday.

Morikawa, who was a late addition to the Canadian Open field, is expected to play the Travelers, 3M Open, John Deere Classic and Barracuda Championship. Suh, who missed the cut in his pro debut last week at the Memorial, will also receive the maximum of seven sponsor exemptions, with the Travelers, Rocket Mortgage, John Deere and Barracuda upcoming. A fifth and final Tour start this summer will be announced next week.

All of these former college standouts will be looking to earn enough FedExCup points to either earn their Tour card for the 2019-20 season or gain entry into the Tour Finals this fall.

There will be plenty of turnover in the college golf ranks for the 2019-20 season, as seven of the top eight players either turned pro early or graduated. That leaves Arizona State’s Chun An Yu and Texas’ Cole Hammer, who was named the Phil Mickelson Award winner as the nation’s top freshman, as the main headliners for next year. On the team side, Oklahoma State has been the dominant program in men’s college golf over the past two seasons, but without Wolff (sophomore), Hovland (junior) and two graduates (Zach Bauchou and Hayden Woods) the Cowboys will be looking to restock heading into the fall.

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