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Back in 1992, Tiger Woods made his PGA Tour debut at Riviera Country Club and the Genesis Invitational. This year, 30 years on, the 82-time PGA Tour winner played the official starter's role, as he introduced the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption recipient, Aaron Beverly, on to the first tee.
Beverly, who actually won on the APGA Tour’s Fall Series, before plying his trade on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica and Mackenzie Tours, would go on to birdie the par-5 first hole, with one of the greatest golfers to ever walk the planet watching on, before parring his second following a 351-yard drive.
With @TigerWoods looking on. 🐅Charlie Sifford Memorial exemption @ABeverlyGolf birdies the first! pic.twitter.com/ioSnV5ERDgFebruary 17, 2022
The American, who starred at Sacramento State, actually contracted Covid-19 last year and lost nearly a stone-and-a-half (around 20 pounds). However, that didn't stop him as, in January 2022, he received the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption, an award that honours recipients for their spirit in advancing diversity in golf.
“Receiving the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption and having the opportunity to play in the Genesis Invitational is a true honour and the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Beverly. “This is the moment all my hard work and dedication has been preparing me for, and I look forward to competing at Riviera.”
Beverly who won three events at Sacramento State where he was also named as the Big Sky Player of the Year twice, graduated in 2017 and still holds the school record for top-5s (10), top-10s (16) and top-20s (21). He returned as an assistant coach in 2019 before continuing his pro career.
“Like me, Aaron learned the game from his dad,” said Woods. “I know Charlie Sifford would be proud of Aaron as he makes his PGA Tour debut at Riviera next month.”
Tiger Woods with Charlie Sifford, Jr. on the first tee ahead of the opening tee shot at The Genesis Invitational, hit by Aaron Beverly, the 2022 Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption recipient. Charlie Sifford would have turned 100 this year. pic.twitter.com/nQjhR0A2QYFebruary 17, 2022
Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
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