World No.1 Amateur Gives Up US Open Exemption To Turn Pro

Christo Lamprecht will now head to final qualifying in Georgia on Monday to try and secure his place at Pinehurst No.2

Christo Lamprecht of South Africa plays his shot from the fourth tee during the second round of the 2024 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 12, 2024
Christo Lamprecht was the number one ranked men's amateur golfer
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Christo Lamprecht, the number one ranked men's amateur, has forgone his US Open exemption and turned professional after concluding his collegiate golf career.

Lamprecht won The Amateur Championship in 2023 to earn exemptions into the Masters and the US Open in 2024. The big-hitting South African also won the Silver Medal at the Open Championship last year after finishing as the low amateur at Hoylake.

The 22-year-old missed the cut at Augusta National in April but could now miss out on the US Open at Pinehurst No.2 entirely, having decided to turn pro. Players who earn a spot in Major championships as amateurs only retain their exemption if they are still amateurs heading into the event.

While there has been no official announcement, Lamprecht is listed as a professional for the US Open final qualifier in Georgia on Monday, June 3rd as he tries to win back his place at the third men's Major of the year. 

The South African is set to play alongside fellow countryman Aldrich Potgieter and Argentina's Jesus Montenegro in the 36-hole tournament, one of ten events played across America that day which offer the final spots into the US Open.

Lamprecht's decision to turn professional comes hot off the heels of the NCAA Division One finals where his Georgia Tech team fell to a 3-2 semi-finals defeat against Florida State. 

The South African lost his matchplay contest against Luke Clanton in the final four but endured an injury-affected week at Omni La Costa, forcing him to pull out of the last three days of the stroke play contest and the quarterfinal matchplay round due to a back injury.

Christo Lamprecht of Georgia Tech smiles with a trophy after finishing second in the PGA TOUR University rankings

Christo Lamprecht finished second in the 2024 PGA Tour University rankings

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Despite the injury-affected end to his season, Lamprecht still finished second in the 2024 PGA Tour University rankings, earning him a fully exempt Korn Ferry Tour membership for the remainder of the 2024 season, as well as an exemption to the Final Stage of the 2024 PGA Tour Q-School.

The South African also received Division I First-Team All-American honours for a second successive season as well as being awarded the 2024 Byron Nelson Award. 

Stanford's Michael Thorbjornsen topped the PGA Tour U rankings, meaning the American receives PGA Tour membership for the remainder of the 2024 season and the whole of the 2025 season.

Ben Fleming

Ben joined Golf Monthly having completed his NCTJ in multimedia sports journalism at News Associates, London. He is now a freelance journalist who also works for The Independent, Metro, UEFA and Stats Perform.