Kevin M. Hall will play in next week’s Genesis Open on a sponsor exemption – but not just any sponsor exemption.
Hall has received the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption, which has afforded a golfer representing a minority background the opportunity to compete in the PGA Tour event for nearly a decade.
Past recipients include Vincent Johnson (2009), Joshua Wooding (2010), Joseph Bramlett (2011), Andy Walker (2012), Jeremiah Wooding (2013), Harold Varner III (2014), Carlos Sainz Jr. (2015) and J.J. Spaun (2016).
“It is with great pleasure that I accept the invitation in honor of Mr. Sifford,” said Hall, who will tee it up in the Feb. 16-19 tournament at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
“I had the privilege to spend time with Mr. Sifford early in my golf career and I am very aware of his history. I am very excited for the opportunity to tee it up with the best players in the world and compete in such a prestigious event as the Genesis Open on behalf of the late Charlie Sifford.”
Hall, 34, has a unique story. He lost hearing at 2 years old because of H-flu meningitis, but began playing golf at age 9. He attended St. Rita School for the Deaf in Cincinnati, but played on the golf team at nearby Winton Woods High. Hall then went on to play college golf at Ohio State, where he won the 2004 Big Ten Championship.