Spieth to play Puerto Rico, Pebble Beach, Panama
Jordan Spieth's pro schedule is beginning to take shape. Sources told Golfweek that the 19-year-old has received sponsor exemptions to the PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open and AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, as well as the Web.com Tour's season opener in Panama.
Spieth turned pro last month, midway through his sophomore season at the University of Texas. These are the first announced starts for the 2012 first-team All-American.
The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is scheduled for Feb. 7-10, followed by the Web.com Tour's Panama Claro Championship on Feb. 21-24. The Puerto Rico Open is March 7-10, the same week as the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.
Nonmembers like Spieth are limited to seven sponsor exemptions per season on the PGA Tour. Though there hasn’t been a public announcement of other invitations for Spieth, he’s expected to receive his maximum seven Tour exemptions, as well as a handful on the Web.com Tour.
He'll try to use those starts to earn a place in the Web.com Tour Finals in August. Nos. 126-200 on the FedEx Cup points list and Nos. 1-75 on the Web.com Tour money list earn spots in the Finals. Spieth has made the cut in five of eight PGA Tour starts, with his best finish coming at the 2010 HP Byron Nelson Championship (T-16).
He turned pro in December after representing the United States in the 2011 Walker Cup and being a 2012 first-team All-American for Texas, which won last year’s NCAA Championship. Spieth was low amateur (T-21) at the 2012 U.S. Open and held the No. 1 position in the R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking this summer.
Spieth is one of several strong young talents who've accepted invitations to the Puerto Rico Open. Patrick Cantlay, the 2012 Ben Hogan Award Winner, also has accepted a invitation to the event (as well as this month's Farmers Insurance Open). He’ll use sponsor exemptions to complement his schedule on the Web.com Tour, where he has status after finishing 79th on the 2012 money list in just four starts.
Si Woo Kim and Sebastian Vazquez also have starts lined up in Puerto Rico. Kim, 17, recently earned his PGA Tour card at Q-School; he cannot use the status earned there until his 18th birthday in June, though. Vazquez, 22, earned his Puerto Rico Open start by winning PGA Tour Latinoamerica’s Puerto Rico Classic. It was only Vazquez’s second pro start after earning medalist honors at the World Amateur Team Championship, where he finished one shot ahead of World No. 1 amateur Chris Williams.