Jake Owen is a successful country musician and noted golf enthusiast. He was granted a sponsors exemption at this week’s Nashville Golf Open on the Web.com Tour, which also granted an exemption to Steph Curry last year.
These exemptions are good for the tour because they generate publicity and attention it wouldn’t otherwise receive. It’s also something different and fun, which can’t hurt.
Some people oppose these exemptions, however, on the basis that they take a spot away from an actual professional player who could potentially end up with a career-changing result.
One of those dissenters tweeted at Owen midway through Round 1, at which point Owen was 10 over through 9. Owen caught wind of his replay during the round somehow and fired off a comeback.
User @DougWalker21, who sent the original tweet criticizing Owen’s spot in the field, responded again later that night and suggested he try to raise money for charity for every birdie Owen makes Friday.
Owen retweeted his reply, and now it looks like he’ll generate about $20,000 for any birdies made in Round 2. Owen shot 14-over 86 in Round 1 and is currently in last place.