PALM HARBOR, FL (Februar 11, 2017) -- Virginia senior Jimmy Stanger grew up just 45 minutes from Innisbrook Resort and now he will be able to play in his hometown PGA Tour event.
On Thursday the University of Virginia announced that Stanger has earned a sponsorship exemption into the Valspar Championship to be played from March 9-12.
“I’ve played the course dozens of times in multiple tournaments,” Stanger who plans on turning professional later this year told Virginia athletics. “Excited does not begin to describe how I felt when I received the call with the chance to play. I really appreciate everyone that acted on my behalf and to the tournament committee for presenting this opportunity.”
Stanger, recently named to the Ben Hogan Watch List, is currently putting the final touches on a stellar career with the Cavilers. Last year as a junior Stanger picked up an individual title at the General Hackler Championship and also was named to the All-ACC team.
Over the summer Stanger picked up a amateur career defining win at the Southern Amateur while also making a run to the Round of 16 at the U.S. Amateur in August. Currently Stanger is fourth in the Arnold Palmer Cup standings.
Stanger joins classmate and teammate Derek Bard as the second member of this years Virginia team to play in a professional event. Of course as the 2015 U.S. Amateur runner-up Bard had a chance to play in the 2016 Masters.
Last year while at Georgia Lee McCoy received a sponsor exemption and exceeded all expectations by finishing 4 under and in fourth place.
The finish by McCoy was the best finish for an amateur in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event since Justin Rose in the 1998 Open Championship. Rose, 17-years-old at the time finished tied for fourth at Royal Birkdale. It was also just the fifth time that an amateur finished in the top 5 since Phil Mickelson won in 1991 while still at Arizona State.
-Virginia Athletics contributed to this story