Thornberry Begins Two-Week Stretch on the PGA Tour
June 6, 2018

OXFORD, Miss. – No stranger to competing against the pros, Braden Thornberry begins back-to-back weeks of playing on the PGA Tour Thursday. The Ole Miss golfer will tee it up at the FedEx St. Jude Classic (June 7-10) at TPC Southwind in Memphis before heading to New York for the 118th U.S. Open.

Thornberry will tee off No. 1 at 8:40 a.m. CT Thursday morning with professionals Rob Oppenheim and Stephan Jaeger. The grouping has a 1:40 p.m. tee time off No. 10 Friday afternoon.

“It’s going to be great, being 20 minutes from my house. I know a lot of Rebel Nation and my support from the Memphis area that I’ve grown up with will be there. It will be really neat,” said Thornberry. “Obviously playing this golf course that I’ve played so many times, to play in this format again, will be really cool.”

Thornberry earned a sponsor’s exemption into the 2018 tournament after an impressive performance last year. He made a Sunday charge and finished fourth at the 2017 FedEx St. Jude Classic, his PGA Tour debut. Closing the tournament with a 5-under 65, Thornberry entered as the clubhouse leader at 8-under, but was eventually passed by eventual champion Daniel Berger. Placing fourth, Thornberry was the highest amateur finisher at the FedEx St. Jude since 1965 and had the best amateur finish on the PGA Tour since 2016.

Currently the No. 2 amateur in the world according to the World Amateur Golf Ranking, Thornberry just wrapped up another season at Ole Miss in which he collected four wins, increasing his victory count to a school-record 11, as well as a plethora of accolades. He became the first Ben Hogan Award finalist in Ole Miss history, while being tabbed as a finalist for the Fred Haskins Award for the second straight year. He was also a semifinalist for the Jack Nicklaus Award. Last month, Thornberry became a first team All-SEC honoree for the second straight season, the sixth Rebel to ever accomplish that feat. He earned PING Southeast All-Region accolades as well for the second consecutive time.

Thornberry has played in three PGA Tour tournaments and one Tour tournament within the past year. Along with fourth-place showing at the 2017 FedEx St. Jude, Thornberry also competed in the 2017 Greenbrier Classic as the winner of the 2017 Fred Haskins Award (nation's top collegiate golfer). In November, he used a second round 64 (-6) to make the cut at the RSM Classic. In April, Thornberry made his Tour debut by playing in the inaugural North Mississippi Classic at the Country Club of Oxford. With Rebel Nation well-represented in the gallery, he thrived off the support to make the cut. The event was shortened to 54 holes due to inclement weather, and Thornberry tied for 22nd.

Before even beginning his preparation for this week’s PGA Tour event, Thornberry got his week off to a strong start. On Monday, he claimed one of the 11 U.S. Open qualifying spots up for grabs in the Memphis Sectional. He fired a 5-under 66 at Ridgeway Country Club to begin his day before heading over to Colonial Country Club and shooting a 68 (-4). Thornberry finished the day tied for fourth out of 117 golfers in the field that included 98 professional golfers, becoming the only amateur to qualify out of Memphis. Throughout the 36 holes of play, he recorded 11 birdies while only making two bogeys. Following his play at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, Thornberry will make his major championship debut at the 118th U.S. Open, known as golf’s toughest test, at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club (June 14-17) in Southampton, New York.

For all news and information regarding Thornberry's play at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissMGolf.






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