GOLF: Nimmer among sponsor exemptions to play Palmetto Championship at Congaree

When the RBC Canadian Open was removed from the PGA Tour’s schedule for 2021, Bryson Nimmer wondered what would happen to the sponsor exemption he had earned to play in the event. When the Palmetto Championship at Congaree took its place on the slate, it was assumed Nimmer would get a second “home game” this year. Now it’s official.

The Palmetto Championship at Congaree added some local flair to next week’s tournament Thursday, announcing the Bluffton native and former Clemson star is among six players who have accepted sponsor exemptions to compete at Congaree Golf Club from June 10-13.

Here’s a look at the up-and-coming players who have been added to the field:

Bryson Nimmer

A four-time first-team All-ACC selection at Clemson University and the 2018-19 ACC Player of the Year, Nimmer qualified for the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada in 2019 and earned one top-10 finish in 11 starts. In 2020, Nimmer competed in the LOCALiQ Tour, an eight-tournament series organized by the PGA TOUR that was announced following the cancellation of much of the PGA Tour’s global development tours due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nimmer went on to claim the series’ first two events and overall points title. The Hilton Head Christian Academy graduate is making his third start of the 2020-21 PGA TOUR Season at Congaree after competing in both the Puerto Rico Open and RBC Heritage.

John Pak

The Scotch Plains, New Jersey native earned eight collegiate wins at Florida State University and was a member of the victorious 2019 and 2021 U.S. Walker Cup Teams. On Tuesday, June 1, Pak was named the Fred Haskins Award winner as the nation’s top men’s collegiate golfer. Pak is making his first PGA TOUR start as a professional at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree after making the cut as an amateur at the 2020 U.S. Open. Pak also had the prestige of being the top-ranked player in the inaugural PGA TOUR University Class, earning eligibility for the Korn Ferry Tour’s 2021 season.

Davis Thompson

The University of Georgia product was named SEC Player of the Year for 2020-21 and was a member of the 2021 U.S. Walker Cup Team. Thompson ascended to No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking in November 2020 and again in March 2021, before finishing second in the final PGA TOUR University Ranking. Set to make his first professional PGA TOUR start at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree, Thompson competed in four events as an amateur, including the 2019 RSM Classic where he finished T23.

Cole Hammer

University of Texas standout is set to return to Austin for his senior year after the Longhorns failed to advance to match play at the NCAA Championship. Hammer was selected for the 2021 U.S. Walker Cup Team and will make his fifth PGA TOUR start as an amateur and the third this season after qualifying for the 2020 U.S. Open and competing in the AT&T Byron Nelson as a sponsor exemption.

David Lipsky

Lipsky turned professional in 2011 after a successful collegiate career at Northwestern University where he won the 2010 B1G individual title. Lipsky spent 2013 on the Korn Ferry Tour before electing to compete on the European Tour where he won in 2014 and 2018. Lipsky is back on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2020-21 and sits sixth on the points list after collecting his first win last July.

Wilco Nienaber

The long-hitting 21-year-old South African has competed on the European Tour since 2019 and earned his first title in May at the Dimension Data Pro-Am in his home of South Africa.

Tickets currently are on sale for the Palmetto Championship at Congaree. A Daily Grounds ticket gives access to the grounds at $70 per day, Thursday through Sunday, or $235 for a weekly pass. Daily Youth (under 18), Military Members and First Responders tickets are also on sale for $40 per day, Thursday through Sunday. In addition, a weekly Youth pass is available for $140. Parking is available for $20 per day, or $50 for the week.

To purchase tickets, parking passes, or to register for volunteer opportunities at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree, please visit

Proceeds from the event will benefit Congaree Foundation, whose mission is to positively impact the lives of young people locally and around the globe by providing educational and vocational opportunities through the game of golf. The Congaree Global Golf Initiative is the Foundation’s signature program, which provides underserved and well-deserving high school students who aspire to play collegiate golf access to the highest level of athletic coaching and academic tools to enhance their opportunities for success.

The Foundation also has local partnerships with the Lowcountry Food Bank and the Boys & Girls Club of Jasper County and works to expand access to the game through youth golf instruction and the Sergeant Jasper Golf Club.

For more information about Congaree Foundation, please visit

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