When The Forecaddie saw Doc Redman hitting balls on the range Tuesday at Shinnecock Hills, he almost forgot that Redman wasn’t in this week’s U.S. Open field.
Initially, Redman was set to play in the year’s second major as the reigning U.S. Amateur champion. But after turning pro last month following the NCAA Championship, Redman forfeited his exemption. So instead of wearing Clemson gear and having his clubs carried around in a Tigers stand bag, Redman was sporting TaylorMade and RLX logos, and a fresh staff bag with his name on it.
Redman told The Man Out Front that it was “a little weird” to be at the U.S. Open and not officially playing, but after teeing off in the inaugural USGA Celebration of Champions, a four-hole exhibition featuring 12 USGA champions from last year, he was glad he came.
“Obviously, not ideal,” Redman said. “I’d love to be playing, but I’m really thankful that the USGA invited me this week and I’m here. It’s really special that they can give that kind of recognition to all the USGA champions. The winners of the U.S. Open, U.S. Senior Open, all those are pretty high-profile guys. But there’s not a lot of recognition for, say, the Women’s Mid-Am champ. So for the USGA to bring everyone here, create an event out of it and draw attention to them is awesome.”
Redman, who also attended Monday night’s amateur dinner, tried to sectional-qualify for this week’s U.S. Open, but failed to make it out of the Springfield, Ohio, sectional. He made his pro debut two weeks ago at the Memorial Tournament and missed the cut, but said he felt comfortable in his new setting.
“It’s just golf,” Redman told TMOF.
But it’s still not easy. Redman has an invite to The National in two weeks, but he’ll have to Monday qualify if he wants to get into next week’s Travelers Championship. And he’s still waiting to hear back on exemptions for the rest of the PGA Tour’s regular season.
“It’s tough being a pro with no status,” Redman said. “I’ve quickly learned that. There’s a lot of really good players looking for exemptions. So I’m just going to take what I can get and try and take advantage of it.”