Dating back to 2009, an exemption has been given to a minority golfer for the Genesis Invitational as a way to represent the advancement of diversity in golf. In 2017 the exemption was re-named the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption in honor of Sifford, the man who broke the PGA Tour color barrier.
On Monday morning, tournament host Tiger Woods announced Marcus Byrd would receive the exemption for the upcoming event, Feb. 16-19, at Riviera Country Club near Los Angeles.
“Marcus has shown resilience and perseverance in pursuit of a professional playing career,” Woods said via a release. “These are qualities that remind me of Charlie and his journey. I look forward to watching Marcus compete at Riviera.”
A former star for Middle Tennessee State and 2019 Conference USA Golfer of the Year, Byrd currently competes on the Advocates Professional Golf Association Tour, where he finished atop the standings for the Farmers Insurance Fall Series back in November. The Genesis Invitational will be Byrd’s second career start on the PGA Tour after he debuted at the 2022 Corales Puntacana Championship.
“It’s a true honor to receive the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption into the 2023 Genesis Invitational,” added Byrd. “To think that I’ll forever be a part of this tournament’s storied history means a lot. I cannot wait to compete at Riviera and represent Mr. Sifford with my play.”
Former recipients of the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption include the following:
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek