__STILLWATER, Okla.—Having been awarded a sponsor's exemption to play in next week's FedEx St. Jude Classic, Augusta State's__Patrick Reed intends to turn professional at the conclusion of the NCAA Championship and play in the PGA Tour event, sources have told Golf World.
St. Jude tournament director Phil Cannon said that he called Reed Friday morning and offered him the exemption into the event after Reed finished T-3 during the stroke-play portion of NCAAs, shooting a final-round 71. Cannon said that Reed was intending to make the tournament his pro debut.
Reed was playing his quarterfinal match Friday for the Jaguars against Georgia Tech. A source familiar with his decision making confirmed he indeed would accept the exemption and turn pro.
Reed has already stated that he was not going to be returning to Augusta State for his senior year this fall. He was debating whether to remain an amateur this summer, though, in hopes of making the U.S. Walker Cup team. The decision, he said earlier in the week, rested heavily on whether he received any sponsor's exemptions into any PGA Tour events.
Not only will Reed be forgoing an opportunity to play on the Walker Cup team, he also will be skipping a chance to qualify for the U.S. Open. Reed was exemption into sectional qualifying on Monday provided he remained an amateur.
Reed earned a spot into the Nationwide Tour Children's Hospital Invitational in July by virtue of being named a Ping First-Team All-American this season.
Reed joins a handful of top college players who have said they are turning professional prior to this September's Walker Cup. Oklahoma State's Morgan Hoffmann and Kevin Tway and Alabama's Bud Cauley, all also first-team All-Americans, all have decided to forgo their amateur status rather than stick around and try to make the U.S. team.
__*UPDATE 4:50 p.m. CDT
*__After defeating Georgia Tech's James White 3 and 2 to help Augusta State advance to the semifinals of the NCAA Championship, Reed confirmed to Golf World that he has accepted the exemption and will make his pro debut in Memphis next week.