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Top-ranked am Williams to turn pro at Travelers

Chris Williams, U.S. Amateur
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The top-ranked amateur in the world will soon join the play-for-pay ranks.

Chris Williams, who recently completed his senior season at the University of Washington, will turn pro at the June 20-23 Travelers Championship, where he has accepted a sponsor exemption.

Last month, Williams was named the recipient of the Ben Hogan Award, given annually to the top men’s player in amateur and college golf over a 12-month period.

Williams will compete as an amateur at next week’s U.S. Open at Merion. He was exempt into both the U.S. Open and Open Championship (provided he remained amateur for the event) by virtue of his claiming the 2012 McCormack Medal, which is awarded to the player who finishes first in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

The other notable exemption into the Travelers: Justin Thomas, the 2011-12 NCAA Player of the Year and a rising junior at Alabama, where he helped lead the Crimson Tide to this year’s national title.