When it comes to finalizing the field for a professional tournament, unrestricted sponsor exemptions can come in all shapes and sizes.
Sometimes they go to celebrities, like Steph Curry on the Web.com Tour last year or Jake Owen on the same circuit later this year. Tony Romo announced this week that he’ll accept a sponsor invite to a PGA Tour event next month in the Dominican Republic, a tournament that was on the Web.com slate in 2017.
On the other side of the spectrum sits Julio Bell.
Bell is an amateur and played in this week’s Club Colombia Championship on a sponsor exemption. He trailed by 26 shots after an opening-round 93, and followed that with a 105 in the second round. All told, he made four total pars across 36 holes while shooting 56 over par.
Bell, 52, calls himself “The Machine” and is a resident of Bogota, where the event is being held. According to Golf Digest, Bell is a former boxer who only recently started playing golf.
Prior to the second round, he posted in Spanish on Instagram to seemingly defend his spot in the field.
4 años de trabajo en el golf aun hay mucho camino por recorrer hago una pregunta tu que llevas toda una vida prácticando y que eres tan bueno, que has echo por ti mismo, o mejor aun que has echo por los demás. Si no tienes respuesta, no critiques
“Four years of work in golf, there is still a long way to go,” Bell wrote. “I ask a question. If you’ve been practicing a lifetime and you’re so good, what have you done for yourself, or better yet, what have you done for others? If you have no answer, do not criticize.”