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Needham’s Jake Shuman is making his PGA TOUR debut this week at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina, after finishing second in the Monday qualifier for the event. Shuman officially teed off at 9 a.m. Thursday at Sedgefield Country Club.
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Shuman won two individual state championships for Needham High School and performed well in several Mass Golf events over the years. He joined the professional ranks after college but still keeps a personal connection with his family back home, as well as his home club of Blue Hill Country Club in Canton.
Here are six things to know about Shuman.
Shuman had a successful tenure with the Blue Devils from 2014-2018, as he was a PING All-East Team selection his senior year and helped the team make the NCAA Championship three out of four years. During his senior year, he beat then-No. 1 amateur Doug Ghim on the 18th hole to help Duke advance to NCAA semifinals.
Shuman has abundant support from fellow Duke players, including former teammate Steven DiLisio, the 2019 Massachusetts Amateur champion. He also qualified alongside Duke alum Brinson Paolini, who hosted Shuman during a college visit. Shuman’s caddie will be Duke assistant coach Bob Heintz, a former PGA TOUR pro who once led all tour players in putts per round (27.57).
Shuman tied his career-low score with a 9-under-par 63 in the second round en route to a three-stroke victory. He became the 10th person in 10 years to win the title.
Shuman has played on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada and the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica as well but has mostly found the most success outside of development tour events. In January, he shot 63 to finish tied for first at the Florida Elite Golf Tour’s Winter Classic. He said he’ll try to ride some momentum into this week’s event.
“You have to play in whatever you can find,” Shuman said. “Everything is a new experience. I’ll take from past tournaments, and make some memories over the next four days.”
Shuman said he remembers Tiger Woods appearing much larger than he is on TV after seeing him play at TPC Boston in past PGA TOUR events held there. This week, he said he’s looking to see if the same phenomenon applies to Brooks Koepka, the two-time defending U.S. Open champion.
Though he’s not playing at Wyndham, Shuman said he’d also like to see Bryson DeChambeau, who has made headlines for his massive drives and brawny physique. “It’d be cool to see him hit a golf ball,” Shuman said.
His achievements are as follows:
-2013 Mass Golf Junior Player of the Year
-2014 Mass Amateur Semifinalist
-2016 Mass Amateur Stroke Play Medalist
-Set a course record of 64 (7-under) at Taconic Golf Club during the 2016 Mass Amateur
-Placed third at Mass Open (10-under)
True story. Shuman said he found out he was allergic to peanut butter after telling his mom he didn’t like the peanut butter & jelly sandwiches she would pack for his lunch at school. He later got tested and found out that not only is he allergic to peanut butter, but about 20 different fruits & vegetables as well.
He said the two fruits he’s able to eat are bananas and oranges. But most berries and vegetables like carrots and corn are a no go.
Shuman said his grandparents on his mother’s side joined Blue Hill Country Club 45 years ago, and Shuman grew up playing there as a third-generation member. “A lot of people who reached out to congratulate me were from Blue Hill,” Shuman said.