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Former top-ranked amateur in world, LSU Tiger named Colonial Champions' Choice Invitees

2017 Colonial winner Kevin Kisner ready for upcoming Colonial

Kevin Kisner, who won the 2017 Colonial, was at the course for the annual Colonial luncheon, photo ops and media interviews.
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Kevin Kisner, who won the 2017 Colonial, was at the course for the annual Colonial luncheon, photo ops and media interviews.

Joaquin Niemann, the No. 1 amateur in the world, and LSU's Sam Burns have been named as Colonial Champions' Choice Invitees.

This tournament tradition allows Colonial champions to choose promising professionals who have never before been eligible for the prestigious invitational event. The tournament celebrates its 72nd championship this year, May 21-27. 

Niemann, of Chile, earned an invitation to this year's Masters with his victory in the 2018 Latin America Championship. The 19-year-old turned professional after the Masters. He placed sixth in his debut at the PGA Tour's Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.

Burns, 21, was an All-American at LSU where he won the 2017 Jack Nicklaus Award. He turned professional last fall and qualified for the Web.com Tour through its Q-School. He has won once already on the Web.com Tour and is in the top five in the current standings on that circuit. 

Other Champions' Choice invitees who made their professional debut in Fort Worth were Davis Love III, Paul Azinger, Billy Mayfair, Mark O'Meara, Curtis Strange and Stewart Cink. 

Five years ago, 2015 Masters and U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth was invited as the Champions' Choice. He went on to win the 2016 Colonial championship.

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