Jack Hirsh

November 15, 2022

School gamers like Michael Thorbjornsen and Ludvig Aberg may have new pathways to the PGA Tour due to adjustments from the PGA Tour U program.

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The PGA Tour is making important adjustments to its PGA Tour College school eligibility program.

This system, began in 2020, beforehand supplied high NCAA seniors restricted standing on the Korn Ferry Tour, however now all school golfers may have the chance to earn a direct path to the PGA Tour due to adjustments authorized by the PGA Tour Coverage Board.

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For seniors, the highest participant within the PGA Tour College rankings after the NCAA D-I Nationwide Championship will immediately turn into a PGA Tour member. That is efficient beginning this season, excellent news for Texas Tech’s Ludvig Aberg, who’s tops in each the PGA Tour U rating and the World Newbie Golf Rating.

Gamers earn factors based mostly on their common efficiency in occasions together with D-1 crew competitions, PGA Tour occasions and choose DP World Tour occasions.

Texas’ Pierceson Coody was No. 1 within the rating final season and gained in his third begin on the Korn Ferry Tour. However he didn’t file a top-10 after the win and completed exterior the highest 25 on the Korn Ferry Tour factors checklist, lacking out on a PGA Tour card for the 2022-23 season.

Had the brand new system been in place, Coody would have been a full PGA Tour member and in a position to earn FedEx Cup factors. If he was unable to safe sufficient factors to retain his card, he would have been exempt into the ultimate stage of Q-College. Q-College this upcoming season may have added significance as it is going to as soon as once more award PGA Tour playing cards.

The perks for ending 2-20 on the PGA Tour U rating will stay the identical. Nos. 2-5 will likely be full members of the Korn Ferry Tour for the rest of the season (as Coody was this season) and exempt into the Ultimate Stage of Q-College whereas Nos. 6-10 may have conditional standing. Gamers ending Nos. 6-20 may have full standing on the PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Latinoamerica and be exempt into the Second Stage of Q-College.

The Tour stated PGA Tour eligibility for PGA Tour College graduates just isn’t but decided for 2024 and past.

PGA Tour College Accelerated

Fully new this season is a pathway for underclassmen to PGA Tour membership. PGA Tour College Accelerated will award membership to gamers who earn 20 factors in a newly established system by the top of their third yr of NCAA Eligibility.

The factors system breakdown is under:

Win a serious school golf award: Haskins Award (3 factors), Hogan Award (3 factors), D-I Nicklaus Award (3 factors), D-I Excellent Freshman Award (2 factors)Profession-best rank in WAGR (No. 1 = 5 factors, No. 2 = 4 factors, No. 3 = 3 factors, No. 4 = 2 factors, No. 5 = 1 level)Match wins: D-I NCAA particular person (3 factors), U.S. Newbie (3 factors), The Newbie (3 factors), Western Newbie (2 factors), European Newbie (2 factors), Latin America Newbie (2 factors), Asia-Pacific Newbie (2 factors)Take part in a nationwide crew competitors: Walker Cup (2 factors), Palmer Cup (1 level), World Newbie Crew Championship (1 level)Efficiency in official PGA TOUR occasions and Main Championships. Factors are gathered for every of the next achievements:
• 1 level = Made minimize in an official PGA TOUR occasion
• 1 level = Prime-10 end in an official PGA TOUR occasion
• 1 level = Compete in a Main Championship (Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open, The Open Championship)
• 1 level = Made minimize in a Main Championship
• 2 factors = Prime-20 end in a Main Championship

As soon as a participant earns 20 factors, he can then be part of the PGA Tour following that season’s NCAA Championship. This leaves an attention-grabbing chance if a junior had been to amass practically sufficient factors to earn PGA Tour standing by the top of his junior yr, then cross the edge the next summer time, doubtlessly with a U.S. Newbie win. If the participant was a senior, he would nonetheless have to complete atop the PGA Tour U rating to earn standing.

However PGA Tour College senior supervisor Chris Richards informed the cutoff level and PGA Tour entry level had been designed with school applications in thoughts.

“The member advantages we’re offering PGA Tour U gamers are constructed round that early-June entry level,” Richards wrote in an e mail. “That is additionally true if a participant earns his twentieth level in November of his junior season — he isn’t eligible to simply accept membership till after NCAAs. The cutoff being the top of their third yr of eligibility aligns with this entry level, and it additionally ensures school coaches have a full understanding of their rosters. If a rising senior gained the U.S. Newbie in August, earned his twentieth level, and abruptly accepted Tour membership simply weeks earlier than the autumn season started, the coach and crew could be left in a nasty spot.”

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The Tour stated since 2010 solely three gamers — Patrick Cantlay in 2012, Justin Thomas in 2013 and Patrick Rodgers in 2014 — would have earned membership by way of PGA Tour Accelerated. Stanford junior Michael Thorbjornsen leads the present factors standing with 12.

Just like the adjustments to PGA Tour U, PGA Tour U Accelerated begins this season.

This new quick observe is definitely a response to LIV Golf, which has lured away a few high college-age skills from a PGA Tour profession path. Within the final 5 months, two star NCAA gamers, David Puig and Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra, left college to affix LIV Golf; the brand new tour additionally has 2021 U.S. Newbie winner James Piot below contract. Coody is a chief instance of why the trio joined LIV Golf — i.e., distinctive play whereas in school ensures a participant nothing once they resolve to show professional.

With this transfer, the PGA Tour seemingly is banking on school stars having a extra direct path to the Tour serving to the Tour retain extra high expertise, as an alternative of shedding out to LIV.

“Success on the highest ranges of faculty and newbie golf has confirmed to be a robust indicator of a participant’s potential as knowledgeable golfer,” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan stated in an announcement. “The primary two lessons of PGA Tour College alumni have proven us that these gamers are able to compete and win instantly, and these two additions to this system additional strengthen our dedication to school golf and can present future stars with direct entry to the PGA Tour.”

Jack Hirsh Editor
Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is 2020 graduate of Penn State College, incomes levels in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his highschool golf crew and nonetheless *tries* to stay aggressive in native amateurs. Earlier than becoming a member of GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but in addition producing, anchoring and even presenting the climate. He could be reached at [email protected]

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