PGA Tour announces new collegiate pathway
An exciting announcement for the future of collegiate and professional golf was made by the PGA TOUR last Monday. The creation of PGA TOUR University will reward elite collegiate play by allowing access to the different professional tours under the PGA TOUR umbrella.
Beginning with the inaugural class of 2021, the Top 15 finishers from the newly-created Official PGA TOUR University Ranking List following the conclusion of the spring season will be awarded exempt status to the different tours. The tours include the Korn Ferry Tour (Top 5 finishers), PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR Series – China.
Players eligible for the PGA TOUR University Ranking List will be NCAA Division I golfers who complete a minimum of four years in college.
FSU Head Coach Trey Jones, who was on the coaches advisory board, is pleased with this latest development.
“Great job by the PGA TOUR for bringing this valuable path to our student-athletes,” Jones said. “Recognizing the value of our golfers is a testament to the success of former collegiate athletes. This will only strengthen the future of collegiate golf.”
Next year, rising senior John Pak and rising graduate student Jamie Li will have sights set on earning exemption status. Both golfers are ranked in the Top 50 according to Golfstat’s latest rankings, with Pak being 17th and Li at 44th. Rising graduate student Greyson Porter will also attempt to earn status.
The Top 5 finishers will be exempt into all open, full-field events beginning the week following the conclusion of the NCAA Division I Men’s National Championship through the conclusion of the Korn Ferry Tour regular season. The top five finishers will also be exempt into the Final Stage of that year’s Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament.
Finishers Nos. 6-15 will secure membership on one of the International Tours for the current season and a spot in the Second Stage of the Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament (if necessary). At that point, these players will have their choice of which International Tour their exempt status applies to.
The eligibility for each respective Tour will begin the week following the conclusion of the NCAA Men’s Division I Golf Championship. The 2021 NCAA Men’s Championship is scheduled to be held at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, from May 28 – June 2.
“With the level of immediate success from the top collegiate players in the last decade, our team has done extensive research over time and developed a plan to provide a pathway for those players as they begin their journeys into the professional ranks,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “By focusing our efforts on players who have completed a minimum of four years, PGA TOUR University will not deter from the college game while ensuring its graduates benefit from their maturity and experience.”
The PGA TOUR will partner with the World Amateur Golf Ranking which is administered by The R&A and the USGA, to create the PGA TOUR University Ranking List. The WAGR system ranks the top amateurs on the basis of their average performance in counting events on a rolling cycle over the previous 104 weeks. The list will be filtered to include those players and results meeting the PGA TOUR University eligibility criteria.
Events which will count towards the Official PGA TOUR University Ranking List include NCAA Division I Men’s Golf events and official PGA TOUR events, including the Masters, U.S. Open and The Open Championship.
The first Official PGA TOUR University Ranking List will be unveiled this summer leading into the start of the 2020-21 Division I season, with the Ranking List updated each week during the season.
PGA TOUR University will partner with GOLF Channel to provide extensive coverage of NCAA Division I golf to complement the Ranking List and showcase the race to the Top 15. GOLF Channel is the television home for college golf, televising six college golf championships, including the men’s NCAA Championships since 2014.