The PGA Tour has announced a new program designed to strengthen the path to the tour through the Korn Ferry Tour, Mackenzie Tour–PGA Tour Canada, PGA Tour Latinoamérica and PGA Tour Series–China.
PGA Tour University will reward elite collegiate play with varying levels of playing access to tours operated under the PGA Tour umbrella, while upholding the principles and virtues of collegiate athletics.
Players eligible for the PGA Tour University Ranking List will be NCAA Division I golfers who complete a minimum of four years in college.
“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,” he said.
The top 15 finishers from the final Official PGA Tour University Ranking List at the conclusion of each NCAA collegiate spring season (defined by the conclusion of the NCAA Men’s Division I Golf Championship) will be awarded exempt status to the Korn Ferry Tour, PGA Tour Latinoamérica, Mackenzie Tour and PGA Tour Series–China, based on their respective finishes.
The top five finishers from the final Official PGA Tour University Ranking List will receive Korn Ferry Tour membership and 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 six through15 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, players will have their choice of which international tour their exempt status applies to personally.
The eligibility for each respective tour will begin the week following the conclusion of the NCAA Men’s Division I Golf Championship. The 2021 dhampionship is scheduled to be held at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Az, from May 28– June 2.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for these players to begin their professional careers on a path to the PGA Tour. Just as importantly, we are able to continue building on the great momentum the Korn Ferry Tour and our international tours have enjoyed in recent years by strengthening the field of competition with the addition of these collegiate stars,” said Korn Ferry Tour president Alex Baldwin.
Rob Ohno, PGA Tou senior vice president of international tours, says the new program adds a new layer to the success of the international tours.
“Now with the addition of these accomplished college golfers entering the professional ranks, we are grateful that many of them will choose the international tours as their desired path. As they start their careers, we will warmly welcome those who choose to pursue their dreams on any of our tours,” he said.
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 university ranking list include NCAA Division I events and official PGA TOUR events, including the Masters, U.S. Open and The Open Championship.
The first olfficial PGA Tour University Ranking List will be unveiled this summer leading into the start of the 2020-21 Division I season, with the list updated each week during the season.