PGA Tour will create a new pipeline to get to the pros for college golfers

Updated: July 6, 2020

The PGA Tour announced that it is creating a pipeline from college golf to its professional tours at every level. It has put into place for 2021 the PGA Tour University Ranking List, which will reward four-year NCAA Division I golfers at the conclusion of each year’s NCAA Championship in May.

Here are the logistics from the PGA Tour: 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 — PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Series — China, based on their respective finish.

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.

This is a great step by the PGA Tour and possibly a self-serving one as well. When big names leave college, they are left with few options for playing professionally. Some of the biggest names will get sponsor exemptions into events but then they have to play elite golf immediately to qualify for any tour the following season. This alleviates some of that by giving the best college golfers a reasonable pathway to — at the very least — Korn Ferry Tour status from May thru September.

It also begins to align the PGA Tour globally in a meaningful way. As the top tour anywhere in the world, it has done a good job of bringing a variety of smaller tours under its brand. This is a version of that as college golf now cohesively feeds into several of those tours. (Source