The PGA TOUR announced Monday that Division-I college golfers will have two opportunities to earn PGA TOUR membership through PGA TOUR University presented by Velocity Global.
The eligibility modifications were approved at today’s Policy Board meeting and the changes are effective immediately, meaning PGA TOUR University’s No. 1 player will earn PGA TOUR membership after the conclusion of stroke play at the 2023 NCAA D-I National Championship.
- The No. 1 player in the final PGA TOUR University Velocity Global Ranking will become a PGA TOUR member and eligible for all open, full-field events following the conclusion of the NCAA Championship. The Velocity Global Ranking includes seniors who meet eligibility criteria.
- Juniors, sophomores and freshmen who achieve elevated benchmarks in college, amateur and professional golf can earn PGA TOUR membership through a new program called PGA TOUR University Accelerated. Once the benchmarks are met, the player would become a PGA TOUR member and eligible for all open, full-field events following the conclusion of the NCAA Championship. A detailed overview of PGA TOUR University Accelerated, including the threshold needed to earn PGA TOUR membership, is provided below.
With the adoption of these PGA TOUR membership opportunities, all D-I college golfers will compete for PGA TOUR membership, starting with their first tournaments as freshmen.
“Success at the highest levels of college and amateur golf has proven to be a strong indicator of a player’s potential as a professional golfer,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan.
“The first two classes of PGA TOUR University alumni have shown us that these players are ready to compete and win immediately, and these two additions to the program further strengthen our commitment to college golf and will provide future stars with direct access to the PGA TOUR.”
Players who earn PGA TOUR membership via PGA TOUR University will earn official FedExCup points and will also be exempt into the Final Stage of the PGA TOUR Qualifying School, which assures them Korn Ferry Tour membership along with the opportunity to earn a PGA TOUR card. For the 2024 season and beyond, PGA TOUR eligibility for PGA TOUR University players has not yet been determined.
For the PGA TOUR University Class of 2023, the Performance Benefits for the Nos. 2-20 players in the Velocity Global Ranking will remain the same, with Korn Ferry Tour serving as the path to the PGA TOUR.
Players finishing Nos. 2-5 will be exempt members on Korn Ferry Tour, and Nos. 6-10 will earn conditional membership on the Korn Ferry Tour. Additionally, players finishing 6th through 20th will be exempt members on PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. Furthermore, players finishing Nos. 1-5 remain exempt into Final Stage of PGA TOUR Qualifying School and Nos. 6-20 remain exempt into Second Stage.
No. 1 Player in PGA TOUR University
The player who finishes No. 1 in the Velocity Global Ranking is the senior with the best record over the final two years of his college career. In partnership with the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®), PGA TOUR University ranks players based on their average performance in Eligible Tournaments, which include NCAA D-I men’s team competitions, official PGA TOUR tournaments and select DP World Tour events.
If PGA TOUR University was in place prior to 2020, players who would have finished No. 1 include Jon Rahm (2016), Collin Morikawa (2019) and Sahith Theegala (2020). Pierceson Coody finished No. 1 in the PGA TOUR University Class of 2022, and he won his third start on the Korn Ferry Tour in June.
The No. 1 player will be eligible for approximately 14 PGA TOUR events in 2023, beginning with the 2023 RBC Canadian Open (June 8-11, 2023). Texas Tech’s Ludvig Aberg is currently No. 1 in the Velocity Global Ranking and No. 1 in WAGR, and North Carolina’s Austin Greaser is No. 2 in the Velocity Global Ranking and No. 5 in WAGR.
PGA TOUR University Accelerated
Through PGA TOUR University Accelerated, a high-achieving junior, sophomore or freshman can earn PGA TOUR membership and become eligible for all open, full-field TOUR events. Players earn points based on their accomplishments in college, amateur and professional golf, and they will earn PGA TOUR membership if they amass at least 20 points by the end of their third year of NCAA eligibility.
Accelerated Points can be earned through the following achievements:
- Win a major college golf award: Haskins Award (3 points), Hogan Award (3 points), D-I Nicklaus Award (3 points), D-I Outstanding Freshman Award (2 points)
- Career-best rank in WAGR (No. 1 = 5 points, No. 2 = 4 points, No. 3 = 3 points, No. 4 = 2 points, No. 5 = 1 point)
- Tournament wins: D-I NCAA individual (3 points), U.S. Amateur (3 points), The Amateur (3 points), Western Amateur (2 points), European Amateur (2 points), Latin America Amateur (2 points), Asia-Pacific Amateur (2 points)
- Participate in a national team competition: Walker Cup (2 points), Palmer Cup (1 point), World Amateur Team Championship (1 point)
- Performance in official PGA TOUR events and Major Championships. Points are accumulated for each of the following achievements:
- 1 point = Made cut in an official PGA TOUR event
- 1 point = Top-10 finish in an official PGA TOUR event
- 1 point = Compete in a Major Championship (Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open, The Open Championship)
- 1 point = Made cut in a Major Championship
- 2 points = Top-20 finish in a Major Championship
- 13th in a Major Championship = Compete (1) + Made cut (1) + Top-20 (2) = 4 points
- 7th in an official PGA TOUR event = Made cut (1) + Top-10 (1) = 2 points
Since 2010, only three players would have earned membership through PGA TOUR University Accelerated: Patrick Cantlay (2012), Justin Thomas (2013) and Patrick Rodgers (2014). Currently, the top-two players in Accelerated Points are Stanford junior Michael Thorbjornsen (12 points) and Vanderbilt sophomore Gordon Sargent (10 points).
About PGA TOUR University presented by Velocity Global
Introduced in 2020, PGA TOUR University presented by Velocity Global identifies the best seniors in college golf and provides membership opportunities on PGA TOUR-affiliated tours. Through the 2022 season, PGA TOUR University alumni have won eight professional events, and four alumni earned their PGA TOUR cards for the 2022-23 season: Austin Eckroat, Davis Thompson, Trevor Werbylo and Kevin Yu.
The Velocity Global Ranking ranks players based on the last two years of their collegiate careers. The No. 1 player in the final Velocity Global Ranking will earn a PGA TOUR membership, while players Nos. 2-5 (fully exempt) and Nos. 6-10 (conditional) will earn Korn Ferry Tour membership. Additionally, players finishing 6th through 20th in the Velocity Global Ranking will earn fully exempt membership on PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
PGA TOUR University presented by Velocity Global will be featured on GOLF Channel each Wednesday on Golf Today and within weekly live tournament coverage, as well as across GOLF Channel and PGA TOUR digital platforms throughout the season. For more information, visit pgatour.com/university and follow PGA TOUR University on Twitter and Instagram (@PGATOURU).