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Report: PGA Tour offering new path to Korn Ferry Tour membership via ‘PGA Tour University’

March 4, 2020

There will soon be another path to Korn Ferry Tour membership that does not involve the slog of Q School.

According to a report from Golf Channel, the PGA Tour policy board approved a new measure that would grant collegiate players Korn Ferry Tour status based on a collegiate ranking system. The top five players in the rankings at the conclusion of the NCAA season will earn Korn Ferry Tour status, which is a direct path to the PGA Tour.

The program, called PGA Tour University, is a fascinating proposition. For so many accomplished amateurs, the only option they have when turning pro is securing sponsor exemptions and trying to play well in limited opportunities. They then either earn enough points to secure a PGA Tour card for the following season, such as Matthew Wolff and Collin Morikawa, or earn enough points for Korn Ferry Tour Finals berths and try to earn a card there, a path taken by Viktor Hovland and Bryson DeChambeau.

But for those who don’t play well in their opportunities, Q School is one of the last options. No one wants to go to Q School. Have a bad week and suddenly you’re without a place to play your first year as a pro, amateur track record be damned. This is the reality for former Oklahoma standout Brad Dalke after failing to secure Korn Ferry Tour status at Q School in the fall.

PGA Tour University also ensures the Korn Ferry Tour has some star power by virtue of the collegiate standouts who take this path. The PGA Tour has tried to funnel more and more players through its top development tour in the last decade. In 2013, Q School’s structure was altered so that only Korn Ferry Tour status could be earned and not PGA Tour status. PGA Tour University appears to be another step toward making the Korn Ferry Tour the most direct path to the PGA Tour.

The PGA Tour did not respond when contacted for comment.

Players ranked outside the top five in the collegiate ranking system will also have the opportunity to earn status on the other development tours under the PGA Tour umbrella, such as the Mackenzie Tour, PGA Tour Latinoamérica and PGA Tour-Series China.

The policy board approved the measure last fall and the program is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2021, according to the report.

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