The PGA Tour now has a dedicated path for NCAA student-athletes, with an emphasis on students.
The policy board of the tour in March approved the plan launched this week. It is called PGA Tour University and is designed to give NCAA Division I top players access to the Korn Ferry Tour or satellite tours in Canada, Latin America and China when school is over.
Qualified players, however, must complete at least four years in college.
Over time, this probably will not apply to the elite of college golf, who generally make it past the second year of high school (Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Matthew Wolff) and are good enough to get sponsor exemptions and can qualify. options at the end of the season.
But the timing for the COVID-19 pandemic couldn't be better.
Golf has had such a short season ending in the last three months that the Korn Ferry Tour will not send the top 25 players to the major leagues until 2021, and there will be no qualifying tournaments in late 2020. Several college players who think in becoming a professional, he is going back to school, even the elderly who received an additional year of eligibility under the NCAA because of the pandemic.
"By focusing our efforts on players who have completed a minimum of four years, PGA Tour University will not be intimidated by the college game, ensuring that its graduates benefit from their maturity and experience," Commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement.
The top 15 in the final list of the PGA Tour University ranking after the university season will receive status. The top five players will be exempt from opening Korn Ferry Tour events on the entire field until the postseason (usually seven or eight tournaments). They will also be exempt in the final stage of school Q for the Korn Ferry Tour. The next 10 will have status in Canada, Latin America or China, in addition to being exempt from the second stage of high school.
The ranking list will be based on the World Amateur Golf Ranking, and only the last two years of a player's university career will count (university tournaments and PGA Tour events, including the top three courses for amateurs). However, players will not appear in the ranking until the fourth year begins. They face a minimum of nine events in their last year, including the NCAA regionals.
The first ranking list is due to be published this summer, leading to the next college season.
Colonial's Charles Schwab Challenge has a new charity for the return of the PGA Tour, which includes donations to participate in a sweepstakes with prizes ranging from autographed items to special access to the Presidents Cup and the PGA Championship next year.
Colonial is among at least four events that will have no spectators or hospitality on the route after the season begins again. Both are key elements for the net income that go to local charities. Instead, the tournament will feature "Rise to the Challenge" to benefit the tour's COVID-19 assistance fund and the local "Birdies for Charity" fund for the tournament.
"Although the Charles Schwab Challenge 2020 operates differently than originally planned, our commitment to the tournament, its fans and the Dallas-Fort Worth community remains unwavering," said Jonathan Craig, executive vice president of the company.
People can contribute starting on Monday at www.schwabgolf.com, and winners will be announced online during the tournament. PGA Tour players are supporting the program with Colonial digital and social media content throughout the week.
Prizes offered include a 2019 Presidents Cup flag signed by captains Tiger Woods and Ernie Els; a chance to walk the rope with PGA of America President Suzy Whaley next year on Kiawah Island for the PGA championship; a round of golf at Bandon Dunes with architect David Kidd; a round of golf with a tour player at Colonial; and Bob Vokey's custom wedge assembly at the Titleist Performance Institute in California.
SORENSTAM'S HELPFUL HAND
Annika Sorenstam has dedicated time and resources to the development of women's golf over the years, mainly with an AJGA (Annika Invitational) event and junior events in Europe and Australia, in addition to participating in the new Latin America Amateur Women.
His last effort is to help aspiring professionals.
Sorenstam announced the "Annika Foundation Crisis Relief Fund" to provide immediate financial assistance to Symetra Tour players affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Symetra Tour provides direct access to the LPGA Tour for the top 10 on the money list, but not this year. Because of the shutdown of golf, the LPGA Tour maintains the status of its members and the advance of the Symetra Tour will have to wait until 2021.
Sorenstam plans to award 100 scholarships for $ 500 each to qualified candidates on the Symetra tour. The application deadline is June 12, and donations will be distributed on July 1. The Swede is also accepting donations to the fund, all of which is intended for Symetra Tour players.
THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
Juli Inkster won two specialization courses as a debutant on the LPGA Tour in 1984. She added a third in 1989 at the Nabisco Dinah Shore. And then she had two children, Hayley in 1990 and Cori in 1994. She spent 10 years without graduating, and nothing tormented her like the 1992 Women's Open in Oakmont, where she lost a two-shot lead with two holes to play and Patty Sheehan won it in an 18-hole playoff.
It was 21 years ago this week that Inkster finally won the award. She turned 71 in the final round of the 1999 American Women's Open in Old Waverly, Mississippi, and set the record for 72 holes with 16 under 272. Three weeks later, she won the LPGA Championship to complete her Grand Slam career. .
Inkster ended his career with seven courses.
The Mackenzie Tour canceled its season before it could start.
The PGA Tour circuit in Canada had a schedule of 13 tournaments, the largest in eight years. The COVID-19 pandemic occurred when the tour was not yet in the middle of its qualified schools in the USA. And with border restrictions and mandatory quarantines to enter Canada, the tour was left with few options.
"We have weighed all of our options and concluded that it is not possible to play this summer," said Scott Pritchard, executive director of the Mackenzie Tour.
The top 60 in the 2019 money list will remain fully exempt for 2021. Players who have passed Q schools in Texas, Florida and Alabama will retain their status until 2021, while players have entered four other Q schools (California, Arizona, Florida and Canada) will have their seats reserved for next spring.