The PGA Tour announced a new program on Monday that will reward elite collegiate golfers with varying levels of access to circuits under the PGA Tour umbrella upon leaving school.
Only NCAA Division I players who complete at least four years of college are eligible for the "PGA Tour University" ranking list - a points system that will award playing privileges for the top 15 finishers.
“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,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.
“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 added.
The top five will be given Korn Ferry Tour membership and will be exempt into all open, full-field events from the end of the college season to the end of the Korn Ferry Tour regular season. The top five will also be exempt into that year's final stage of Korn Ferry Tour qualifying.
Nos. 6 through 15 will receive membership of their choice on one of the PGA Tour's international circuits - PGA Tour Latinoamerica, Mackenzie Tour (Canada), or PGA Tour China - as well as an exemption into the second stage of Korn Ferry Tour qualifying.
Traditionally, the top collegiate golfers relied on sponsor invites into PGA Tour events to earn enough FedEx Cup points to qualify for the Korn Ferry Tour playoffs. Viktor Hovland took that route during the 2018-19 season as an example. These invites will presumably still be granted but will no longer be the only accelerated path from college golf to the PGA Tour through the Korn Ferry Tour.