Michigan State’s Troy Taylor, II, tops final 2022-2023 APGA Collegiate Ranking
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Written by Staff @PGATOUR
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The top five players in the 2022-2023 APGA Collegiate rankings have been finalized with Troy Taylor, II, of Michigan State University finishing in the top position. The top five players will receive numerous benefits and opportunities as part through this program, now in its third year. Additionally, through finishing as the No. 1 player in the standings, Taylor earns a sponsor’s exemption into the 2023 UNC Health Championship and automatically qualifies for the 2024 season-opening APGA Tour Farmers Insurance Invitational at Torrey Pines.
The final top five players in the 2022-2023 APGA Tour Collegiate Rankings:
1) Troy Taylor II, Michigan State University
2) Joel Basakaine, Livingstone College
3) Gary Bullard, Army
4) Troy Striblin, Florida A&M
5) Jason Johnson, Alabama A&M
Taylor has been in the top two of the standings through 2022-2023 season along with Howard University’s Gregory Odom. Odom and his teammate Everett Whiten Jr, who was in third place in rankings published earlier this year, have each been removed from the list as they both plan to return for another year of collegiate golf. The class of 2023 ranking includes Golfstat-ranked college tournaments played in Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022 and Spring 2023.
In addition to Taylor receiving exemptions into the 2023 UNC Health Championship and the 2024 APGA Tour Farmers Insurance Invitational, the top five players in the final 2022-2023 APGA Collegiate Ranking will receive:
• Scholarship access to APGA TOUR events through the remainder of the 2023 APGA Tour season
• Scholarship access into the PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry
• Membership to the APGA Tour through May of 2024
“After having the opportunity to play in the APGA Tour Billy Horschel Invitational presented by Cisco the last two years, I have so much respect for the players on the APGA Tour, the mission, vision and the level of competition on the Tour as a whole,” Taylor said. “Since playing in those events, it’s been a goal of mine to finish the season No. 1 in the APGA Tour Collegiate Rankings. With the benefits and player development tools that the APGA Tour provides, the exemption to play in my first Korn Ferry Tour event and a spot in the Farmers Insurance Invitational at Torrey Pines, I’m excited to take the next step in my golf career and I’m blessed to have the opportunities the APGA Tour provides.”
In his two starts on the APGA Tour at TPC Sawgrass, Taylor II finished 2nd to Willie Mack in 2021 and T6 in 2022. Son of former Ohio State University basketball star, Troy Taylor, Taylor II was introduced to golf at a young age. Troy’s father did not want him to become burned out by basketball as a young athlete, so Taylor II quickly picked up the game of golf and never looked back. Taylor plans to remain an amateur for the time being as he attempts to qualify for the U.S. Amateur in August 2023.
Taylor II is a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, Academic All-Big Ten and A Golf Coaches Association of America All-American Scholar for the 2021-2022 season. Most notably in his past two seasons at Michigan State, he won his first collegiate event, posted two top 10 finishes and eight among the top 25. Additionally, Taylor was among the 10 collegiate golfers named to the inaugural Black College Golf Coaches Association (BCGCA) All-American team in 2022. Recently, he was the Michigan State recipient for the 2023 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
“We are thrilled to welcome another class from the APGA Tour Collegiate Rankings to the APGA Tour,” said Ken Bentley, CEO of the APGA Tour. “This program has become a vital part of the pipeline being built and maintained to help black golfers on their path from junior golf, through college and into the professional game. In the past, many young golfers coming from college have struggled to find playing opportunities or necessary resources to improve as players. We are proud to be able to provide the best minority college golfers with a home tour where they can face strong competition, play high-level golf courses, and receive assistance to grow as players and men.”
This is the third year of the APGA Tour Collegiate Rankings. Top players from the past two classes have enjoyed success through their early APGA Tour careers and have all utilized the tools and access to continue to improve on and off the course. Andrew Walker, who was a teammate of Taylor’s at Michigan State, won the APGA Tour Cisco Invitational at Baltusrol in 2022. Walker finished second in the inaugural APGA Tour Collegiate Rankings. Below is a full list of past qualifiers from the collegiate rankings:
• Troy Taylor II, Michigan State
• Joel Basakaine, Livingstone
• Gary Bullard, Army
• Troy Stribling, Florida A&M
• Jason Johnson, Alabama A&M
• Quinn Riley, Duke
• Jeffrey Cunningham, Drexel
• Kasoma Paulino, Henderson State
• Xavier Williams, North Carolina A&T
• Travis Jackson, North Carolina Central
• Mulbe Dillard, Florida A&M
• Andrew Walker, Michigan State
• Mahindra Lutchman, Florida A&M
• Cameron Riley, Florida A&M
• Prince Cunningham, Florida A&M
FINAL RANKINGS AS OF MAY 17, 2023:
|Adj. Avg. (in relation to par)
|Troy Taylor II
The APGA Collegiate Ranking was announced in October 2020 through a partnership between the PGA TOUR and the APGA Tour. Eligible players are Black golfers from NCAA Division I or II programs – including HBCUs – who exhaust a minimum of four years of college eligibility. The APGA Collegiate Ranking is based on players’ Golfstat adjusted scoring average, designed to evaluate the top players positioned to qualify for APGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament access.
Additionally, in March the PGA TOUR formally announced its Pathway to Progression player development program, a comprehensive effort to achieve greater diversity in golf through an increased focus on developing talent from diverse and historically underrepresented groups. Pathway to Progression, in alignment with the APGA Tour partnership and the Collegiate Ranking program, will provide a path for talented junior and collegiate golfers from diverse backgrounds to continue their development in professional golf.