Eligibility adjustments made for 2020-21 PGA TOUR season
April 30, 2020
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- April 30, 2020
- (Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in 13 events from the 2019-20 PGA TOUR Season to be canceled or postponed, the PGA TOUR has extended eligibility for exempt 2019-20 PGA TOUR members for the 2020-21 season, unless the member’s priority ranking at the conclusion of the 2019-20 season would rank higher in the updated eligibility categories.
This eligibility update, contingent upon the planned restart of the season at the Charles Schwab Challenge the week of June 8, was deemed the best and most equitable solution for the membership at large after research by our competitions department and significant conversations with the Policy Board and Player Advisory Council.
While the Korn Ferry Tour will not have a graduating class in 2020 due to the PGA TOUR eligibility changes, we have established a performance benefit for the top 10 from the final Korn Ferry Tour points list following the conclusion of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance. Those players will be granted access into all PGA TOUR additional events for the 2020-21 season. Additional details relative to the Korn Ferry Tour and an adjusted/extended season are expected to be announced on Monday, May 4.
Here are some key questions and answers related to the new hybrid eligibility system.
If a player started the 2019-20 season with status on the PGA TOUR, is he guaranteed status for the 2020-21 season?
Yes … but his eligibility category could change.
Is the 2019-20 season an official FedExCup Season?
Yes, the 2019-20 season will have 33 official regular season FedExCup events, culminating with the three FedExCup playoff events. The eligibility to play in the FedExCup Playoffs will remain the Top 125 at THE NORTHERN TRUST, Top 70 at the BMW Championship, and Top 30 at TOUR Championship. FedExCup Playoff points have been adjusted to account for the loss of regular season events. Instead of a 4x multiplier for playoff points, the 2019-2020 Playoffs will award 3x the points (1,500 points for first place).
The Wyndham Rewards Top 10 and the FedExCup Bonus Money will be distributed at the end of the 2019-2020 season.
How does the hybrid eligibility system impact players currently playing under a medical extension?
For players who started playing under the medical extension prior to the 2019- 20 season, there is no impact on your medical extension.
Players who played in his first available tournament under his medical extension in the 2019-2020 season and has events remaining will have two options:
• He may choose a complete restart of his medical extension from the resumption of the TOUR schedule (June 8-14). Under this option, he would forfeit all FedExCup points earned under his medical extension in events played from the start of the 2019-2020 season through the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. Subsequently, he will get back his full number of “available tournaments” and will restart his medical when play resumes for the 2019-20 season. OR …
• A player may choose to continue under his current medical extension, keeping all FedExCup Points earned to date under his medical extension. A player who chooses this option and thereafter earns combined top 125 points under his medical extension will remain in the Major Medical category for the remainder of the 2019-20 season as well as the entirety of the 2020-21 season. Players who resumed play under a medical extension in the 2019-20 season and earned combined top 125 points prior to the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational will be placed in the 2018-19 Top 125 / 2019 Top Finishers from the Korn Ferry Tour category for the 2020-21 season should they finish outside the Top 125 on the final 2019-20 FedExCup Points List.
Will there be a change to the 2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions eligibility?
Winners from the 2020 calendar year and the top 30 players from the FedExCup Playoff Points List who qualified for the 2020 TOUR Championship will be eligible for the 2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Will there be any performance benefits for Korn Ferry Tour players on the PGA TOUR for the 2020-21 season?
There will be no graduates from the Korn Ferry Tour in 2020.
Players finishing in the top 10 and ties on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List from the 2020 Great Exuma Classic through the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour Championship will be eligible for opposite events during the 2020-21 season. These players will be placed behind the 126- 150 category and in front of the Beyond 150 Category (or Reorder Category) on the eligibility list.
A player who wins three times on the Korn Ferry Tour in the 2020-21 season will be elevated to the PGA TOUR.
What is the eligibility for the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Finals?
PGA TOUR Members who finish in the top 200 on the 2019-20 FedExCup points list and those members who finish top 200 on the 2020-21 FedExCup points list will be eligible for the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
Non-Members whose non-member FedExCup points in the 2019-20 season are greater than or equal to top 200 on the 2020-21 FedExCup points list will qualify for the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Finals. In addition, non-members in the 2020-21 PGA TOUR season who obtain non-member points greater than or equal to top 200 on the 2020-21 FedExCup points list can also participate in the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
Note: only those PGA TOUR Members who finish 151-200 on 2020-21 FedExCup points list and non-members who finished 126-200 on the 2020-21 non-member FedExCup points list will be eligible for the 151-200 category on the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour.
Are non-members’ playing opportunities affected for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 PGA TOUR seasons?
PGA TOUR events will retain their allocated sponsor exemptions.
There will be no change to the regulations around non-member qualifying (i.e. Special Temporary Membership and Top 125 Non-Member) for the remaining 2019-20 season.
As with the official FedExCup points list, non-member FedExCup points list will reset at the 2020 Safeway Open.
For the 2020-21 season, a non-member can play in 12 co-sponsored or approved tournaments, of which a maximum of seven can be played utilizing a combination of sponsor and foreign exemptions.
For a non-member to gain special temporary membership in the 2020-21 season, a player will need to earn non-member FedExCup points greater than or equal to what Top 150 was on the 2018-19 FedExCup Points List (288.035 points).
When will the reshuffles and groupings move-ups happen for the remainder of the 2019-2020 season?
The remaining reshuffles will occur the Monday of the Travelers Championship and on the Monday of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.
During the season, players in a grouping category 3 can move into a groupings category 2. For the remainder of this season, this will occur for players within the top 100 of the current season’s FedExCup points list through the Charles Schwab Challenge and players within the top 125 through the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.
Will a player be required to fulfill his strength-of-field requirement?
A player will be required to fulfill his 2019-20 strength of field requirement (if applicable) either in the current season or in the 2020-21 season. A player can meet the requirement by playing one new tournament from the list provided to him at the start of the 2019-20 season or he can play 25 events in the 2019-20 or 2020-21 season.
Any player who has already fulfilled the strength of field requirement in the 2019-20 season will be noted as met the obligation and will not need to meet additional requirements in 2020-2021.
Will a foreign player be required to play 15 times to retain membership?
There will be no event minimum for home circuit players to retain membership for the 2020-2021 season.
Does a player need to play 15 events in the 2019-2020 season to become or retain Voting Membership?
The 15-event minimum to become or retain voting membership will be reduced to 10 events.
How will the FedExCup Points List category work for the 2020-21 invitational Events?
The Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, Charles Schwab Challenge, and the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide use the current season and prior season’s FedExCup Points list for eligibility and, therefore, will remain unchanged for the 2020-21 season.
The invitational events played in Asia at the beginning of the season will also remain unchanged and will use the final 2019-2020 FedExCup points list.
The Genesis Invitational, THE PLAYERS Championship, and the RBC Heritage take the top 125 players from the FedExCup points list. A special list for these events has been created that will consist of the Top 125 players who earned the most FedExCup points from the start of the 2019-20 season through the event in the 2020-21 season two weeks prior to tournament week. For this merged list, the 2020 FedExCup Playoff events will be weighted the same as World Golf Championships consistent with how Presidents Cup points are calculated.
Will the 2020 Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship be considered an opposite event since it moved to the Fall?
The 2020 Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship will no longer be played opposite a World Golf Championship, thereby qualifying as a regular event that will award 500 FedExCup points to first place. Additional measures to accommodate the date change will include expanding the field size to 144 players and providing the sponsor with two additional unrestricted exemptions.
Will Monday Qualifying be held for events on the PGA TOUR?
For the remainder of the 2019-20 PGA TOUR schedule, the number of qualifying spots will be reduced from four to two.
It should be noted, however, while the intention is to have open qualifiers, there may be locations where we cannot safely hold an open qualifier. In that instance, those spots will go back to the field.
For the 2020-21 season, open qualifying will return to four qualifying spots.