At best Korean teen Si Woo Kim earned a half of a PGA Tour card earlier this month at the circuit’s Qualifying School Tournament, an administrative pencil whipping that will keep him from enjoying the full benefits of membership until his 18th birthday on June 28.
Until Kim turns 18, the minimum age allowed for Tour membership, his only access into events will be via Monday qualifying, top-10 finishes and sponsor exemptions, like the one granted to him on Tuesday from the Puerto Rico Open.
The Puerto Rico stop, which is played opposite the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship March 7-10, has a history of granting up-and-coming players invitations and wasted little time using one of two “unrestricted” sponsor exemptions on the teen-ager.
Kim will be allowed a maximum of 12 sponsor exemptions until he gains his full status in late June and any money and FedEx Cup points will count toward his season totals.
For the purposes of retaining his Tour card, however, Kim will have no more than six events, not counting majors or WGCs, after his 18th birthday to qualify for the playoffs.