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PGA Tour U changes: No. 1 to get extra year of PGA Tour status; regional rule revoked

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Performance benefits continue to increase for the top finishers in PGA Tour University.

On the heels of last fall’s announcement that the No. 1 player in the final ranking would receive a PGA Tour card for the remainder of the Tour season, the PGA Tour revealed Monday that it is expanding that perk to include an extra full season of PGA Tour status. So, this year’s No. 1 player following the NCAA Championship would earn a Tour card for the remainder of 2023 and 2024, playing out of the same category as the Korn Ferry Tour and DP World Tour points winners while being subject to reshuffles.

Because the No. 1 player would keep his PGA Tour status for the following year, that player would not need to compete in PGA Tour Q-School at the end of that first year.

Texas Tech senior Ludvig Aberg has a sizable lead on No. 2 Fred Biondi of Florida in the current PGA Tour U rankings.

Additional changes include the same one-and-a-half-year PGA Tour exemption for any players satisfying PGA Tour Accelerated, the points program available to underclassmen. Also, Nos. 2-5 in the final PGA Tour University ranking will be able to accept unlimited PGA Tour sponsor exemptions for the remainder of that season and the following season.

Currently, Vanderbilt sophomore Gordon Sargent is the closest to achieving a Tour card through Accelerated, as he has 13 of the required 20 points with a chance to move to 22 points if he sweeps this season's individual postseason awards – Haskins, Nicklaus and Hogan awards.

Finally, PGA Tour U has gotten rid of its rule that required seniors to compete – or at least start and complete one round – in regionals to remain eligible for the program. Instead, players that miss regionals, whether because of injury, illness or not making the lineup, will receive three points and add one divisor.

This is the exact verbiage that was sent out to coaches Monday afternoon: “In the second year of his ranking period, if a player is eligible (on a qualifying team or qualified to compete as an individual) and does not compete in a NCAA D-I Regional Championship, he will receive 3 points and add a divisor to his PGA Tour University record. The player will remain eligible to finish in the final PGA Tour University Ranking.”

May 22 remains the deadline for the current class to remain in PGA Tour U this season or opt out and join next year’s class.