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PGA Tour University rankings: Pak leads the pack as top 15 unveiled

Pak
USGA

The first PGA Tour University ranking is out.

Nos. 6-15 for the 2020-21 season were unveiled Tuesday while the top five were revealed Wednesday. The first release included Oklahoma teammates Garett Reband (No. 6) and Quade Cummins (No. 11) and Vanderbilt standout John Augenstein (No. 9), all of whom decided to return to school for an extra year, in large part because of the opportunity provided by PGA Tour U.

Florida State senior John Pak highlighted the top-5 release, topping the initial rankings.

The top five players in the PGA Tour U rankings after the 2021 NCAA Championship will earn Korn Ferry Tour status for that summer while Nos. 6-15 will have the option of status on the Mackenzie Tour, PGA Tour China or PGA Tour Latinoamerica.

"PGA Tour U is an incredible program that's going to give the best players in college golf status on a major tour right out of school," Augenstein said. "I think it's everybody's plan to get to the PGA Tour as quickly as possible, and PGA Tour U has figured out that this is what college golf needed, a route to jumpstart guys' careers early on. I think that it's going to play a major role in the coming years, and I'm happy to be a part of it in the first year."

Rankings are determined using a hybrid version of the World Amateur Golf Ranking, taking into account only college and PGA Tour events from a player's junior and senior seasons. However, PGA Tour U officials were forced to make adjustments this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which canceled the final two-and-a-half months of last season. In order to get a more accurate ranking come next spring, this first class of players will have five semesters factored in, beginning with their Spring 2019 results. The current minimum divisor has also been adjusted, but will still be 18 after the 2021 NCAA Championship when the rankings are finalized.

Here’s a complete look at the current top 15:

15. Tripp Kinney, Iowa State

The Cyclones legacy (his grandfather played tennis at Iowa State while he great-grandfather played football) became the first player in school history to play in three NCAA Championships and will get another chance to adding to that total after deciding to return for another season. He owns 11 career top-10s.

14. Tim Widing, San Francisco

This Swede had a memorable summer – and it had nothing to do with golf. The Dons graduate senior got engaged to girlfriend Jazmine Kelleher in June. He also became somewhat of a social-media trick-shot artist, though his team says it’s still his ballstriking that is his real talent.

13. Hunter Eichhorn, Marquette

The Marquette senior won a couple of fall tournaments as a junior to run his career total to four. He also took the Big East title in 2018.


Surprises on PGA Tour University rankings

Surprises on PGA Tour University rankings

12. Cooper Dossey, Baylor

“Coop” was recently named Baylor’s player of the decade. He opted to return for an extra year after compiling three victories and a 71.58 scoring average in his first four years in Waco.

11. Quade Cummins, Oklahoma

The last of the “Burly Boys” decided to run it back one more time with the Sooners. While he has 14 career top-10 finishes and ended up fifth in last season’s final Golfstat ranking, Cummins is still searching for his first college victory.

10. Jovan Rebula, Auburn

He’s got some big-time family ties being the nephew of Ernie Els, but “Big Jo” has made quite the name for himself for the Tigers. He’s a two-time reigning SEC first-teamer, the conference's medalist two seasons ago and a three-time All-American.

9. John Augenstein, Vanderbilt

Many expected “Johnny Golf” to make waves as a professional last summer, but the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 left him to reconsider. He’ll stay amateur, play in both the U.S. Open and Masters this fall, and then chase a Korn Ferry Tour card in the spring. He’s won twice in four years in Nashville and is the reigning SEC Player of the Year.

8. Trevor Werbylo, Arizona

The local kid, who is from Tucson, has been a force for the Wildcats in three years, posting 54 rounds of par or better and 13 top-10s.

7. McClure Meissner, SMU

The Mustangs captain keeps proving himself among the best players in college golf, following second-team All-America honors as a junior with a huge summer victory at the Southern Amateur.

6. Garett Reband, Oklahoma

Joins teammate Cummins in returning to Norman for an extra year after a senior season in which he finished T-13 or better in all six starts.

5. Sandy Scott, Texas Tech

The Scottish standout remains back home, waiting for when he can re-enter the U.S., but when he does resume his college career in Lubbock, the extra-year senior figures to be a force. He was easily Team GB&I’s best player at last year’s Walker Cup and is a reigning two-time All-America second-team selection. He is currently eighth in the WAGR.

4. Davis Thompson, Georgia

Thompson broke out last season as a junior, posting five top-8s, including a win at the Jim Rivers Invitational, and earning first-team All-America honors. He was also a finalist for the Haskins and Nicklaus awards, and he’s played in two PGA Tour events this season, tying for 23rd at the RSM Classic last fall and missing the cut in Puerto Rico earlier this year.

3. Austin Eckroat, Oklahoma State

Eckroat is eager to join former Cowboys teammates Matthew Wolff, Viktor Hovland and Kristoffer Ventura on the PGA Tour soon. First, though, he must put an exclamation point on his college career, which already includes three All-America honors. He’ll be the unquestioned leader of an Oklahoma State team that will be back among the nation’s elite this season.

2. Chun An (Kevin) Yu, Arizona State

Yu’s four-year numbers at Arizona State are impressive: 70.4 scoring average, 78 rounds of par or better, three wins, four more runner-up finishes. He’ll get another year to add to it, too, as the ultra-talented ball-striker decided to delay turning pro and put his endorsement deals on hold to play one more season in Tempe. Right now, though, Yu, like Scott, is living outside the U.S., back home in Chinese Taipei. He is ranked third in the WAGR and is trying to return in time for the U.S. Amateur, where a strong finish could help him secure the McCormack Medal.

1. John Pak, Florida State

Pak is considered one of the most accurate players of the past decade in college golf. What he lacks in distance, he makes up for in straightness. His incredible iron game has translated to three All-America honors, including first team as a sophomore, and seven victories, which puts him in second all-time at Florida State. He also was the star of the 2019 Walker Cup, going 3-0 and earning a crucial singles point at the end of Day 1 to spark a second-day U.S. rally.

Nos. 16-25

  • 16. Devon Bling, UCLA
  • 17. Zack Taylor, Coastal Carolina
  • 18. Michael Feagles, Illinois
  • 19. Jack Trent, UNLV
  • 20. Matthias Schmid, Lousville
  • 21. Christopher Gotterup, Rutgers
  • 22. Spencer Ralston, Georgia
  • 23. Luke Schniederjans, Georgia Tech
  • 24. Graysen Huff, Auburn
  • 25. Mason Andersen, Arizona State