Determining Eligibility for PGA TOUR Players

This week let’s review the PGA TOUR’s schedule and how players get into an event.

The Priority List shows a player’s eligibility for an open event. Category 1 has priority over Category 2 and so on for the rest of the categories. Major championship winners get a five-year exemption. They sit in Categories 1-4 for five seasons after their win. Winners of the Players Championship, World Golf Events and the Final FedExCup event earn three-year exemptions. They sit in Categories 5 – 7 for three seasons after their win. Winners of a PGA TOUR event get a two-year exemption. They sit in Category 9 for 2 seasons after their win.

Pay particular attention to Category 25. This is where the player who just earned his TOUR card sits for the ensuing season. He is listed in his order of finish in the qualifying. There are 188 names above him in priority. He only gets into an event after these guys. At the bottom of Category 25’s list of players is a footnote. Re-ordering means the names on the list within Category 25 get rearranged based on tournament winnings. The times when re-ordering takes place are shown in the footnote. Players who win some money will shift up above the players ahead of them if they win more money than the players ahead of him. It will look like a Money List within Category 25.

Basically there are four different types of PGA TOUR events. There are open events, invitational events, major championships and world golf events. Each of them has their own rules about who can enter. Open events go straight off of the All-Exempt PGA TOUR Priority Rankings. The HP Byron Nelson Championship is an open event.

A typical open event on the PGA TOUR has 156 players during the longer daylight hour months. The winter and fall events may have smaller fields due to limited daylight. Most events have a cut – low 70 and ties after two days of play. Some events do not have cuts. World Golf Championships have smaller fields and no cut. The last two FedExCup Playoff events have smaller fields and no cut. This year the CIMB Classic in Malaysia has a limited field and no cut. The 2013-2014 PGA TOUR Season began this fall and concludes next September. The first two events this season had 132 players. The third event, the CIMB Classic, had 78 players.

Click these links to see how Open, Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and CIMB Classic filled their fields.



Tim Gamso
Salesmanship Club of Dallas