In a Virus-Shortened Season, No One Loses a PGA Tour Card
By Doug Ferguson, AP Golf Writer
Harris English of the United States during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge on March 07, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
A shorter season brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic means no one will lose a PGA Tour card this year and the Korn Ferry Tour players will have to wait a year before fully joining the big leagues.
A memo sent to players Thursday to outline the changes was another step in the tour trying to figure out what's equitable in a season that will be without 13 previously scheduled events.
The tour said players exempt for this season will keep the same status for the 2020-21 season that is scheduled to start in September unless they earn a higher ranking after this shortened season.
That could help someone like Harris English, who started the season with conditional status from finishing between Nos. 126 and 150 the previous season. He has posted five top 10s and is No. 24 in the FedEx Cup, making his a lock to have a full card for next season.
As for the developmental Korn Ferry Tour, no one will graduate to the PGA Tour after the season. The tour was working on rewarding the top 10 players, such as allowing them in opposite-field field events for next season.
All of this is contingent on golf resuming June 11-14 at Colonial, the restart of a season that would include only one major championship. The PGA Championship is tentatively set for Aug. 9-12 in San Francisco. The U.S. Open was pushed back to September, the Masters was moved to November and the British Open was canceled.
That means six majors will be played next season.
This season still offers a $15 million prize to the winner of the FedEx Cup. The two playoff events outside Boston and Chicago would award triple points instead of quadruple points.
In other changes:
- The field for the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua will include everyone who wins a PGA Tour event in 2020, along with players who reach the Tour Championship. That means whoever finished in the top 30 in the FedEx Cup gets into at least three majors in 2021, along with a trip to Maui.
- The tournament in the Dominican Republic originally was canceled and then moved to September, the same week as the Ryder Cup. Because it is not opposite a World Golf Championship, the winner will receive full FedEx Cup points and a trip to the 2021 Masters.
- For the rest of this season, Monday qualifiers that can be held will only provide two spots instead of four.