Thursday, June 20, 2024

DP World Tour, The R&A and PGA Tour launch Global Amateur Pathway – Irish Golfer Magazine

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The DP World Tour, The R&A and the PGA TOUR have today launched the Global Amateur Pathway – powered by the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®) – to help the very best male amateur players take the next step in their careers.

The landmark initiative creates a pathway for non-collegiate amateur players on to the DP World Tour and partner Tours around the world. The Global Amateur Pathway will complement PGA TOUR University – which awards membership on PGA TOUR-sanctioned Tours to the top Division-1 college golfers at the end of the NCAA Championship – to ensure opportunities are available for elite players across the amateur ranks.

Under the Global Amateur Pathway, the best eligible non-collegiate male amateur within the top 200 of the WAGR® will receive a DP World Tour card for the following season. WAGR® comprises a women’s ranking and a men’s ranking for elite amateur players and is offered by The R&A and the USGA as a global service to golf. Players competing in Global Amateur Pathway eligible championships earn points equivalent to the number of points awarded by WAGR®.

The Global Amateur Pathway strengthens, and demonstrates the benefits of, the Strategic Alliances forged by the DP World Tour to provide global player pathways. As such, further exemptions will be available on the European Challenge Tour – part of the European Tour Group – while the DP World Tour and PGA TOUR are working with seven further partner Tours, within their respective governance process and timelines, to finalise their participation. The first Global Amateur Pathway Ranking Period will conclude on 13 October 2024 and the first exemptions will be awarded for the 2025 season.

Several current PGA TOUR and DP World Tour members would have benefited if the Global Amateur Pathway had previously existed. Players such as Tommy Fleetwood (Southport, England), Hideki Matsuyama (Ehime, Japan) and Min Woo Lee (Perth, Australia) were accomplished amateurs who relied on sponsor exemptions to begin their professional careers. Fleetwood was runner-up at the 2008 Amateur Championship and represented GB&I at the 2009 Walker Cup; Matsuyama was a two-time winner of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and became the first Japanese male to rise to No. 1 in WAGR®; and Lee made two appearances in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, including a tied third finish in 2017, and represented Australia at the 2018 World Amateur Team Championship, where he finished T6.

The Global Amateur Pathway would have provided these players with professional tour membership and a clear path forward as they worked toward careers on the PGA TOUR and DP World Tour.

Guy Kinnings, DP World Tour Chief Executive, said, “We are delighted to offer the very best amateur players new opportunities through the Global Amateur Pathway, alongside our partners at The R&A and PGA TOUR.

“This initiative is the perfect example of the benefits that come from the Strategic Alliances and partnerships that we have forged across the game of golf. The very best amateur players now have similar opportunities to their professional counterparts, with clear pathways across the globe to ultimately compete at the pinnacle of the game.

“This complements the opportunities for collegiate players via PGA TOUR University, and there is no better example of the benefits of that programme than young European Ryder Cup star Ludvig Aberg, who has grasped every opportunity that has come his way with both hands.

“Our thanks go to The R&A and PGA TOUR, and to each of the Tours who are coming together to make this dream a reality for the next generation of amateur players.”

Martin Slumbers, CEO of The R&A, said, “We are delighted to work in partnership with the DP World Tour and the PGA TOUR to launch the Global Amateur Pathway.

“We care deeply about amateur golf and developing pathways for the most talented players from different regions of the world is one of our fundamental priorities. It is key to the sustainable future of the sport.

“We continue to create opportunities for elite amateurs to compete at the highest level through our leading amateur championships and the Global Amateur Pathway provides the players with a route to the professional ranks. We look forward to watching them progress in their careers and will now explore the opportunities to introduce a similar pathway in the women’s game.”

“We are thrilled to partner with the DP World Tour and The R&A to take another step forward in strengthening the pathway for amateur athletes as they transition to professional golf,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “Building on the success of PGA TOUR University over the last four years, the Global Amateur Pathway will ensure the best young players from around the world can earn their way onto golf’s biggest stages more efficiently than ever before.”

To be eligible for the Global Amateur Pathway Ranking, amateur golfers must meet the following criteria:

  • Not be a current NCAA Division-I player.
  • Be at least 20 years of age by the end of the calendar year of the relevant Ranking Period.
  • Be within the top 200 WAGR®.
  • Players who are outside the top 200 WAGR® by the end of the Registration Period who then move into the top 100 WAGR® at any time prior to the conclusion of the Late Registration Period in the relevant season.

The Global Amateur Pathway Ranking – based on the WAGR® – will be published every week on the Global Amateur Pathway page following the registration period, with qualification ending on 13 October 2024. The Ranking is designed to identify and rank elite male amateur players (excluding NCAA Division-I collegiate players) competing in eligible tournaments based on their average performance in those tournaments.

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