Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

This college golfer could have his PGA Tour card by summer’s end — here’s how

By admin Jun27,2024

Jackson Koivun had one of the best freshman seasons in college golf history.

He won the Fred Haskins Award, the Heisman Trophy of college golf, while also taking home the Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus Awards as Player of the Year. Then he helped Auburn win its first men’s golf national championship in school history. As if that wasn’t enough, he also took home the Phil Mickelson Award for Freshman of the Year.

Hopefully he has some room in the trophy case to put all of his honors.

Thanks to Koivun’s stellar season, he’s got a chance to earn a PGA Tour card by the end of the summer thanks to PGA Tour University Accelerated.

Through PGA Tour University Accelerated, a high-achieving junior, sophomore or freshman can earn Tour membership and become eligible for all open, full-field Tour events. Players earn points based on their accomplishments in college, amateur and professional golf, and they will earn PGA Tour membership if they amass at least 20 points by the end of their third year of NCAA eligibility.

After one season, Koivun sits at 16 points, and 17th is on the way in a couple weeks once he competes in the 2024 Arnold Palmer Cup in Ireland.

Here’s how it breaks down: Koivun received three points each for winning the Haskins, Hogan and Nicklaus Awards. He got two for the Mickelson. There’s 11.

Then, he reached No. 2 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, which gave him four more points and got him to 15. If he gets to No. 1, which is something that could happen if his strong form continues, he would gain another point.

He got another point a couple weeks ago when he made the cut at the Memorial Tournament, which he got into when he won the Nicklaus Award. It was his first PGA Tour start.

That’s 16 points, and as mentioned, a 17th is on the way, leaving him three shy of a PGA Tour card before he starts his sophomore year of college.

Not bad.

Gordon Sargent, who’s set to begin his senior year at Vanderbilt in the fall, earned his PGA Tour card in the fall via the University Accelerated rankings, though he’s going to wait until after his senior year to accept Tour membership. Koivun is looking to become the second to earn his card via Accelerated, and he can do it before the end of the summer.

There are numerous ways players can earn points, including some of the top amateur events. If Koivun were to win the Western Amateur, that would be worth two points. The U.S. Amateur, which he was a quarterfinalist at in 2023, is worth three.

Although it’s not likely he will play in the Open Championship, making a start in a major is worth one point, making the cut is another and a top-20 finish is worth two. He could earn points with PGA Tour starts, as well. Players get one point for making the cut at a Tour event and another for finishing inside the top 10.

Even if it doesn’t happen this summer, it’s a matter of if, not when, for Koivun on when he’ll join Sargent in earning his Tour card. Perhaps next summer, there will be three new faces joining the Tour fresh out of college in Sargent, Koivun and the winner of the 2025 PGA Tour University standings.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek


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