PGA Tour Launches PGA Tour Americas

Golf, and more specifically the PGA Tour, has undergone a metamorphosis lately thanks to the sport’s growing popularity as well as the competition created by the Saudi-backed LIV Golf.

Not only has the PGA Tour announced new initiatives for 2023, 2024 and beyond, including a return to calendar-year scheduling, increased prize purses, a series of designated events, revised field sizes for the FedEx Cup Playoffs as well as no-cut, limited-field international events, but the Tour’s pathway is undergoing a facelift as well.

Today, the PGA Tour announced the creation of PGA Tour Americas—a singular entity combining PGA Tour Latinoamérica and PGA Tour Canada with play beginning February 2024.

“We’ve had 20 years of history in Latin America and 10 in Canada,” said Alex Baldwin, who oversees PGA Tour Americas, Korn Ferry Tour, PGA Tour Q-School and PGA Tour University. “Just to be able to see them come together and bring the absolute best of these two regions to form a really highly competitive tour that will play an important part of our ecosystem is really exciting.

“It’s just a really natural next step. … We have a pool of talent from all over the world so to be able to provide them those access points and that opportunity really seemed like the right time.”

Consisting of 16 events contested throughout Latin America, Canada and the United States from February through September, the top-10 finishers on the PGA Tour Americas season-long points list will earn Korn Ferry Tour membership for the following season.

The season begins with a Latin America swing running from February to May. The top-60 finishers from the 2022-23 PGA Tour Latinoamérica final points list and the top-60 from the PGA Tour Canada final points list will be eligible to compete, while additional access will come through PGA Tour Q-School, Latinoamérica Dev Series and APGA Tour.

The top-60 players from the PGA Tour Americas’ Latin America swing will continue on to compete in the North America swing from June through September with events throughout the U.S. and Canada. PGA Tour Americas will host a midseason Q-School as well as introduce graduates from PGA Tour University (finishers 6-20).

“It creates a more seamless and efficient system that clearly provides that opportunity and access for our players,” Baldwin said. “It’s a complicated system no matter which way you cut it, but we’re trying to create some consistency for our fans to be able to follow. We’re now going to adopt a calendar season so you’ll see these guys play from February to September that will really sort of mirror what we have on the Korn Ferry Tour and how we play the PGA Tour seasons. 

“It will allow us to really organize our qualifying system and school to be able to identify talent as well. It also provides an elevated platform for our partners to be able to associate and be part of these player journeys at every stage of their development.”

While the top-10 PGA Tour Americas finishers will earn their Korn Ferry card for the following season, five conditional cards are also available to the top two finishers in the Latin America swing as well as the top three from the North American swing in the event those players don’t finish in the final top-10 points list.

Not only does play throughout the calendar year that mirrors the Korn Ferry and PGA Tour create consistency for the players, fans and sponsors, creating one cumulative points race heightens excitement as players compete on the road to the PGA Tour.

“It’s really thoughtfully laying out the timing to have the most competitive product and most competitive players move onto the next stage of their careers,” Baldwin said. “ … Once they get to the PGA Tour, we want these guys battle ready. It’s about getting to the PGA Tour but it’s also about being competitive at the moment when they get that opportunity.”

NOTE: First appeared on Forbes SportsMoney


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