The primary path to membership on the PGA Tour will be paused for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to multiple sources with knowledge of a new eligibility plan, there will be no relegation from the PGA Tour and only limited promotion from the Korn Ferry Tour this year as officials scramble to solve the complicated puzzle created by the pandemic.
The plan, which will be sent to players this week, is for this year’s Korn Ferry Tour schedule to roll into next season’s lineup, creating a mega-schedule with only the top 10 players from the secondary circuit receiving limited status on the PGA Tour for the 2020-21 season. Those players would likely be limited to playing opposite-field and less high-profile events.
Instead, the category of players who traditionally graduate to the PGA Tour will be reserved for current Tour players who fail to finish inside the top 125 in this season’s FedExCup points race. Under normal circumstances, those players would lose their Tour status but a new category will give them another year of eligibility.
Similarly, there will be no Korn Ferry Tour Q-School this year, and it remains unclear how the new plan would impact the circuit’s other developmental tours.
The Tour is “trying to protect guys that didn’t have a full season,” said one long-time player manager.
The Korn Ferry Tour played its last event on March 1 and the current plan would be to restart the season June 11 at an as-yet-unnamed event at TPC Sawgrass. If that schedule holds, the circuit would play 18 events in 2020. Those events will now fold into next year’s schedule.
The PGA Tour, which plans to resume play June 11 at the Charles Schwab Challenge, will still award FedExCup points and crown a season-long champion at the finale in September at East Lake.