ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (Florida Sports Wire) – The 2022-23 PGA TOUR Season comes to a conclusion this week at The RSM Classic in St. Simons Island, Georgia, marking the final event of the FedExCup Fall. For the first time, the top 125 for the following PGA TOUR season will be finalized at The RSM Classic, among other competitive consequences set to be determined at week’s end – including The Next 10, DP World Tour Top 10, and PGA TOUR Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year nominations.
The RSM Classic is the seventh and final official PGA TOUR event of the FedExCup Fall, all seven featuring winner’s benefits – a two-year PGA TOUR exemption, 500 FedExCup points, and invitations to The Sentry, THE PLAYERS Championship, Masters Tournament and PGA Championship in 2024 – as well as the opportunity for players to lock up or improve positions in the priority ranking for the 2024 FedExCup Season. Players who finished Nos. 1-50 through the FedExCup Playoffs locked their position in the FedExCup, earned full exempt status for 2024 and qualified for all eight Signature Events in 2024. All players ranked No. 51 and beyond carried FedExCup points and continued to accumulate points through the FedExCup Fall.
Concurrently, the DP World Tour Championship, the final event in the 2023 Race to Dubai, will be played Thursday-Sunday at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai. As part of the Strategic Alliance with the PGA TOUR and DP World Tour, the top 10 players, not otherwise exempt, in the final 2023 Race to Dubai Rankings will earn PGA TOUR cards for the first time, earning dual membership on both Tours in 2024.
With 30 TOUR cards already awarded from the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour Season, which concluded in October, the last opportunity for PGA TOUR membership after The RSM Classic is the Final Stage of PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry, at which the final TOUR cards will be distributed to the top five players (and ties). Contested in December, Q-School is a direct pathway to the TOUR for the first time in over a decade.
A look at what is on the line this week:
The RSM Classic, the 54th and final event of the 2022-23 PGA TOUR Season, is the last opportunity for players to secure top-125 status, which gives players access to all Full-Field Events and THE PLAYERS Championship next season. Nos. 126-150 will earn conditional status, unless otherwise exempt.
All 20 players from Nos. 121-140 in the FedExCup Fall standings entering the week are in the field: Doug Ghim (No. 121), Nico Echavarria (122), Troy Merritt (123), Andrew Novak (124), Carl Yuan (125), Henrik Norlander (126), Maverick McNealy (127), Ryan Moore (128), C.T. Pan (129), Patton Kizzire (130), Ryan Palmer (131), Zecheng Dou (132), Scott Piercy (133), Kramer Hickok (134), Cameron Champ (135), Austin Smotherman (136), MJ Daffue (137), Adam Long (138), Jimmy Walker (139) and Harrison Endycott (140).
Non-members can earn PGA TOUR cards for 2024 with a win or by finishing the season with as many or more points as No. 125 in the FedExCup Fall standings, currently 437 (Carl Yuan). Special Temporary Members Nicolai Hojgaard and Min Woo Lee, who are competing at the DP World Tour Championship, will earn PGA TOUR membership for next season via non-member points. Fellow Special Temporary Members Ryan Gerard (112 points shy of No. 125) and Peter Kuest (155 points), who are in The RSM Classic field, are among those attempting to equal or better No. 125.
The Next 10
New in 2024, The Next 10 is an eligibility pathway to earn access into Signature Events (outside of The Sentry), recognizing the top 10 players, not otherwise exempt, from the FedExCup standings. Nos. 51-60 in the final FedExCup Fall standings at the conclusion of The RSM Classic will serve as The Next 10 for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and The Genesis Invitational. Signature Events are limited-field tournaments with increased prize money and FedExCup points, and include players who finished in the top 50 in the 2022-23 FedExCup standings, with remaining spots determined by players who play their best in the weeks leading up to the next Signature Event (The Next 10, The Swing 5).
Nine of the 10 players currently in position for one of the spots in The Next 10 are in the field: Matt Kuchar (No. 52), Mackenzie Hughes (53), Ben Griffin (54), Taylor Montgomery (55), Nick Hardy (56), Alex Smalley (57), Luke List (58), J.J. Spaun (59) and Sam Ryder (60); Beau Hossler, No. 51, has secured a place in The Next 10. Seven of the players between Nos. 61-70 are in the field: Mark Hubbard (61), Stephan Jaeger (62), Thomas Detry (63), Alex Noren (64), Brandon Wu (67), Keith Mitchell (69) and Hayden Buckley (70).
DP World Tour
The 2023 DP World Tour Season concludes this week at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. For the first time, PGA TOUR cards are available to the top 10 finishers on the DP World Tour’s final Race to Dubai Rankings who are not otherwise exempt. These players will be eligible for the 2024 PGA TOUR Season and have dual membership on the PGA TOUR and DP World Tour.
Players who earn PGA TOUR cards via the DP World Tour have until December 1, 2023 to accept membership. If any of the 10 players declines or is ineligible for PGA TOUR membership, the next highest-ranked player, not otherwise exempt, would become eligible.
The No. 1 player among the 10 that earn PGA TOUR cards will earn two additional eligibility benefits for the 2024 season. He will earn a spot in THE PLAYERS Championship and the Charles Schwab Challenge and be exempt from reshuffles during the 2024 season, along with the top player on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2023 (Ben Kohles). The remaining nine players will be placed at the top of the same category as Korn Ferry Tour and PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry graduates, with the first reshuffle taking place the Monday of the Masters Tournament.
A spot in two Signature Events in 2024 – the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and The Genesis Invitational – is available to the top finisher in the Race to Dubai Rankings who did not finish in the top 50 in this season’s FedExCup standings. Currently, that position is held by Adrian Meronk (note: this is not guaranteed to be the leading player from the top 10 that earn PGA TOUR cards).
Final Stage of PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry
Players who finish outside the top 125 in the FedExCup standings can earn or improve their status for 2024 through Final Stage of PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry, with the top five players (and ties) earning PGA TOUR cards for 2024.
Exempt categories for Final Stage include the top 40 available players below No. 125 in the FedExCup Fall standings and non-members whose FedExCup points are greater than are equal to No. 150 in the FedExCup Fall standings. Players in the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking published on Monday, November 13 are also exempt for Final Stage.
Final Stage of Q-School will be contested Thursday, December 14 through Sunday, December 17 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, at Dye’s Valley at TPC Sawgrass and Sawgrass Country Club. The top five finishers (and ties) will earn TOUR cards, giving players without status an opportunity to earn or re-gain TOUR membership and players in the 126-150 category or below a chance to improve their status.
The next 40 finishers (and ties) will earn exempt status through multiple reshuffles on the Korn Ferry Tour, and all remaining competitors at Final Stage will have Korn Ferry Tour membership.
Last week for consideration for PGA TOUR Player of the Year and PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year
The RSM Classic is the final event of consideration for the Jack Nicklaus Award (Player of the Year) and Arnold Palmer Award (Rookie of the Year). Eric Cole will make his 37th start of the season and is the only rookie in the 2022-23 class who qualified for the BMW Championship, finishing No. 43 in the FedExCup standings. Cole has two runner-up finishes this season (P2/The Classic in The Palm Beaches, T2/2023 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP) and leads all rookies in top-10s (6), Strokes Gained: Total (1.026 per round), Scoring Average (69.832) and Official Money ($4,961,430). He has made 526 birdies this season, the most of any player on TOUR.
St. Simons Island resident Ben Griffin enters the week No. 54 in the FedExCup standings, the next-highest position of any rookie, as he looks to qualify for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and The Genesis Invitational via The Next 10. Two rookies have won on TOUR this season; Nico Echavarria (Puerto Rico Open) is in The RSM Classic field, while Vincent Norrman (Barbasol Championship) is competing at the DP World Tour Championship.
Following the NCAA Championship in May, rookie Ludvig Åberg turned professional and became the first player to join the TOUR directly out of college by finishing No. 1 in the PGA TOUR University Ranking. In 10 starts since becoming a member, Åberg has recorded three top-10s, including a playoff defeat at the Sanderson Farms Championship, and will finish inside the top 125 of the FedExCup Fall standings, improving his status entering 2024. A native of Eslov, Sweden, Åberg made his Ryder Cup debut in September and compiled a 2-2-0 record in Team Europe’s win over the United States. He will make his second start at The RSM Classic and first since missing the cut as an amateur in 2021.