College golf’s best players have found a new home on the Web.com Tour, sources told Golfweek. All-Americans will now receive invitations to the Mylan Classic, scheduled for Aug. 1-4 near Pittsburgh.
The PGA Tour Policy Board approved the move at its most recent meeting.
College players had been invited to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, since its inception in 2007. The NCHI will become the third event of the Web.com Tour Finals, which debut in 2013, and not be able to invite the All-Americans.
The fields for the four Web.com Tour Finals events will consist of Nos. 1-75 on the Web.com Tour money list and Nos. 126-200 on the FedEx Cup points list. The Finals will replace Q-School as the source of PGA Tour cards.
The Mylan Classic will assume the NCHI’s eligibility requirements, which include 12 invitations to collegiate All-Americans and other amateur standouts. Those invitations will be given to the U.S. Amateur and NCAA champions, Jack Nicklaus Award winner (collegiate player of the year) and first-team All-Americans. The remaining invitations will go to second-team All-Americans, the Division II player of the year or U.S. Walker Cup team members.
Players can use those invitations even if they have turned pro. The NCHI has helped several collegiate standouts earn Web.com Tour status. Two players parlayed starts at this year’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational into PGA Tour cards.
Three players invited as All-Americans – Daniel Summerhays (2007), Harris English (2011) and Ben Kohles (2012) – won in the event’s first six years. Summerhays was the first amateur to win on the Web.com Tour. English also won as an amateur. Kohles became the first player to win on the Web.com Tour in his professional debut; he went on to win the next week, as well, and eventually finish eighth on the money list.
Luke Guthrie, who also was invited to the 2012 NCHI as an All-American, lost to Kohles in a playoff. Guthrie’s finish was worth enough for him to gain 2012 Web.com Tour status, though; he went on to win twice and finish second on the money list in just 10 starts.
The Web.com Tour Finals are replacing Q-School as a source of PGA Tour cards. The top 25 earners in those four events will earn PGA Tour cards for the following season, as will the top 25 on the Web.com Tour money list entering the finals. The Web.com Tour’s top 25 will compete in the finals only for their priority ranking for the next season.
The Mylan’s field also will consist of Web.com Tour winners from the previous and current year, the top 60 on the current year’s money list, Nos. 26-60 on the previous year’s money list and the top 25 from the previous week’s event. The field will be filled with the current year’s money list, beginning at No. 61.
The Mylan Classic isn’t the only event that will see a change in its eligibility requirements. The field for the Web.com Tour’s regular-season finale will be based solely on the money list after the preceding event. The top 25 after the regular-season finale earn PGA Tour cards, so this move was made to ensure that all players with a chance of finishing in the top 25 have an opportunity to play.