Aphibarnrat, Niemann accept PGA Tour Special Temporary Membership

HARTFORD, WI - JUNE 15: Amateur Joaquin Niemann of Chile plays his shot from the 13th tee during the first round of the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills on June 15, 2017 in Hartford, Wisconsin. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Aphibarnrat, Niemann accept PGA Tour Special Temporary Membership

PGA Tour

Aphibarnrat, Niemann accept PGA Tour Special Temporary Membership

Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Joaquin Niemann of Chile have accepted Special Temporary Membership for the remainder of the 2017-18 PGA Tour Season.

Aphibarnrat and Niemann, who are both in this week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic field, bring the total number of active international PGA Tour members to 87 from 27 countries. Both players needed to earn 269 non-member FedExCup points to become eligible for Special Temporary Membership, equal to the number of points earned by the player at No. 150 in last season’s FedExCup standings.

Aphibarnrat, 28, is the first native of Thailand to accept PGA Tour membership. He came into the 2017-18 season ranked 147th in the Official World Golf Ranking. Following his T13 at the Memorial, he climbed to No. 31.

At 19 years, 6 months, 28 days, Niemann is the youngest player since Sergio Garcia in 1999 (19 years, 4 months, 29 days) to accept Special Temporary Membership on the PGA Tour.

The former No. 1-ranked amateur in the world made his professional debut at the 2018 Valero Texas Open, finishing sixth. In five starts as a professional during the 2017-18 season, the 19-year-old has three top-10s.

Niemann becomes the only current member from Chile.

As Special Temporary Members, Aphibarnrat and Niemann are eligible for unlimited sponsor exemptions for the remainder of the 2017-18 season as they attempt to earn PGA Tour cards for the 2018-19 season through the non-member FedExCup Points List.

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