Goodbye PGA Tour Latinoamerica and PGA Tour Canada, hello PGA Tour Americas.
Beginning in February 2024, the two third-level tours will merge under one umbrella as the PGA Tour continues to grow and develop its product. The restructure will aim to create a more efficient and competitive pathway for players looking to take the next step in their professional golf careers.
PGA Tour Americas will hold 16 events across Latin America, Canada and the United States from February-September, with up to 15 Korn Ferry Tour cards available, as well as numerous exemptions to various stages of PGA Tour Q-School.
“As we build on the rich golf history across Latin America and Canada, we are thrilled about PGA Tour Americas and the role this tour will play in preparing players for the next step in their professional golf journey,” said Korn Ferry Tour President Alex Baldwin.
So how will it all work?
The full 2024 PGA Tour Americas schedule will be announced in September. Finalized details regarding eligibility, priority ranking, purses and points distribution will be announced closer to the inaugural event in February 2024. Here’s an outline:
The season begins in February with the Latin America Swing, which wraps in May.
Following that the PGA Tour Americas will host a mid-season Qualifying School and introduce a handful of PGA Tour University graduates.
The season will then continue with the North America Swing, where players will compete across Canada and the U.S. from June-September.
Eligibility for the Latin America Swing
Fields for the Latin America Swing (February-May 2024) will consist of 144 players. Those eligible to compete will include the top 60 players from the PGA Tour Latinoamerica points list from 2022-23 as well as the top 60 players on the PGA Tour Canada points list from 2023. Players can also qualify via the following routes (priority ranking to be announced):
2023 PGA Tour Q-School
Latinoamerica Dev Series
Highest finisher on the 2023 APGA season-long points list who is a member of the APGA Player Development program
Eligibility for the North America Swing
The top 60 players from the Latin America Swing will continue on to compete in the North America Swing (June-September 2024), where the field will increase to 156 players. The top 50 from the PGA Tour Americas Q-School as well as Nos. 6-20 from PGA Tour University will also be eligible. Players can also qualify via the following routes (priority ranking to be announced):
Open qualifying and sponsor exemptions
Korn Ferry Tour
Additional finishers Latin America Swing / PGA Tour Americas Q-School
The top 10 finishers on the season-long PGA Tour Americas points list will earn Korn Ferry Tour membership. Five conditional Korn Ferry Tour cards are available to the top two finishers in the Latin America Swing and the top three finishers from the North America Swing.
The top 10 finishers on the PGA Tour Americas points list, the top two from the Latin America Swing and the top three from in the North America Swing will all earn exemptions to the Final Stage of PGA Tour Q-School.
The following players will all earn exemptions to the Second Stage of PGA Tour Q-School:
Nos. 11–25 on the PGA Tour Americas points list
Nos. 3–10 from the Latin America Swing
Nos. 4–10 from the North America Swing.
All remaining PGA Tour Americas members will earn exemptions to the First Stage of Q-School.
Why it makes sense
The Latinoamerica and Canada tours were essentially doing the same thing on a different schedule from two tours it was supposed to be feeding, the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA Tour.
Aside from streamlining a confusing pathway to the Tour, the merge will also put all three levels – PGA Tour Americas, Korn Ferry Tour and PGA Tour – on the same operating schedule in a January–September/October window. From October–December, most PGA Tour players will compete in the fall series. Everyone else will enter Q-School to play for status and exemptions.
More benefits for solid play and an easier to understand system are improvements for both fans and the players. Time will only tell if this was the right move for the Tour, but in theory, it checks out.