PGA Tour players who finished out of the top 125 on the FedEx Cup now have another option where to play: the European tour.
The DP World Tour is offering full membership to PGA Tour players who finish between Nos. 126 and 200 this year, although there is a caveat. Only five players who accept European tour membership can play a tournament in any given week.
That would keep as many as 75 PGA Tour players from filling out European tour fields.
The European tour is creating a new category for anyone on the PGA Tour taking it up on the offer. Category 12 follows a career money exemption, but it is positioned ahead of the top 20 players who advance out of the Challenge Tour.
The PGA Tour has three tournaments left in its FedEx Cup Fall portion of the schedule. Among those currently outside the top 125 are Jimmy Walker, Patton Kizzire, Russell Knox of Scotland and Jason Dufner.
Without this option, players outside the top 125 would try to get into PGA Tour events with weak fields or go to the Korn Ferry Tour, where the top 30 players on the points list earn their way to the PGA Tour.
The announcement made Monday is part of the strategic alliance announced last year. The top 10 players from the European tour not already exempt earn PGA Tour cards for the 2024 season. Their priority comes right after the players who finish in the top 125.
“Our ‘Ten Cards’ initiative will give the opportunity for DP World Tour members to excel on the PGA Tour next season and this new membership opportunity announced today will give PGA Tour members the chance to do exactly the same on our tour,” said European tour CEO Keith Pelley. “I am excited at the possibilities.”
The European tour also said affiliate membership will be available to any PGA Tour member during 2024. They would be part of a nonmember points list that could allow them to qualify for the postseason if they play at least four times outside the majors.
PGA Tour players who want to take up Europe on the offer will have to join by Dec. 20. Anyone wishing to play in the European tour co-sanctioned events in November and December (mostly in South Africa and Australia) would need to join by Nov. 22.
The European tour has the Qatar Masters this week, followed by the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa and the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. The leading 10 players on the points list currently include Adrian Meronk, Ryan Fox, Min Woo Lee, Robert MacIntyre and Thorbjorn Olesen.