Korn Ferry Tour’s cumulative points leader to earn US Open exemption


Will Zalatoris was a huge success story from the Korn Ferry Tour - Photo from Augusta National

Great news for those on the fringes of the big leagues of golf with the United States Golf Association (USGA) announcing that the cumulative points leader at the end of the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour season will earn a spot in the US Open for 2023.

Ireland’s Tom McKibbin, Conor Purcell and Paul McBride all made the trip to Korn Ferry Q-School in October hoping to earn their card for the PGA Tour’s feeder circuit, though none were successful.

By 2023, minimum regular event purses on the Korn Ferry Tour are set to reach $1million with this latest confirmation of a US Open exemption, set to first come into play next year at The Los Angeles Country Club’s North Course, sure to provide a further boost to those scrapping to reach the top tier of golf.

“The USGA is pleased to offer an exemption to a Tour that has been well-represented in the US Open and has developed an accomplished group of professionals for more than three decades,” said John Bodenhamer, chief championships officer for the USGA.

“Past U.S. Open champions Lucas Glover and Bryson DeChambeau are among the many who have started their careers on the Korn Ferry Tour.”

The cumulative points leader combines points from the Korn Ferry Tour’s 23-event regular season and the three-event Korn Ferry Tour Finals. Korn Ferry members can take inspiration from recent graduates who have excelled at the US Open, not least Scottie Scheffler (T7 2021) and Will Zalatoris (T6 in 2020).

“We are appreciative of the USGA acknowledging the exceptional performances by recent Korn Ferry Tour alumni in major championships and PGA TOUR events, and we are excited to see our members compete for this amazing opportunity annually,” said Alex Baldwin, president of the Korn Ferry Tour.

“On behalf of the Korn Ferry Tour and all our members, thank you to the USGA for taking this important step. We look forward to seeing our 2022 season-long points leader compete in the 123rd U.S. Open Championship at The Los Angeles Country Club in 2023.”

Korn Ferry Tour member, Braden Thornberry, who was part of the winning 2017 USA Walker Cup Team at LA Country Club is relishing the prospect of returning to the venue:

“The exemption will make a big difference as guys will be even more competitive and motivated as they fight for that No. 1 spot,” he said.

“For me personally to be at LACC again, it would be great to see all of my (Walker Cup) teammates and for all of us to play in a U.S. Open.”

The Korn Ferry Tour starts with The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay from January 16-19.

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