O’Neill hunting PGA Tour card through university rankings in Kansas

Ronan MacNamara

Luke O'Neill (Connemara) holds the Mullingar Scratch Trophy

Luke O’Neill will return stateside with the winning feeling and he knows it’s something he will have to get used to if he wants to fly up the PGA Tour U rankings and earn a PGA Tour card.

Heading into his final year in Kansas State the Connemara native is targeting a top-20 finish in the end of season PGA Tour University rankings with Korn Ferry Tour status on the line for nineteen places while the ranking leader at the end of the year will earn full PGA Tour membership.

“I came 2nd in regionals to get into nationals. Strokeplay has been good this year been struggling with matchplay just need to get over that hump,” said the 22-year-old after winning the Mullingar Scratch Trophy by four shots on thirteen-under-par.


“Try and have a good year for PGA Tour U I don’t know what ranking I am, I know Max (Kennedy) is 20th, he has played really nice stuff so try and emulate him this year. Korn Ferry is 2-20 in the rankings.

“I just need to play consistently this year and maybe win a few times. I might be a little bit down the rankings starting out but the Nationals and Regionals this year helped me for PGA Tour U so I am really looking forward to going back and giving it one last shot for the team and for myself this year.”

Royal Dublin’s Max Kennedy will tee it up for Louisville in the coveted 20th position in the rankings and he has designs of elevating himself all the way to the PGA Tour as he enters his senior year with the Cardinals.

“My main goal next year is to get a PGA Tour card from PGA Tour U. I’m coached by Shane O’Grady, I’ve been with him all my life, he’s a great coach and we go through a lot. I love working with Shane. I have a good balance with him, we know when to work on things and we also know when to let things go,” explained Kennedy who helped Ireland to a bronze medal at last month’s European Team Championships. 

“Turning pro is the main goal and making the PGA Tour. That’s down the road, have a year in college, still have lots to achieve in the amateur game. 

“PGA Tour U is basically a stepping stone to making the PGA Tour. Number one gets a PGA Tour card, 2-5 get full Korn Ferry Tour cards which is a really good tour and then 6-9 get partial Korn Ferry and 10-20 get Latin America or Canadian Tour status. 

“It’s a great idea and I feel it helps a lot of college players make the transition from university to tour golf.”

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