PGA Tour Champions tournaments almost always feature 78 players in a three-round, no-cut event. And, more often than not, you see a lot of the same 50-and-older players in those fields. After all, there’s no cut, so why not play? However, determining who is exempt for each PGA Tour Champions event is a bit of a confusing process.
While every event gets to select their own criteria for determining who is exempt into each PGA Tour Champions event, it’s generally a good rule of thumb to be as high up as possible in one of these categories:
- Top 50 in the prior PGA Tour Champions season’s Charles Schwab Cup points list
- The all-time PGA Tour money list or points list
Most weeks, that’s where the bulk of the field comes from on PGA Tour Champions. If you’re a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, that helps, as does winning a PGA Tour Champions event in the prior season. Winning a PGA Tour Champions major gets you into a lot of events.
If you went through PGA Tour Champions qualifying school and finished in the top five, then you’re exempt through to the final half-dozen regular-season events when a reshuffle is performed that lumps in non-exempt players.
Often times, players who are 50 or 51 years old, so just getting onto PGA Tour Champions, that have multiple PGA Tour wins can get in a field. Players with the most wins in that age bracket that want to play get those spots.
There are Monday qualifiers, too, which are restricted to players who finished in the top 50 of PGA Tour Champions Q-school.
Most events have a modest number of sponsor’s exemptions as well, to get the field to 78 players.
It’s all confusing, yes — more so than determining PGA Tour or Web.com Tour fields each week. However, staying inside the top 30 in Charles Schwab Cup points at the end of the season pretty much guarantees your pick of events.