The USGA is adding a new US Open exemption which will add even more opportunity to players on the Korn Ferry Tour.
Starting with the 2022 season, the USGA will award a US Open exemption to the Korn Ferry Tour player who earns the most combined points between the Korn Fery Tour regular season and the three-event Korn Ferry Tour Finals. That player will be exempt into the US Open in the next year, meaning the 2022 winner will be exempt into the 2023 US Open at Los Angeles Country Club in California.
If this exemption were awarded based on the results of the 2020-2021 super season, Stephan Jaeger would have been exempt into the 2022 US Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
“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.”
Korn Ferry Tour members have played well in the US Open in recent memory, with Will Zalatoris tying for sixth in 2020 at Winged Foot Golf Club.
“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.”
The Korn Ferry Tour has typically run an event on the schedule alongside the US Open, which has created a conundrum for qualifying players. They can choose to compete in a major, which is rare for players competing full-time on the Korn Ferry Tour, and earn no Korn Ferry Tour points, or they can compete in the Korn Ferry Tour event that might help them reach the PGA Tour. However, for the top points earner on the Korn Ferry Tour in the prior season, they enjoy a full PGA Tour exemption for the next season, meaning there's no decision to be made.