Every week from January through just before Thanksgiving, there's at least one PGA Tour event on the schedule. Some weeks, there are two events.
That means the PGA Tour and its staff has to put together a field of players to compete on a weekly basis, and it can be a lot to juggle. PGA Tour players have to do their part, however, to help the staff by entering the weekly tournaments promptly and by the deadlines the Tour sets.
What is the deadline to enter a PGA Tour event?
The deadline to enter a PGA Tour event is at 5 p.m. Eastern time on the Friday before tournament week.
Players competing in the current week's event have an extended deadline. They have until 30 minutes after play ends on the Friday of the prior tournament to commit. This gives players that are on the course on Friday an opportunity to decide to add next week's event to their schedule if they feel so inclined.
Generally speaking, the deadline to enter every PGA Tour event is at 5 p.m. Eastern time prior to tournament week. Some tournaments have additional entry deadlines for players who become eligible for the next week's tournament based on the results from the prior week, though those are few and far between.
There are several categories of players who will not even know they're in the tournament until tournament week itself.
Most weeks of the year, players who finish in the top 10 of the previous tournament gain entry into the next open-tournament field if they wish, weren't already entered and the field isn't full. In the event that happens, a player or several players that already entered a tournament may be kicked to the alternate list.
A good percentage of the PGA Tour schedule also welcomes Monday qualifiers into the field. These spots are reserved for open tournaments. The top four finishers in the Monday qualifier earn entry into the field for that week's tournament right after the Monday qualifier concludes. They're presumed to enter the tournament at that point, and the Monday qualifier spots are held separate from the rest of the field.
A tournament title sponsor also typically has exemptions they can offer to golfers at their sole discretion.
The alternate list is then formed based on the PGA Tour priority order of the players who didn't get in the field. They'll gain entry to the tournament if players withdraw from the tournament. However, if a sponsor exemption withdraws from the event, the sponsor has the right to name the player that replaces the other exemption.