The 2020 Korn Ferry Tour season is set to resume in June, with a pair of tournaments in Florida. What is often called the “path to the PGA Tour,” however, will be somewhat closed off for this year.
Korn Ferry Tour players have been told there will be only 10 graduates from their tour this year, with the top finishers on the points list at the end of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship in August earning PGA Tour status for next season.
In a typical season, the top 25 finishers on the season-long points list earn a promotion to the PGA Tour, with their priority order into events based on how they finish combined between the regular season and in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. However, with a dramatically reduced schedule on both the Korn Ferry Tour and the PGA Tour, the PGA Tour is prioritizing its existing cardholders and will not strip any of them of their status at the end of the 2019-2020 PGA Tour season.
That means the top 10 finishers in Korn Ferry Tour regular season points at the end of the 2020 portion of the season will get what is effectively a promotion in name only. They will have PGA Tour status, but they’ll mostly only be able to get into opposite-field events or tournaments with weaker fields.
There’s also the downside of not having the Korn Ferry Tour Finals this season. For players who finish between 26th and 75th in regular season points, the KFT Finals means an opportunity to earn PGA Tour status with one great week in a three-week stretch. Typically, the top 75 Korn Ferry Tour players combine with PGA Tour players who finished 126th through 200th in FedEx Cup points. In this strange season, those PGA Tour players will retain their cards, albeit with reduced access in the following season. Without the mixing bowl of the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, even more players on the circuit are denied cards than the 15 definitively lost.
The good news for Korn Ferry Tour players is that they will effectively be playing for two seasons starting with a June resumption. KFT players can try to get into the top 10 in points to get a partial promotion to the PGA Tour for next season while trying also to finish in the top 25 in points. The 2020 tournaments, expected to be 17 in total according to Golf Channel, will be combined with the 2021 season to make a mega-sized, 24-month season that will deliver PGA Tour status to the top 25 finishers in combined points between the two calendar years.
There also will not be a Korn Ferry Tour Q-School this year, meaning players who have status now will be able to maintain it throughout 2021, subject to the frequent reshuffles on the tour.
While the Korn Ferry Tour will still offer a path to the PGA Tour, it will temporarily be longer and narrower than in the past.