A shorter season brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic means no one will lose a PGA Tour card this year, but players on the lower-tier Korn Ferry Tour will have to wait a year before fully joining the big leagues.
A memo sent to players Thursday to outline the changes was another step in the PGA Tour trying to figure out what's equitable in a season that will be without 13 previously scheduled events.
Tour officials said players exempt for this season will keep the same status for the 2020-21 season that is set to start in September unless they earn a higher ranking after this shortened schedule.
That could help someone such as former Baylor School and University of Georgia golfer Harris English, who started the season with conditional status from finishing from Nos. 126 to 150 the previous season. He has posted five top-10 finishes and is No. 24 in the FedEx Cup standings, making him a lock to have a full card for next season.
English is one of three former Baylor standouts who are current PGA Tour regulars, with the others Chattanooga native and former UGA golfer Keith Mitchell and Vanderbilt University alum Luke List.
As for the developmental Korn Ferry Tour, no one will graduate to the PGA Tour after the season. Officials were working on rewarding the top 10 players, such as allowing them in opposite-field PGA Tour events next season.
Stephan Jaeger, who played at Baylor and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and has competed on the PGA Tour, former UTC golfer Jonathan Hodge and Athens, Tennessee, native Eric Axley all have started multiple Korn Ferry events this year.
All of the eligibility adjustments are contingent on professional golf resuming June 11-14 at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, the restart of a season that would include only one men's major championship. The PGA Championship is tentatively set for Aug. 9-12 in San Francisco. The U.S. Open was pushed back to September, the Masters was moved to November and the British Open was canceled.
That means six majors will be played during the 2020-21 season.
The current season still offers a $15 million prize to the winner of the FedEx Cup. The two playoff events near Boston and Chicago, which set up the season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, would award triple points instead of quadruple points.
In other changes:
* The field for the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Hawaii's Kapalua Resort in January will include everyone who wins a PGA Tour event in 2020, along with players who reach the Tour Championship. That means whoever finished in the top 30 in the FedEx Cup gets into at least three majors in 2021, along with earning a trip to Maui.
* The PGA Tour event in the Dominican Republic originally was canceled and then moved to September, the same week as the Ryder Cup. Because it is not opposite a World Golf Championship, the winner will receive full FedEx Cup points and a trip to the 2021 Masters.
* For the rest of this season, Monday qualifiers that can be held will provide only two spots instead of four.