The new deal will see the KPGA’s Genesis Point Award Winner - the tour's order of merit leader - earn membership onto the DP World Tour for the ensuing season, beginning with the current 2023 campaign, and the launch of a brand new $2 million tournament in Korea.
The top finishers on the Genesis Point list will also earn entry into various stages of 2023's DP World Tour Qualifying School. The PGA, DP World and Korean PGA Tours "intend to further discuss expansion of additional pathway commitments for 2024 and beyond," the DP World Tour says.
Youngsoo Kim has secured this exemption for the 2023 DP World Tour season after finishing the 2022 campaign as the Genesis Point Award Winner, having claimed his first career KPGA victory in October at the Genesis Championship before winning again at the season-ending LG Signature Players Championship.
Kim's Genesis Championship win gained him entry into July’s Genesis Scottish Open, the Rolex Series event which is co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and PGA Tour.
The DP World Tour has also confirmed that it will return to Korea for the first time in 10 years next April for the inaugural Korea Championship. The tournament, which will be co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and KPGA, will be played at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon with a $2 million prize fund on offer.
The DP World Tour says the announcement further enhances the playing opportunities for international players to compete at the highest levels of men’s professional golf - with ten PGA Tour cards being awarded to the DP World Tour's top finishers.
The KPGA will also work alongside the DP World Tour and PGA Tour on other key business areas, including strategic development and commercial growth, as well as future collaboration on media rights strategy and enhancements to the player pathway, including access to the Korn Ferry Tour.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive Officer of the DP World Tour, said, “The KPGA has a strong history of producing exceptional talent and we are delighted to confirm these formal pathways, giving players clearly defined routes to showcase their skills on the DP World Tour and PGA Tour.
“Combined with our tournament in Korea next April, we look forward to working closely with the KPGA and the PGA Tour to inspire, and to enable, future generations of Korean players to reach the very top of the men’s professional game.”
Jay Monahan, Commissioner of the PGA Tour, said: “Sungjae Im, K.H. Lee, Si Woo Kim and Joo-hyung ‘Tom’ Kim are all becoming household names in the United States thanks in large part to the contributions they made this past September for the International Team at the 2022 Presidents Cup. What each of those young stars has in common is that they all honed their craft at the KPGA, which continues a proud tradition of producing world-class talent each and every year. We look forward to seeing the next set of young stars from this proud golf country make their way onto the DP World Tour and perhaps subsequently onto the PGA Tour in future seasons.”
Ja-Cheol (J.C.) Koo, Chairman of the Korea Professional Golfers’ Association, said, “It has been our honour to see Korean Tour winners go on to have similar success at the top echelon of the men’s professional game. We are certain that today’s announcement will help further grow the sport in Korea, and we are grateful to be officially welcomed into the meritocracy that the men’s professional game provides.”
Korean stars who have previously been victorious on both the DP World Tour and PGA Tour include K.J. Choi, Y.E. Yang and Seung-Yul Noh. Choi jointly holds the record for most PGA Tour victories by an Asian golfer with eight, including the 2011 Players Championship.
Choi said: “I’m delighted the KPGA, DP World Tour and PGA Tour have expanded their relationship which will only benefit Korean golfers. Our young players will have added motivation to excel in the game as there is now a clear career pathway for them to compete on the KPGA, and subsequently play against the best players in the world on the DP World Tour and PGA Tour. This announcement is a wonderful development for Korean golf.”
Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max
Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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