Fred Biondi Makes Tough Decision To Miss Majors To Turn Pro

The Florida Gators golfer has announced that he will turn pro and will focus on the Korn Ferry Tour this season

Fred Biondi playing in the NCAA Championships
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's been a whirlwind few days for Florida Gators golfer Fred Biondi, who last week led his side to NCAA glory. 

Coming back from five shots down, Biondi capped off his collegiate career by winning the NCAA individual Championship, while helping his side claim the match-winning point for his team against Georgia Tech. 

It also meant he'll finish second in the PGA Tour University rankings, behind Ludvig Aberg, and is joined in the top 10 alongside his Florida teammates Ricky Castillo and Yuxin Lin. 

Fred Biondi wins the NCAA Championships

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Biondi will be rewarded for that second-place finish with a full exemption on the Korn Ferry Tour for the remainder of the 2023 season as well as entry to the Final Stage of the 2023 PGA Tour Q-School. The top five finishers there will gain PGA Tour cards and it seems the golfer is focusing on getting on the Tour as fast as he can. 

That is a move he's not made lightly, though, with Biondi having taken the difficult decision to turn down the chance to bypass playing in the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA Tour Q-School and instead remain an amateur and compete in this month's US Open and the 2024 Masters. 

Instead he is staying focused on earning his Tour card, after choosing to withdraw from last Monday's final US Open qualifiers, as he instead prepares for his first Korn Ferry Tour start. 

Speaking on his fantastic win at the NCAA Championships, Biondi admitted that many people were asking him what he was planning for his future. 

He said: “The whole day, people kept asking me what my [future] plans were and I couldn’t answer them because I didn’t even know. I have this massive opportunity with PGA Tour U, playing a full schedule on the Korn Ferry Tour, so I’m going to take full advantage of that, hopefully play well and then put myself in a position where I’m able to get my Tour card next year.

“It was just going to be a lot right after nationals,” Biondi added, who qualified for the 2022 US Open at Los Angeles Country Club thanks to that victory. 

Florida Gators win the NCAA Championships

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Having made the decision, he'll now need to rely on either a special exemption to gain access to either event, or to win a PGA Tour event to qualify for the Masters. 

"We do know the chairman at Augusta National really well," Florida head coach JC Deacon said. [Fred Ridley] played for the Florida Gators, so maybe it would be something where they’d obviously understand where someone is graduating, got his degree already, fulfilled a wonderful commitment to Florida, and they’d honour that as a pro." 

Ed Carruthers

Ed has been playing golf for as long as he can remember and is obsessive about the sport. He is regularly sought after by family members and friends for advice on what equipment to buy and uses his background, having written extensively on golf in the past, to produce equipment orientated content for Golf Monthly.  

Having obtained a Masters in Law with Medicine from the University of Liverpool, Ed has recently changed paths into journalism and just last year achieved his NCTJ Sports Journalism Diploma with the Press Association. 

He has written for a variety of media outlets over the years and has interviewed some big names in sport, including Premier League managers, All Blacks Coaches and Grand Slam tennis superstars. He has also worked on some huge sporting events, including the 2021 Australian Open and the 2022 FIFA World Cup. And when he's not writing for Golf Monthly, you'll find him producing news and feature articles for the MailOnline's sports desk, where he covers everything from football to rugby union. 

During his weekends off, you'll likely find Ed heading out for a round at one of his local golf clubs with his friends, and was, up until recently, a member at the Leatherhead Golf Club in Surrey. Ed also plays the saxophone, can tell you some pretty terrible dad jokes and can knock up a very tasty carbonara!