By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LA QUINTA, Calif. — Si Woo Kim won’t turn 18 until June. In the meantime, he’ll try to make history.
Should Kim, who is 17 years, 5 months and 6 days old, finish inside the top 25 here at PGA West, he would become the youngest ever player to earn a PGA TOUR card through q-school. Ty Tryon holds that current distinction, having earned his card in 2001 at 17 years, 6 months and 1 day old.
Kim, who at the moment is tied for 17th, wouldn’t be able to take up membership on the PGA TOUR or Web.com Tour, however, until June 28, 2013, when he turns 18.
In the meantime, he can play no more than 12 events as a non-member on sponsor exemptions (with a maximum of seven), top-10s or special exemptions. He would be able to Monday qualify, however, an unlimited number of times as those do not count toward the 12 events.
The age restriction applies to Special Temporary Membership and therefore this eligibility category is not relevant to the player’s situation. There is also no provision for the player to petition to join the TOUR earlier than his 18th birthday.
Though Kim is not yet 18, he would be included, however, in the 25 and ties or number nearest 50 "number" at q-school.
For the purposes of gaining eligibility on TOUR in the 2013-14 season, official money earned as a non-member, along with official money earned once the player becomes a member, will count toward the top-125 money category, which gains access into standard, open beginning in the 2013-14 season. Prior to becoming a member, money will be shown on the non-member money list.
FedExCup points earned as a non-member on the Non-Member FedExCup Points list, along with FedExCup Points earned once the player becomes a member, will also count toward the top-125 FedExCup Points category, which is exempt beginning in the 2013-14 season. Prior to becoming a member, FedExCup Points earned will be shown on the Non-Member FeExCup Points List. This is different from previous FedExCups with the advent of a non-member FEC list (which will now be tracked for eligibility purposes) and mirrors how the TOUR has treated the money list since 1999.
In terms of the 2013 FedExCup Playoffs, points earned as a non-member on the Non-Member FedExCup Points list (excluding points earned as a non-member at World Golf Championships), along with FedExCup points earned once the player becomes a member, will count on the 2013 points list.
Regarding reshuffles of the q-school/Web.com Tour category, once the player becomes a regular member he will be placed in the category with the amount of money earned on the money list on the date of the reshuffle. In Kim’s case, since the reshuffle will occur on the Monday of the U.S. Open, he would be placed in the category upon joining with zero dollars and would need to wait until the next reshuffle for any money earned as a non-member to count. The Player Advisory Council will review this subject further in 2013.
If Kim were to win an event on either Tour prior to his birthday, the benefits that come with a win would be waiting for him upon his birthday, effective as if they commenced on the date of the win.