European Tour members, including those who have graduated from the Challenge Tour and Qualifying School, will now have a greater chance of retaining their European Tour cards for the 2018 season through a newly-established Access List which will run throughout 2017.
The Access List will run concurrently with the Race to Dubai but will exclude money earned at the most lucrative tournaments of the European Tour season – the seven Rolex Series events, the Masters and US PGA Championship and the four World Golf Championships. Money earned at The Open and US Open Championships will be included as all members have an equal opportunity to pre-qualify for those tournaments.
The top ten on the Access List at the end of the season, not otherwise exempt from the final Race to Dubai, will then retain their cards for the following season. Consequently, the number of players retaining full membership from the Race to Dubai will be reduced from 110 to 100, with the Access List players being given a category immediately below the top 100 category.
The top performing players on the Access List will also be given the chance to compete against the world’s best players in the Rolex Series, with three spots in the fields of the BMW PGA Championship, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation and the Italian Open, available to the top three players in the Access List at the time.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive Officer of the European Tour, said: “We have consistently said that looking after the interests of all our members, whatever their ranking, is a high priority for us and the establishment of the Access List is an important part of that commitment.”