USGA announces major rule change

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The USGA has announced details of a significant policy change that will affect the winners of the US Amateur and US Women’s Amateur Championships.

Effective immediately, the events’ champions will no longer forfeit their exemptions into the following year’s US Open and US Women’s Open if they decide to turn professional.

The news comes just a day after the 2018 US Amateur champion Viktor Hovland missed out on his card for the 2019/20 PGA Tour season.

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Viktor Hovland

The Norwegian came up just short of making earning enough FedEx Cup points to break the top 125 on the PGA Tour standings, despite making the cut in all five of his professional starts. That included finishing fourth at the Wyndham Championship yesterday.

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With the tour counting only the starts Hovland has made as a pro, the 21-year-old now has to go to Korn Ferry Tour Finals in a bid to get his card for next season – extraordinary considering the year and impact he has made.

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Hence this decision from the USGA.

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“We believe this change gives our champions an important option as they choose whether and when to embark on their professional careers,” said the USGA's John Bodenhamer.

“Given the significant purses awarded at the US Open and US Women’s Open, we realise how important it is for players to make the most appropriate decision for his or her career, and the positive impact it could have at the outset of their professional careers.”

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