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For the next 18 months, the world’s leading amateur is happy to remain just that. 

That’s despite the fact that Gordon Sargent already has a T39 finish at a brutal US Open, has dominated the collegiate system and is now almost expected to take the PGA Tour by storm.

Such is the level of talent bursting through these amateur ranks, the PGA Tour’s new University Accelerated system allows the young stars seemingly ready for the elite game to fast-track their journey to stardom.

It’s hard not to jump at that chance at the big time, too. Sargent’s Walker Cup teammate Nick Dunlap was the first amateur winner on the PGA Tour in 33 years and has since played the Masters and a series of signature events after turning professional.

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Ludvig Aberg, meanwhile, graduated from Texas Tech as one of the best ball-strikers in the world. And while the big-hitting American Sargent has earned similar plaudits following huge success at Vanderbilt, he is prepared to wait a little longer for his moment in the spotlight.

Sargent already has a PGA Tour card wrapped up through his college results, but has now announced that he will return to Vanderbilt for his 2024-2025 senior season, rather than taking up his Tour membership.

That means the 21-year-old will prolong will prolong his college career for another year, but will instead be eligible to turn pro next summer after the NCAA Championship, having full PGA Tour status until the end of the 2026 campaign.

“Was kind of hoping a decision would come clear and obviously there’s not going to be a perfect answer,” Sargent told the Golf Channel.

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“But I was weighing my options and I mean, after just playing a few college events in the spring, I think you really appreciate how much you enjoy college golf. After reviewing with my parents, coaches and team-wise, it just kind of seemed like it was the best thing for me. I could stay in Nashville and continue to get better.

“I think there were a lot of expectations this year, and we’re looking forward to the postseason, but I think just staying another year, being a senior, enjoying the college life and while also knowing, I mean knowing there’s a PGA Tour card still waiting for you, it gives you a lot of freedom if you need to make some changes and stuff.

“Then off the golf course, just continue to mature as a person and just better prepare myself for the future.”

Sargent also confirmed that he consulted Dunlap during the difficult decision-making process.

“If you talk to anybody who’s played college golf, they really do say it’s the best time of your life,” he told the PGA Tour‘s website.

“He [Dunlap] definitely misses college a little bit, hanging out with teammates and stuff. Pro golf is definitely a different animal. He definitely loves the situation he’s in, but I think anyone you talk to on the PGA Tour would say the more time you have to prep before you get to the Tour, then the better off you’re going to be.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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