As the No. 1 player in the PGA TOUR University Ranking at the end of the fall college golf season, Stanford University senior Michael Thorbjornsen has earned an exemption into the DP World Tour’s Hero Dubai Desert Classic.
The Rolex Series event and the 35th edition of the tournament will be played at Emirates Golf Club on Jan. 18-21, 2024, and is the third year the tournament has offered an exemption to PGA TOUR University’s top-ranked player.
Thorbjornsen competed at last year’s Hero Dubai Desert Classic on a sponsor exemption and posted a third-round 64 en route to a T20 finish in his first start on the DP World Tour. He also has four made cuts on the PGA TOUR, highlighted by a fourth-place finish at the Travelers Championship in 2022, and he qualified for the U.S. Open three times. His junior season at Stanford included wins at the Fighting Illini Invitational and Pac-12 Championship as well as being named 2023 Pac-12 Golfer of the Year and a PING First-Team All-American.
Texas A&M’s Sam Bennett (2022) and Texas Tech’s Ludvig Åberg (2023) were the first two players to earn the PGA TOUR University exemption into the Hero Dubai Desert Classic. Since their starts in the event, Bennett went on to win the 2022 U.S. Amateur and finished T16 at the Masters in 2023, and Åberg competed for Europe at the 2023 Ryder Cup and has won at the DP World Tour’s Omega European Masters and The RSM Classic on the PGA TOUR.
The 2024 tournament field includes world No. 2 and defending champion Rory McIlroy, who will be searching for his fourth historic Dallah Trophy in January with organizers set to announce more big players in the coming weeks.
“Helping develop the next stars of tomorrow – both locally and overseas – is very important for us and our partnership with the PGA TOUR provides a platform for golf’s young rising stars to not only compete against the world’s best professionals but also gain vital competitive experience that will help them take their game to the next level,” said Simon Corkill, executive tournament director of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic. “We look forward to welcoming Michael Thorbjornsen to the Hero Dubai Desert Classic in January following an impressive year on the PGA Tour University calendar.”
Golf Channel will air all four rounds live of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic in the United States and Canada.
In partnership with the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), PGA TOUR University ranks collegiate players based on their average performance in NCAA Division-I men’s team competitions, official PGA TOUR tournaments and select DP World Tour events over a two-year ranking period.
The No. 1 player in the final PGA TOUR University Ranking on May 27, 2024, will earn PGA TOUR membership, while players Nos. 1-5 (fully exempt) and Nos. 6-10 (conditional) will earn Korn Ferry Tour membership. Additionally, players Nos. 6-20 will earn fully exempt membership for the North America Swing of PGA TOUR Americas.
Source : PGA Tour