San Jose State’s Kristopher Stiles clinches a spot in the 2024 APGA Farmers Insurance® Invitational at Torrey Pines
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – APGA Tour and PGA TOUR officials today announced the latest Bridgestone APGA Collegiate Ranking for the 2023-2024 season with Howard University’s Gregory Odom Jr. maintaining the top spot. Odom Jr.’s Howard University teammate Everett Whitten Jr. remains in second place while San Jose State University’s Kristopher Stiles sits in third.
Stiles has earned an exemption to compete as an amateur in the 2024 APGA Farmers Insurance Invitational at Torrey Pines Golf Course as the top-ranked player in the Bridgestone APGA Collegiate Ranking as of November 17, 2023, who has not previously competed in the event. Odom Jr. logged an impressive third-place finish in difficult weather conditions at the 2023 APGA Farmers Insurance Invitational, while Whitten Jr. finished T8 in the 2022 event. The 2024 APGA Farmers Insurance Invitational is a 36-hole event that will take place in conjunction with the PGA TOUR’s Farmers Insurance® Open, with a field of 18 players competing on the Torrey Pines North Course on Saturday, January 27 and the South Course on Sunday, January 28.
The APGA Collegiate Ranking was initially announced in October 2020 through a partnership between the PGA TOUR and the APGA Tour. Last month, it was announced Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) will be the presenting sponsor of the Bridgestone Collegiate Development Program (including the Bridgestone APGA Collegiate Ranking), a part of the PGA TOUR’s Pathway to Progression player development programming. The Bridgestone APGA Collegiate ranking aims to create a developmental pathway for a historically underrepresented group of golfers.
Eligible players are black golfers from NCCA and NAIA Division I, II, or III programs (including HBCUs) who exhaust a minimum of four years of college eligibility. For the 2023-2024 Collegiate Season, the Bridgestone APGA Collegiate Ranking will rank players based on their World Amateur Golf Ranking Points Average. The 2023-2024 Bridgestone APGA Collegiate Ranking will run through the completion of the PGA Works Collegiate Championships (May 8, 2024).
The top-5 eligible players in the final Bridgestone APGA Collegiate Ranking will earn the following:
- Scholarship access to APGA TOUR events through the duration of the APGA Tour season (i.e., The 2024 Bridgestone APGA Collegiate Ranking class will gain access to remaining full-field events in 2024).
- Scholarship access into the pre-qualifying round of PGA TOUR Qualifying School presented by Korn Ferry for the following season.
- The #1 player in the final Bridgestone APGA Collegiate Ranking will receive a sponsor exemption into the 2024 UNC Health Championship.
- Monetary support in the following areas related to the development of the top five’s professional careers:
- Travel to eligible APGA Tour events
- Home course membership
Rankings as of November 17, 2023:
|Gregory Odom Jr.
|Everett Whiten Jr.
|San Jose State University
|University of Texas at El Paso
|Dalton State College
|Missouri Southern State University
|Florida A&M University
- Any player who wants to be removed from the list because they have decided to return to college and complete their last year of eligibility needs to inform the PGA TOUR Pathways to Progression team no later than April 15, 2024.
- Players interested in opting into the program can register here: https://registrations.pgatourhq.com/forms/apga/
Full rankings will be updated monthly at https://www.apgatour.org/apga-collegiate-ranking.
ABOUT THE APGA TOUR
The APGA Tour was established in 2010 as a non-profit organization with the mission to bring greater diversity to the game of golf. The APGA Tour Board of Directors works to accomplish this by hosting and operating professional golf tournaments, player development programs, mentoring programs and by introducing the game to inner city young people. In addition to conducting an expected 18 tournaments awarding close to $1 million in prize and bonus money in 2023, the APGA has organized a Player Development Program to aid young minority golfers as they work to chase their goals in professional golf.
ABOUT PGA TOUR PATHWAY TO PROGRESSION
Formerly announced in March of 2023, the PGA TOUR Pathway to Progression player development program is a comprehensive effort to achieve greater diversity in golf through an increased focus on developing talent from diverse and historically underrepresented groups in the junior and collegiate golf spaces.
The Bridgestone Collegiate Development Program– aligning the PGA TOUR’s Pathway to Progression collegiate activities and the Bridgestone APGA Collegiate Ranking’s goal to provide top Black collegiate players with transitional support in the professional ranks – will elevate the level of awareness and competitive opportunities for diverse college golfers while providing tangible career development opportunities.
CONTACT: Justin Baker, email@example.com