Despite earning his PGA Tour card, the world’s top-ranked amateur golfer has chosen to remain in school.

April 19, 2024

On Thursday, Gordon Sargent declared that he will be heading back to Vanderbilt for his final year despite being the world’s leading amateur golfer.

The decision excited his teammates and coaches, but left others startled. Despite having earned his PGA Tour card for the next two seasons already, Sargent didn’t intend to let that go to waste.

Sargent has decided to postpone his earned status through the new PGA Tour University Accelerated program. As a result, once he completes his senior season in Nashville, he can become a professional player next spring and participate for the remainder of the tour’s 2025 season followed by playing throughout all of 2026.

Sargent elaborated on his thought process during an interview with This involved observing the success of Ludvig Aberg, who became a runner-up at the Masters and qualified for the Ryder Cup shortly after turning pro last year by following a comparable career trajectory.

Playing on the PGA Tour is my dream,” Sargent stated. “Since it was a no-brainer to retain my status by returning to school for just one year, I decided that this option made sense for me. By staying in school another year, not only can I continue playing with and learning from my teammates but also earn a degree while improving as an athlete.”

After winning the American Express as an amateur, Nick Dunlap decided to turn pro in January. Despite calling it “the easiest, hardest decision I’ve ever made,” he was unable to defer his two-year PGA Tour exemption that came with his victory in Palm Springs. The Sargent confirmed speaking to Dunlap about this matter along with other long-hitters.

According to Sargent, those who have experienced college golf often attest that it’s the most enjoyable period in one’s life. “I considered this valuable insight while discussing my situation with my family, coaches and teammates,” he explained. Although there was no negative reaction regardless of his decision – whether to leave or stay -, after careful consideration, leaving seemed like the ideal choice for him.”

Next month, Sargent will turn 21 and he made a name for himself as the winner of the 2022 NCAA individual championship in his freshman year. By February of 2023, he reached No.1 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking and was deemed low amateur at that year’s U.S Open tournament. Augusta National extended him a special invitation to participate in their Masters tournament but unfortunately missed making it through the cut- being only one out after playing dazzlingly so far! He is also recognized as part of team USA who won this season’s Walker Cup held last September-good job!

In October, Sargent achieved his tour card by exceeding the PGA Tour University Accelerated’s 20-point threshold through a blend of college, amateur and professional competitions. The program allows athletes three NCAA-eligible years to hit 20 points. According to Golf Digest, he revealed that in addition to this accomplishment was made possible due signing NIL agreements with Nike and Titleist which aided in making his choice easier.

Sargent informed, “Having the knowledge that a PGA TOUR card is still available provides significant flexibility if adjustments need to be made. I can focus on personal growth and enhance my readiness for what lies ahead outside of golf.”