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Luke Clanton Eyes History at 2024 John Deere Classic

Luke Clanton Eyes History at 2024 John Deere Classic

Flordia State amateur Luke Clanton has a chance to accomplish a historic feat this weekend at the John Deere Classic. The 20-year old Clanton enters the final round in a tie for sixth place, positioning him to match an achievement not seen on the PGA Tour in nearly 70 years.


Clanton tied for 10th place last week at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. If he finishes in the top 10 again this week at TPC Deere Run, he would become the first amateur to record back-to-back top 10 finishes in PGA Tour events since Billy Joe Patton in 1957 U.S. Open and 1958 Masters.


"I'm having fun just playing golf right now," said Clanton after his round on Saturday. "… Trying to play the best I can, no matter what comes with it comes with it. I’m 20 years old, still trying to figure out what I’m doing.”


Dylan Buell


Clanton is currently ranked third in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. The Florida State junior had said last week that his plan was to spend four years in college, but a high finish this week could alter his trajectory.


Through strong performances in his PGA Tour starts, Clanton has accumulated seven points in the PGA Tour University program. A top 10 finish Sunday would earn him another point, moving him closer to the 20 points required to earn fully-exempt Tour status before graduating from FSU.


Success on golf's highest level continues for Clanton, who is trying to etch his name alongside Patton as the only amateurs to achieve this rare back-to-back feat. His play in the final round will determine whether the rising star can make history again at the 2024 John Deere Classic.



Read more: Big Payday Up For Grabs at 2024 John Deere Classic


How does the PGA Tour University Accelerated program work


The PGA TOUR University Accelerated program allows high-achieving college golfers, including freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, to earn PGA TOUR membership before graduating. Here's how it works:


Earning Points


Players earn points through accomplishments in college, amateur, and professional golf. These include:


Winning major college golf awards (3 points for Haskins, Hogan, or D-I Nicklaus Awards)


Achieving a high World Amateur Golf Ranking (5 points for #1, 4 points for #2, etc.)


Winning top amateur tournaments (3 points for NCAA Individual, U.S. Amateur, etc.)


Performance in PGA TOUR and Major Championship events (1 point for made cut, 2 points for top-20 finish, etc.)


Earning PGA TOUR Membership


If a player accumulates at least 20 Accelerated Points by the end of their third year of NCAA eligibility, they can earn PGA TOUR membership. This can be elected either:


After the NCAA Division-I National Championship, earning membership for the current and following PGA TOUR seasons.


On January 1st immediately after becoming eligible, earning membership for the current PGA TOUR season.



What are Clanton's plans if he decides to pursue a professional golf career


Young golfer Luke Clanton has a big decision coming up. The 20-year-old is currently focused on finishing his junior year at Florida State, where he's been a star on their golf team. His goal has been helping lead the Seminoles to a national title.


But Luke's play in some recent PGA Tour events has complicated things. He's had back-to-back top 10 finishes, which is huge for a college kid. Those strong performances have him nearing a PGA Tour card through their "University Program". If you earn 20 points as an amateur, you automatically get tour privileges. Luke's sittin' at 9 right now.


While he still plans to see this college season through, Luke says turning pro is a real possibility going forward. Some are even pointing to another young amateur, Nick Dunlap, who won on tour last year while in school and immediately left to join the big leagues. Luke's got a couple more Tour starts this summer, so how those go could really impact his thinking.


When it comes down to it, Luke just wants to keep improving and enjoying himself out there, whether wearing FSU colors or playing as a pro. But you can tell the choice is weighing on him some. It'll probably come down to how he fares these next few weeks and if he can rack up enough points to seal that TOUR card. Exciting time for the talented young Florida golfer, that's for sure.





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Sarah has a strong background in sports journalism, with a degree in journalism from a top university in the US. She has covered men's professional golf for over 10 years, attending major tournaments around the world and building an extensive network within the men's golf community. Her writing is known for its in-depth analysis, insider access, and ability to bring the drama and excitement of professional golf to life for readers.

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