Gordon Sargent, a rising junior at Vanderbilt University, has recently been chosen to represent the USA Team in the upcoming World Amateur Team Championship. The tournament will take place at Abu Dhabi Golf Club from October 18 to 21, as announced by the USGA on Wednesday. This latest achievement brings Sargent closer to securing a PGA TOUR card, with the accolades he has been accumulating.
By participating in the World Amateur Team Championship, Sargent will earn 1 point on the PGA TOUR Accelerated rankings. Additionally, he will receive 2 points for competing at the Walker Cup in September, for which he was selected to the USA Team in June. Currently, Sargent holds 17 points in PGA TOUR University Accelerated. With his participation in both the Walker Cup and the WATC, he will reach the required 20-point threshold to secure a PGA TOUR card after the 2023-24 collegiate season, should he choose to accept it.
If Sargent attains a TOUR membership through PGA TOUR University Accelerated, he will become the first player to do so, as well as the first player to earn a TOUR card based on collegiate merit before his senior year. Earlier this year, Ludvig Aberg of Texas Tech became the first player to earn a TOUR card by ranking first on the 2023 PGA TOUR University Ranking after completing his senior season.
Sargent achieved his 17th point in PGA TOUR Accelerated by making the cut at the John Deere Classic last week, finishing T57. He earned an additional point for making the cut at the U.S. Open (T39), and also received points for participating in the Masters and U.S. Open.
The Alabama native has earned other PGA TOUR University Accelerated points through various accomplishments. These include being ranked No. 1 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (5 points), competing at the 2023 Palmer Cup (1 point), 2022 Palmer Cup (1 point), 2022 World Amateur Team Championship (1 point), winning the 2022 NCAA Division I individual championship (3 points), and being named the 2022 Division I Outstanding Freshman (2 points).
Sargent's selection for the World Amateur Team Championship came as a result of his position as the top-ranked male on the World Amateur Golf Ranking as of June 21. Automatic spots for the championship will also be given to the 2023 U.S. Amateur winner and the McCormack Medal winner, provided they are American. The remaining team selections and alternates will be finalized after the U.S. Amateur.
It is also possible for Sargent to reach 20 points before the WATC if he secures a victory at either the Western Amateur (2 points, July 31 to August 5) or the U.S. Amateur (3 points, August 14 to 20). Following the Walker Cup, which will be held from September 1 to 3, the WATC will conclude the series of tournaments.
This year has been a remarkable one for the 20-year-old Sargent, known for his impressive long drives. As a sophomore, he was honored as the 2023 SEC Player of the Year, achieving eight top-five finishes before earning the low amateur distinction at the U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club.
In addition to his golfing achievements, Sargent has been recognized as a semifinalist for the AAU James E. Sullivan Award. This prestigious award acknowledges outstanding amateur athletes in the United States and has been previously bestowed upon notable figures like Bobby Jones, Carl Lewis, Peyton Manning, Michael Phelps, and Tim Tebow.
The World Amateur Team Championship, organized by the International Golf Federation, is a biennial event featuring 72 holes of stroke play. The team score for each round is determined by adding the two lowest scores from the three players representing each team. The cumulative score after four days determines the team's final score for the championship. This year's tournament will be the first held in an odd-numbered year to avoid conflicting with the Summer Olympic Games. Sargent contributed to the USA Team's bronze medal finish at last year's World Amateur Team Championship in Paris.