PGA Tour player questions sponsor exemption recipients into signature events: ‘Seems suspect’

Getting into the signature events on the PGA Tour means more now than ever.

Elevated purses. More FedEx Cup points. More chances for someone to have a life-changing victory.

However, trying to get into those events, if you’re on the outside looking in, is difficult.

Sure, a player can play their way in through the Aon Swing 10, the top-10 players not already exempt from the FedExCup standings, or the Aon Swing 5, the top-five FedExCup points earners not already exempt from the swings of full-field events leading up to each signature event. And then there’s sponsor exemptions.

However, the players who have been given sponsor exemptions seem to be ruffling some feathers.

Dylan Wu, a 27-year-old PGA Tour pro who has made three cuts in six starts this season, said the selection process seems suspect for how players get chosen for sponsor exemptions. He posted his thoughts on social media on Saturday in response to a post saying Adam Scott was receiving his third straight exemption into a signature event, and Webb Simpson was receiving one, too.

Both Scott and Simpson are Player Directors for the Tour.

“Great players and major champions,” Wu wrote in his post. “I can’t say much because I missed the cut hard this week but getting more than one sponsor exemption into elevated events doesn’t seem fair. Seems like if you’re a player director, you’ll get an invite into an elevated event. Seems suspect…..

“And trust me, they’re both great players that probably deserve it but this new model is all about meritocracy. Sponsor exemptions going to the same players every elevated event doesn’t seem to follow the “play better” saying. Seems like “be more famous” or “know the right people.”

Scott has made three starts this season, his worst finish being a T-20 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He finished T-8 at the WM Phoenix Open.

Dating to last March, Simpson in the same span has one finish in the top 30, a T-5 at the Wyndham Championship. He’s ranked 235th in the world.

As Wu mentioned, he hasn’t played well enough this season to play his way into the signature events, but he’s likely not the only PGA Tour pro who has these thoughts, including some who may be just on the verge of possibly receiving an exemption.

There have been plenty of discussions about the Tour trying to serve its stars first and then focusing on those who make up a majority of the Tour.

As Wu states, Scott and Simpson have done enough throughout their careers, and in Scott’s case a strong performance this season, but the question is whether past performance should be awarded more than current form.

For Wu, his thoughts are clear. And it’s likely others in his position think the same way he does.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek