World's top amateur golfer turns down spot on PGA Tour in move that will alert LIV Golf

Gordon Sargent -Credit:Getty Images
Gordon Sargent -Credit:Getty Images

Gordon Sargent, the world's top amateur golfer, has made headlines by turning down a spot on the PGA Tour, opting instead to continue his education at Vanderbilt University until next year.

The 21 year old prodigy has decided to stay on for the 2024-25 college season, despite having secured a PGA Tour card through the PGA Tour University program, feeling that the timing isn't right for him to go pro.Sargent, who showcased his talents at the Masters and US Open in 2023, will delay turning professional until June of the following year, choosing to concentrate on another NCAA season. When he does join the tour, he'll have a guaranteed membership until the end of the 2026 season

"I was kind of hoping a decision would come clear and obviously there's not going to be a perfect answer," Sargent confided to Golf Channel. But I was weighing my options and I mean, after just playing a few college events in the spring, I think you really appreciate how much you enjoy college golf.

"After reviewing with my parents, coaches and team-wise, it just kind of seemed like it was the best thing for me. I could stay in Nashville and continue to get better", reports the Mirror.

"I think there were a lot of expectations this year, and we're looking forward to the postseason, but I think just staying another year, being a senior, enjoying the college life and while also knowing there's a PGA Tour card still waiting for you, it gives you a lot of freedom if you need to make some changes and stuff. Then off the golf course, just continue to mature as a person and just better prepare myself for the future."

LIV Golf is sure to be sitting up and paying attention to Sargent's game plan. Even though he's pledged his loyalty to the PGA Tour, he's keeping his options wide open and seems to fit neatly into the mould of player that the Saudi Arabia-funded breakaway league is keen to snare.

While they've been busy signing big names like Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton over recent months as a core part of LIV's recruitment strategy, spearheaded by Greg Norman, the tour has also shown interest in newcomers straight out of the amateur ranks. This includes Legion XIII teammate of Rahm and Hatton, Caleb Surratt, signed on in January.

Speaking to the PGA Tour website, Sargent emphasised wanting to relish his time in college golf while he could, given professional golf can be a lonelier game. Craftily differentiating himself from Nick Dunlap, who turned pro in January post his impressive PGA Tour victory at The American Express.

"If you talk to anybody who's played college golf, they really do say it's the best time of your life," Sargent said. "He [Dunlap] definitely misses college a little bit, hanging out with teammates and stuff. Pro golf is definitely a different animal. He definitely loves the situation he's in, but I think anyone you talk to on the PGA Tour would say the more time you have to prep before you get to the Tour, then the better off you're going to be."