Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat has accepted Special Temporary Membership of the PGA Tour for the remainder of the 2017-18 season.
Joining Kiradech is Chilean Joaquin Niemann, bringing the total number of active international PGA Tour members to 87 from 27 countries. Both players needed to earn 269 non-member FedExCup points to become eligible for Special Temporary Membership, equal to the number of points earned by the player at No. 150 in last season’s FedExCup standings.
Kiradech, 28, is the first player from Thailand to accept PGA Tour membership. In eight starts in 2017-18, he has two top-five finishes – a pair of T5s at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship and the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. He surpassed the required total of 269 non-member FedExCup points following a T30 at The Players Championship. Last week, he finished T13 at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, bringing his total to 340.
The World No 31 is the winner of five international titles, most recently the 2018 ISPS HANDA World Super 6 in Perth, Australia on the European Tour.
At 19 years, 6 months, 28 days, Niemann is the youngest player since Sergio Garcia in 1999 (19 years, 4 months, 29 days) to accept Special Temporary Membership. The former World No 1 amateur turned professional after the Masters and, in five starts on the PGA Tour so far, has three top-10s. He held shares of the 18- and 36-hole leads at the Memorial Tournament en route to a tie for sixth.
As Special Temporary Members, Kiradech and Niemann are eligible for unlimited sponsor exemptions for the remainder of the 2017-18 season. To earn their cards for the 2018-19 PGA Tour Season through the Non-member FedExCup Points List, both players will need to match or surpass the points earned by the 125th ranked player at the end of the current season.
Special Temporary Members are not eligible for the FedExCup Playoffs, but Special Temporary Members or non-members who subsequently become regular PGA Tour members by winning an official event during the season will be counted on the FedExCup points list, along with any FedExCup points earned as a non-member (excluding those won at World Golf Championships events as a non-member) and thus be eligible for the FedExCup Playoffs.