Top-five players earn APGA Tour playing privileges and benefits in 2021
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida – The top-five players in the 2021 APGA Collegiate Ranking have been finalized, with Florida A&M University’s Mulbe Dillard IV finishing No. 1 and earning an exemption into the Korn Ferry Tour’s REX Hospital Open. Dillard’s teammates Mahindra Lutchman, Cameron Riley and Prince Cunningham also finished in the top five, while Michigan State’s Andrew Walker finished No. 2 and rounds out the inaugural class of the APGA Collegiate Ranking.
“The path to professional golf has never been stronger for Black golfers, and I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for the top players in this year’s APGA Collegiate Ranking,” said Ken Bentley, co-founder and CEO of the APGA Tour. “This year’s inaugural class is an important step forward as the APGA Tour continues to grow and provide opportunities in professional golf to Black players.”
All five players receive APGA Tour membership and entry into this season’s tournaments, starting with the APGA Tour event at TPC Louisiana, May 31-June 1. Additionally, this year’s class receives travel costs associated with playing APGA Tour events and the Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament.
Led by its all-senior lineup, Florida A&M won its first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) championship this season and advanced to the NCAA Regionals for the first time in program history. After finishing fifth at the MEAC Championship, Dillard solidified his spot atop the APGA Collegiate Ranking with a T28 performance in his final college start at the Tallahassee Regional.
Dillard has two top-10s in three starts on the APGA Tour as an amateur, and he will make his debut as a professional at the REX Hospital Open, June 3-6.
“I appreciate everything the APGA, PGA TOUR University and Korn Ferry Tour have done for this opportunity to play in the REX Hospital Open, to be exposed to a lot of great golfers, and to compete with them,” Dillard said. “It was a lot of hard work. I’m just happy that hard work is going to be put to good use, and that I’m going to be able to show that a kid from the south side of Chicago, who went to an HBCU, is going to be out there competing with some of the best golfers in the world.”
Finishing No. 2 in the APGA Collegiate Ranking was Walker, who posted three top-20 finishes and had his score count in 19 of 24 rounds as a senior at Michigan State. In addition to having APGA Tour status this summer, Walker has Forme Tour status, as he finished T5 at a Qualifying Event in February. He is exempt for the first half of the Forme Tour schedule, starting June 23-26 at the L&J Golf Championship at Jennings Mill Country Club in Watkinsville, Georgia.
The APGA Collegiate Ranking was announced in October 2020 through a partnership between PGA TOUR University and the APGA Tour. Eligible players are Black golfers from NCAA Division I, II or III programs – including HBCUs – who exhaust a minimum of four years of college eligibility. The APGA Collegiate Ranking is based on players’ Golfstat adjusted scoring average, designed to evaluate the top players positioned to qualify for APGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament access.
Final 2021 APGA Collegiate Ranking
(Adjusted scoring average, in relation to par)
• Mulbe Dillard, Florida A&M (1.45)
• Andrew Walker, Michigan State (2.27)
• Mahindra Lutchman, Florida A&M (3.19)
• Cameron Riley, Florida A&M (4.31)
• Prince Cunningham, Florida A&M (4.61)
For more information on the APGA Collegiate Ranking or the APGA Tour, please visit APGATour.org.