The PGA TOUR announced today that Ryan Gerard and Nicolai Højgaard have accepted Special Temporary Membership for the remainder of the 2022-23 PGA TOUR Season. Gerard, 23, and Højgaard, 22, are now eligible for unlimited sponsor exemptions for the remainder of the season as they attempt to earn PGA TOUR cards for the 2024 season.
Both Gerard and Højgaard crossed the threshold for Special Temporary Membership at the Valero Texas Open and will make their first PGA TOUR start since at this week’s two-man team event, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Gerard is teaming with PGA TOUR rookie Ben Griffin, who was a teammate of his for one season (2017-18) at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, while Højgaard is paired with fellow Dane Thorbjorn Olesen, who is playing on a sponsor exemption and competed for Europe in the 2018 Ryder Cup.
Gerard made his season debut at The Honda Classic where he earned a spot via a 5-for-3 playoff at the Open Qualifier and went on to finish solo-fourth, becoming the first Open Qualifier to finish in the top five of a PGA TOUR event since Doc Redman at the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic (2nd). With the top-10 result, he got into the following week’s Puerto Rico Open and finished T11. Gerard entered 2023 with status on the Korn Ferry Tour after finishing No. 5 in the Fortinet Cup on PGA TOUR Canada last summer, where he won the 2022 Quebec Open.
Nicolai Hojgaard (T28) and Ryan Gerard (T56) secured Special Temporary Membership this week at the Valero Texas Open. pic.twitter.com/Nc7PrjgmrJ
— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) April 2, 2023
Højgaard made his first start of the season at the Corales Puntacana Championship and finished solo-second, one stroke behind Matt Wallace. The top-10 result got him into the Valero Texas Open, where he earned Special Temporary Membership with a tie for 28th. Højgaard, a two-time winner on the DP World Tour, won the 2021 DS Automobiles Italian Open the week after his twin brother Rasmus won the Omega European Masters, making the Højgaard twins the first pair of brothers to win in back-to-back weeks on the DP World Tour.
To earn full status on the PGA TOUR for the 2024 season, Gerard and Højgaard must earn as many or more non-member FedExCup points as No. 125 in the final 2022-23 FedExCup Playoffs and Eligibility Points List, which will run through the FedExCup Fall. Højgaard currently has 190 points, and for reference, that would fall between Nos. 115 and 116 in the current standings, while Gerard’s total of 178 would be between Nos. 116 and 117.
Gerard and Højgaard are two of three players that have joined the TOUR as Special Temporary Members this season. Akshay Bhatia, who earned Special Temporary Membership after a runner-up at the Puerto Rico Open, made his first start as a Special Temporary Member at the Valspar Championship and most recently competed at the RBC Heritage.
Special Temporary Members are not eligible for the FedExCup Playoffs, however, 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, the Barbasol Championship and the Barracuda Championship as a non-member) and thus be eligible for the FedExCup Playoffs.
A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Gerard turned professional in 2022 and currently resides in Jupiter, Florida. Højgaard was born in Billund, Denmark, turned professional in 2019 and currently resides in Aarhus, Denmark.