Michael Thorbjornsen has earned a place in the field at the 2024 Hero Dubai Desert Classic after finishing the fall college golf season as the PGA TOUR University’s number one player.

The 35th edition of the prestigious Rolex Series event will be played at Emirates Golf Club from January 18-21, and this is the third year that the event has offered an exemption to PGA TOUR University’s top-ranked player.

The 22-year-old, who won the U.S. Junior Amateur in 2018, competed at this year’s edition of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic on a sponsor’s invitation, finishing in a share of 20th place in his first start on the DP World Tour and earning low-amateur honours.

Thorbjornsen has also made four cuts on the PGA TOUR, with a fourth-place finish at the 2022 Travelers Championship a highlight.

Michael Thorbjornsen alongside Rory McIlroy last year – Getty Images

Sam Bennett (2022) and Ludvig Åberg (2023) were the first two players to earn the PGA TOUR University exemption into the event. Since their starts, Bennett went on to win the 2022 U.S. Amateur and finished T16 at this year’s Masters Tournament, while Åberg earned maiden victories on the DP World Tour and PGA TOUR, and also made his Ryder Cup debut at Marco Simone.

“Helping develop the next stars of tomorrow – both locally and overseas – is very important for us and our partnership with the PGA TOUR provides a platform for golf’s young rising stars to not only compete against the world’s best professionals but also gain vital competitive experience that will help them take their game to the next level,” said Simon Corkill, executive tournament director of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic.

“We look forward to welcoming Michael Thorbjornsen to the Hero Dubai Desert Classic in January following an impressive year on the PGA Tour University calendar.”

PGA TOUR University ranks collegiate players based on their average performance in NCAA Division-I men’s team competitions, official PGA TOUR tournaments and select DP World Tour events over a two-year ranking period.

The Number One player in the final PGA TOUR University Ranking on May 27, 2024, will earn PGA TOUR membership.

Images: Getty Images