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Published on May 26, 2021

Florida A&M University’s Mulbe Dillard IV Earns UNC REX Healthcare Sponsor Exemption for Korn Ferry Tour’s 2021 REX Hospital Open

RALEIGH, N.C. – In partnership with the Korn Ferry Tour, UNC REX Healthcare today awarded one of their title sponsor exemptions for the 2021 REX Hospital Open (June 3-6) to Florida A&M University’s Mulbe Dillard IV, who finished the season as the No. 1 golfer in the Advocates Professional Golf Association (APGA) Collegiate Ranking.

Dillard, a Chicago native, posted five top-10 finishes this season, including a solo fifth at the MEAC Championship, where he helped Florida A&M win the league title for the first time in program history. Dillard concluded his senior season with a T28 finish at the NCAA Tallahassee Regional last week.

“It was great to hear I finished in the No. 1 position. 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,” said Dillard, who has two top-10s in three starts on the APGA Tour this year. “I know it’s going to be an amazing experience. It’s also something that was earned. 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.”

In addition to his start at the REX Hospital Open, Dillard has earned benefits on the APGA Tour. He and the rest of the top five players from the APGA Collegiate Ranking 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.

First announced in February 2021, this is the first of two years UNC REX Healthcare has committed to awarding one of their title sponsor exemptions to the top-ranked player in the APGA Collegiate Ranking, as it will do the same for the 2022 REX Hospital Open.

“We’re excited to provide an opportunity for Mulbe Dillard to compete in the REX Hospital Open,” said Ernie Bovio, president of UNC REX Healthcare. “This partnership with the APGA is a great fit with our mission of equity and inclusion. It’s also thrilling to see some of the world’s top young golfers come to Raleigh to play in our backyard.”

The APGA was established in 2008 as a non-profit organization with the mission to bring greater diversity to the game of golf. The APGA Tour Board of Directors work to accomplish this by hosting and operating professional golf tournaments, player development programs, mentoring programs and by introducing the game to inner city young people.

“Mulbe is a great player and a great person, and I am incredibly proud of him for finishing No. 1 in the inaugural APGA Collegiate Ranking,” stated Ken Bentley, co-founder and CEO of the APGA Tour. “The support of UNC REX Healthcare and Korn Ferry Tour is essential as the APGA Tour strives to bring more diversity to the game of golf, and I can't wait to follow Mulbe as he begins his professional career."

The formation of the APGA Collegiate Ranking came as part of the PGA TOUR’s commitment to racial equity and inclusion. As part of the plan announced at THE TOUR Championship in 2020, the TOUR committed to pledge at least $100 million over the next 10 years to support nonprofit organizations whose services directly address the inequities and disparities that affect Black citizens as well as underrepresented and underserved populations in the communities in which tournaments are conducted.

The APGA Collegiate Ranking eases the financial costs associated with playing developmental tours, as well as application fees for the Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament. Eligible players for the APGA Collegiate Ranking are Black NCAA Division I, II or III golfers who exhaust a minimum of four collegiate years.

The 2021 REX Hospital Open will be played June 3-6 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The REX Hospital Open has raised more than $9 million during the past three decades to support patients and services at UNC REX Hospital in Raleigh.

More information on the 2021 REX Hospital Open can be found at https://rexhospitalopen.com/.

About Korn Ferry Tour

Founded (1990), owned and operated by the PGA TOUR, the Korn Ferry Tour identifies and develops golf's next stars, preparing them to compete and win on the game's biggest stage. The Korn Ferry Tour, which has served as a path to the PGA TOUR since its inception, began providing 50 PGA TOUR cards annually in 2013. Each season, the top 25 players secure PGA TOUR cards via the Korn Ferry Tour’s regular season and an additional 25 players secure promotion through the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. With more than 550 PGA TOUR titles and 24 major championships, Korn Ferry Tour alumni make up over 75 percent of the PGA TOUR’s current membership. To learn more about the PGA TOUR, the Korn Ferry Tour and to follow the season-long quest for a PGA TOUR card, visit PGATOUR.COM or follow the Korn Ferry Tour on social media.


MEDIA CONTACTS

Alan Wolf, UNC REX Healthcare, Alan.Wolf@unchealth.unc.edu, 919-218-7103

Tad Dickman, Korn Ferry Tour Communications, TadDickman@pgatourhq.com, 703-477-2699