The 2024 PGA Tour season already promised to have its share of thrills with the return of its Signature Event series. But the creation of the Aon Next 10 and Aon Swing 5 adds a fresh layer of excitement unlike anything PGA TOUR professionals and fans have previously experienced. The new Signature Event qualification system gives golf’s hottest players a pathway to earn starts in the TOUR’s prestigious limited-field events that they might not otherwise get to play, such as this past week’s Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. This structure offers players additional opportunities to compete head-to-head against the world’s top golfers who secured their spot last season, while also highlighting the unique stories of those who play their way into the Aon Next 10 and Aon Swing 5.

Case in point: Christiaan Bezuidenhout used strong play in early season TOUR events this year to skyrocket into golf’s global spotlight, qualifying for the first two Signature Events (Pebble Beach and Genesis). “I wasn’t in the Genesis before the [Aon] Swing 5,” Bezuidenhout says. “It gives you a chance to play your way into those events. Luckily, that’s what I’ve done, and hopefully can continue to do.”

https://www.golfdigest.com/content/dam/images/golfdigest/fullset/2022/1/finalAon-Info-Graphic2 (1).jpg

The Aon Next 10 recognizes players ranked 51 through 60 in the 2023 FedExCup Fall standings— entering the Genesis it was Beau Hossler, Ludvig Åberg, Ben Griffin, Taylor Montgomery, Matt Kuchar, Nick Hardy, J.J. Spaun, Sam Ryder, Luke List and Alex Smalley—who are not otherwise exempt from Signature Events. The Aon Swing 5 qualifies the top five otherwise-nonexempt players into Signature Events who have accumulated the most FedExCup points through each predesignated tournament “swing” immediately leading up to each Signature Event. Each of these eight swings consists of two-to-five tournaments. For the Genesis, Matthieu Pavon, Grayson Murray, Bezuidenhout, Charley Hoffman and Kevin Yu claimed these five spots.

Hoffman recently credited the new program leading up to The Genesis Invitational. As a PGA TOUR board member, he says he’s been “adamant about making sure that the hot players were able to work their way into the Signature Events. This year, Bezuidenhout and a bunch of guys playing well deserve to be in these events. So the Aon Swing 5 is accomplishing what it’s supposed to.” Like Pavon and Murray, Hoffman earned his way to Riviera through top finishes highlighted by amazing decision-making and strokes-gained performances on the green in this latest swing.

Coming out of the Genesis, the Aon Next 10 and Aon Swing 5 will refresh for the next signature event, the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Currently sitting atop the Aon Next 10 is Pavon, who clinched this year’s Farmers Insurance Open title; Åberg, who secured a solo-second at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am; and List, who tied for second this past week in Los Angeles.

To view the Aon Next 10 and Aon Swing 5 live leaderboards, visit https://www.pgatour.com/aon-better-decisions. There you can follow the next generation of PGA TOUR stars all year long.

This article was originally published on golfdigest.com