Florida's Ian Gilligan, a cancer survivor, earns PGA Tour exemption
01 Mar 2024
by Golfweek

see also: Ian Gilligan Rankings

Ian Gilligan (Florida Athletics Photo)
Ian Gilligan (Florida Athletics Photo)

There was a point in time when Ian Gilligan didn’t know whether he’d be alive.

When he was 15, the junior at Florida was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma, one that only 20 kids worldwide had. He received chemo for seven months and wasn’t able to golf much during that time.

Now, he’s a winner of the 2024 Southern Highlands Collegiate, one of the most prestigious college events on the schedule, and he earned an exemption into the 2024 Shriners Children’s Open this fall because of the win.

With the win, Gilligan propelled to No. 29 in the Golfweek/ World Rankings and No. 19 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf U.S. Rankings.

Gilligan shot 8-under 208 at Southern Highlands Golf Club in Las Vegas to win the event, beating Oklahoma’s Jase Summy by one shot. Even with a final-hole double bogey, Gilligan was able to hold on for his first college victory since transferring to Florida last summer from Long Beach State, where he spent his first two years of college.

The win was over a field that included three of the top eight golfers in the NCAA college golf rankings, and Florida, which placed fourth at 4 over as a team, beat top-ranked North Carolina by four shots. No. 2 Auburn (5 under) placed second behind OU, which finished at 8-under 856.

For Gilligan, it’s his fifth collegiate victory. He’s also the fourth Gator to win the Southern Highlands, including Yuxin Lin last year en route to Florida winning its fifth national title.

This spring, Gilligan has been trending toward a victory. He finished second at Sea Best and then third at the home game Gators Invitational. The win was his fifth top-10 of the year and seventh top-25 finish for Florida. Coming into the Southern Highlands, he led the Gators in scoring average, and all but one of his 21 rounds this season have counted toward the team score.

Come October, the Nevada native will now make his PGA Tour debut at TPC Summerlin.

Story by Cameron Jourdan of

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