Buh Bye PGA Tour Q School
Say it isn’t so. One of the most nerve-wracking yet egalitarian aspects of professional golf is no more. Q-School—as a path to the PGA Tour—bit the dust today just before noon eastern standard time. Many PGA Tour members said over the course of the last year that they hoped there would still be a path for those one or two exceptional players to go through the qualifying school process and get to the PGA Tour.
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem announced that the 50 PGA Tour membership cards will no longer come through Q-School, beginning with the 2013 season.
Web.com Tour Regular Season will award 25 PGA Tour cards based on the final money list.
Then, cumulative earnings during the Web.com Tour Finals—the final three postseason events with 26-75 money leaders, Web. com players and PGA Tour players from 126-200 FedEx points—will determine the remaining 25 cards as well as player priority entering the following season.
“With the Web.com Tour becoming the pathway to the PGA Tour, it was important to continue rewarding season-long performance on the Web.com Tour,” Finchem said. “In addition, we wanted to create a system that would award additional PGA Tour cards based on a player’s performance in a series of season-ending tournaments. We wanted it to be objective and equitable to all competitors and be easy to understand for players, fans, television viewers, sponsors and the media alike. This structure accomplishes that and will no doubt result in an exciting, compelling conclusion to the Web.com Tour season.”
The lucky 50 players will fall on a priority list for PGA Tour events after the top 125 from the previous season’s FedExCup points list and other eligibility categories. Those could include players who have won in the previous two seasons, past champions and other similar kinds of exemptions: major winners, etc. Every tournament also has its own sponsor exemptions.
In addition, the season’s leading money winner going into the (Web.com) Finals will be fully exempt for the PGA Tour and will receive an invitation to The Players Championship. If the leading money winner in the Web.com Tour Finals is not the Regular Season money winner, he also will be fully exempt for the PGA Tour and receive an invitation to The Players Championship.
Web.com Tour Finals, the season-ending tournaments beginning in September 2013, are expected to have purses of $1 million. This is approximately the purse of the better PGA Tour events in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
According to the PGA Tour, three out of four PGA Tour members are Web.com Tour ( or Nationwide or buy.com or Nike Tour or Hogan Tour) alumni. They have won 335 PGA Tour titles, and 16 majors (21 if you include the five who have won Players Championships).
Kathy Bissell is a Golf Writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand or from official interview materials from the USGA, PGA Tour or PGA of America.
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