PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem Explains New Tour Card Qualification Changes

Fred AltvaterContributor IIJuly 11, 2012

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem announced the details of the new qualification process on Tuesday.
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem announced the details of the new qualification process on Tuesday.David Cannon/Getty Images

We have all heard about the death of the impending PGA Q-School in 2013, but the exact details of the new qualifying process have been sketchy at best.

We knew that there would be 25 PGA Tour Cards issued for finishing inside the top 25 on the Tour. That fact remains the same as in past years.

PGA Tour Commissioner Finchem explained on Tuesday the details of how an additional 25 tour cards will be awarded to players from a three tournament schedule called the Finals, to be held in October of 2013.

The Finals events will be made up of the old “Fall Series” and gives the tournament sponsors of these events a new marketing angle as the last hope of young golf professionals’ dreams of making the big tour.

These events will also mark beginning of the new PGA Tour golf season with FedEx Cup points awarded for the following season.

Awarding FedEx Cup points in these events eliminates a persistent problem for the tour and the “Fall Series” sponsors.

The details of the new qualifying structure are outlined by Commissioner Finchem on the PGA Tour Website.

The Finals is basically the same as the old PGA Q-School concept, except that it involves 12 rounds of play in three events over three weeks rather than a grueling six consecutive days of intense golf pressure.

Players who are inside the top 25 of the season money list will be automatically eligible for the Finals.  They will already have earned their 2014 tour cards, but can improve their tour status by performing well in the Finals.

Also eligible for the Finals will be players ranked 126-200 on the PGA Tour money list at the end of the regular season, prior to the FedEx Cup Playoffs. In addition, the top 75 players from the regular season will also be eligible.

Going into the finals, the regular season money leader will be fully exempt for the PGA Tour and will receive an invitation to the Players Championship.

Cumulative earnings during the Tour Finals will determine the remaining 25 cards as well as player priority entering the following PGA Tour season.

If the leading money winner in the Finals is different than the season-long No. 1 ranked player, he will also earn full exemption status and an invite to the 2014 Players Championship.

These changes will take effect for the 2013 season. PGA Q-School will be held, as always, in 2012.

Beginning in 2013, a Qualification Tournament will still be held annually, but it will only be for eligibility to the tour.