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Adiós PGA Tour Q-school?

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Adiós PGA Tour Q-School?

by DEREK on MARCH 22, 2011




The NY Times is reporting that the PGA Tour is considering a dramatic change to the end of the season that would significantly reshape how players earn PGA Tour cards. The net of the idea is that the players who don't make the FedEx Cup Playoffs would play in a series of 3 tournaments against Nationwide Tour players. The series would have a points structure and the rankings at the end of the series would determine who get's a PGA Tour card for the following season.


The current speculation is that the tournaments would consist of 75 PGA Tour players and 50 Nationwide Tour players competing for 50 PGA Tour cards. Q-school wouldn't go away, but it would only provide cards for the Nationwide Tour. The Tour's policy board has given preliminary approval to the concept and began informing players of the decision by memo yesterday.


This change would effectively eliminate the possibility of a player going straight from college or the mini-tours to the PGA Tour. Tour officials think that this will improve the quality of tournament fields on Tour (I didn't know they needed strengthening).


That may or may not be true, but it means that we wouldn't have success stories from players like Rickie Fowler, who went straight from college to the PGA Tour to the Ryder Cup last year. Yes, Fowler is the exception to the rule, but he was a much needed exception last year given Tiger's lackluster play.


There are still plenty of details to work out and quite a bit could change between now and then. I'm assuming this would take the place of the fall series (at least part of it), but that's not completely clear right now. According to PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw:


The number from the Nationwide that goes to the three-tournament series hasn't been determined yet. And the question of how many cards has not been, either.


This change would certainly add drama to the end of the PGA Tour season (although I think it already has plenty). And it would also have the benefit of focusing additional attention on FedEx Cup (bleh!) standings throughout the season, which I'm sure Tim Finchem would love. But honestly I don't like the idea of taking away the chance, however unlikely, that an unknown pro can show up at Q-school, play his heart out, and find himself teeing it up against Tiger and Phil a few weeks later.


Given that players were just informed about the proposed changes yesterday afternoon, keep your eyes peeled for reactions this week at Bay Hill.


[image Flicker/Chase McAlpine]




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Why fix it if it isn't broken? This all seems extremely unnecessary.

Driver--Taylormade RBZ Tour 9* Aldila RIP Phenom 65s

Fairway Metal--Taylormade R11s 14* Aldila RIP Phenom 70s

Hybrid--Taylormade RBZ Tour 18.5* RE-AX 85 gram S

Irons--Nike Vr Pro-Combo 4-PW True Temper Dynamic Gold S300

Wedges--Nike SV Tour Forged 50*, 56*, 60* True Temper Dynamic Gold

Putter--Scotty Cameron California Del Mar

Ball--Taylormade Lethal

Grips--Lamkin R.E.L 3Gen (Woods-green, Irons-red, Wedges-white)

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$$$: Nationwide is not renewing it's sponsorship of the Nationwide Tour after 2012. The PGA Tour is shopping for a new sponsor and by funneling players through the Nationwide Tour (or whatever it will be called in 2013), they presumably increase the value of the sponsorship.




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Exactly, you have those exceptions like Rickie Fowler but why fix something that has been working so well for so many years.



But is it really "working"? They give out cards to Nationwide grads and Q-School finishers... but how much is enough? There are some golfers that don't get to participate in all events (WGC's and majors excluded), which hurts their chances of keeping that freshly-minted Tour card, meaning a revolving-door policy at the bottom of the money list.


I'm going the other way and say that this change could be a good idea. Limit the number of new entries on Tour. That way, the incoming class gets to enter in every tourney they qualified for, enhancing their chances of breaking the top 125. Besides, the Nationwide isn't a bad place to be, and based on what I've seen it seems like a great place to really prepare the new bloods for life on the PGA tour.


Now, I'm not saying it's perfect... because I'd still like to see a Rickie Fowler-like story now and again. I also don't want to see another Ty Tryon story... so I'm kind of torn. If there were some way for a fair exception to be made. Maybe the three-win rule the Nationwide has could be kept. Win three, get an automatic pass the the big leagues. Just a thought...

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