Congrats to Q-school grad John Huh on capturing his first PGA Tour victory in his fifth career start at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. The 21-year-old fired an impressive bogey-free 63 on Sunday to force a playoff against Robert Allenby (who doubled the 18th hole in regulation). Eight extra holes later, the rookie won with a par.
What a Huhnderella story! (*groan*) — be sure to check out Jill Painter’s article on John’s inspiring journey to the Tour.
Unfortunately, these type of underdog stories are likely on deathwatch because of the Tour’s proposal plan to change the current Q-school system.
As you may recall from my post on the Players Meeting at Torrey Pines, the proposed system would take Nos. 1-75 from the Nationwide Tour and Nos. 126 to 200 from the PGA Tour (who failed to qualify for the FedExCup) and merge them into a field for a three-tournament series that would replace Q-school as the avenue to earn their PGA Tour cards In turn, the new Q-school would only provide Nationwide Tour status.
So, under the new model, John Huh would be playing on the NWT this year and have one event under his belt so far. All that experience would have served him well! In other words, Huh is just more proof that the Tour’s proposed new system is crap. By that I mean the “stats” and argument for the changes aren’t genuine, and they don’t really favor the players. I mean, most of the guys I’ve spoken to aren’t fans and don’t want change. Neither does Bob Estes as he voiced in a tweet:
John Huh may have won the Mayakoba Classic, but I’m pretty sure he would’ve won it in regulation if he’d played NW Tour all last year.
— Bob Estes (@BobEstesPGA) February 27, 2012
I agree that if you’re good enough, you’ll eventually make it to the PGA Tour, but I’m a sucker for underdogs and a Q-school romantic. I’m also a strong believer in a system that provides an equal chance for all individuals — who aren’t already in the “club” — to qualify and one that isn’t intended to make it a lot more difficult for outsiders to earn membership. (Which is actually a pretty good analogy for golf’s exclusive culture and the not-so-flattering stereotypes/connotations of the game.)
Is John Huh the next big thing? Probably not, but hey, you never know. That’s not the point, anyway. Sometimes you gotta have some faith in the underdog — there’s a lot we can learn from ’em.
(AP Photo/Israel Leal)