With the impending death in 2013 of the current avenues to qualify for the PGA Tour – 1) the top-25 finishers on the
Nationwide Web.com Tour money list and 2) the top-25 finishers at Q-School — details on the new system were yet to be spelled out, which created quite a few concerns.
I don’t think I have to tell you this was a big deal since it impacts their job for at least the following season, and it can completely change the life of a player. For example, the two rookie winners so far in the 2012 season: Ted Potter Jr. who graduated from the Web.com Tour last year by finishing second on the money list and John Huh who came out of nowhere and got through all three stages of Q-school to earn his card on the number.
Well, finally, the Tour has given us some answers. Without further ado, here’s the media blast:
PGA TOUR Provides Details on Qualifying through Web.com Tour
Web.com Tour’s top 25 money winners assured of PGA TOUR membership;
50 TOUR cards will be finalized, prioritized by earnings during Web.com Tour Finals
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem today outlined details of the qualifying system that will determine the 50 PGA TOUR membership cards earned through the Web.com Tour, beginning with the 2013 season.
After further input from the PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour Player Advisory Councils, the PGA TOUR Policy Board has approved a structure that will award PGA TOUR membership based on Regular Season performance on the Web.com Tour and cumulative earnings during the Web.com Tour Finals, the season-ending tournaments in September 2013 which are anticipated to carry purses of $1 million.
The Web.com Tour Regular Season will award 25 PGA TOUR cards based on the final money list. The season’s leading money winner going into the Finals will be fully exempt for the PGA TOUR and will receive an invitation to THE PLAYERS Championship. Cumulative earnings during the Web.com 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 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.
Players eligible to compete in the Finals will be the top-75 leaders on the Web.com Tour money list, those who finished 126-200 on the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup points list and non-members who have earned enough FedExCup points from their performance on TOUR to place them 126-200 on the official FedExCup points list.
The 50 players who earn their membership will be next in priority for PGA TOUR tournament fields following the top 125 from the previous season’s FedExCup Points List and other exempt eligibility categories. The race for the 2014 FedExCup will begin in October 2013 and conclude in late September 2014 with the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
“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.”
I need some time to process and I wanted to publish this ASAP, but at first glance, I was pleasantly surprised — because my expectations were so low — and then I was still a a tad skeptical. I’m not in love with the part that the players finishing in the top 25 on the web.com Tour money list, with the exception of No. 1 earner, will have to fight for their “priority” rank, in the three-tournament series at the end of the year.
However, that’s not the end of the world. I’m just glad they’re awarding 25 cards to the web.com Tour guys. More than we thought!
Otherwise, it sounds kind of like Q-school — which is cool — but it’ll be tougher for international players and college/amateur stars. In other words, it’s more of a closed shop (which we all knew would happen).
On the other hand, college players will have all summer to try and get 7 sponsor’s exemptions and earn enough money to get inside the top 200 on the PGA Tour money list and snag a spot in the three-tourney series. Or they can do the same thing on the web.com Tour and finish in the top 75. So I guess they still have a shot even if it’s not ideal.
I know, I know, the players that are good enough will still find a way to make it to the PGA Tour.
Here’s some suggested background reading: