Out with the old and in with the new. The old 6-round Q-School is a thing of the past replaced by a four-tournament, Web.com Tour scheme to determine who gets PGA Tour cards for the 2013-2014 season.
The truth be told, the old Q-School wasn’t just 6 rounds. For some who had no professional experience in PGA Tour sanctioned events or a major international tour, it involved four stages: Pre-qualifying, First Stage, Second Stage and the Finals. That was 17 rounds from September to late November. Pre-qualifying was 3 rounds, First and Second stages were 4 rounds and the Finals, 6.
So we still have a comparable amount of golf, it’s just all going to be squeezed into five weeks beginning Thursday:
Aug 29 – Sep 1: – Hotel Fitness Championship, Sycamore Hills GC, Fort Wayne, IN
Sep 5 – 8: – Chiquita Classic, River Run CC, Davidson, NC
Sep 12 – 15: – Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, The OSU GC – Scarlet, Columbus, OH
Sep 19: Open Week
Sep 26 – 29: – Web.com Tour Championship, Dye’s Valley Course, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
There will be 150 players eligible for each field consisting of the Top 75 players on this year’s Web.com Tour and 75 players who finished No. 126 to 200 on this year’s PGA Tour FedExCup points list.
Some of the players in this latter category have elected not to play in this first tournament; there are only 129 in the field. They may just be resting up, but more likely, they are content to campaign next year from their 126 to 200 status in hopes of playing well enough in fewer starts to earn their cards back.
The Top 25 on the Web.com Tour list have already locked up their PGA Tour cards. They are merely playing for their priority rankings for next year. So number one on the list has to keep playing well to be guaranteed his high spot in the pecking order for getting into each Tour event.
Everyone else is playing for the remaining 25 Tour cards that will be granted at the end of the Web.com Tour Championship.
There are some familiar names from the Web.com list, most, but not all, former Tour players trying to recapture their games:
Michael Putnam, Ben Martin, Edward Loar, Jamie Lovemark, Daniel Chopra, Matthew Goggin, Patrick Cantlay, Alexandre Roche, Will Mackenzie, Billy Hurley III, Spencer Levin, Jason Gore, Len Mattiace, Alex Cejka, Joe Durant and Bob Tway’s son, Kevin
There are more familiar names from those who came off the PGA Tour list, none bigger that former Masters winner, Trevor Immelman. In addition to him, the most notable would be:
Brad Fritsch, Bud Cauley, Ricky Barnes, Chad Campbell, Ryo Ishikawa, Brandt Jobe, Robert Karlsson, Sean O’Hair, Nick O’Hern, Cameron Beckman, Colt Knost, Chris DiMarco, Tim Petrovic, Rod Pampling, Heath Slocum and Kevin Na
Plus, and this is admittedly a little bit “in the weeds,” there were three players in the 126 to 200 who were non-members of the Tour but made enough money to be included:
Marcel Siem, Peter Tomasulo and Jeff Klauk
And finally, there are five very familiar Tour names who will be playing on medical extensions:
Kris Blanks, Steve Marino, Scott McCarron, Arron Oberholser and Jhonattan Vegas
So good luck, one and all. Play well and take heart that you’re good enough to be playing at this level. You’re not just coming off the streets. Show us whatcha got and just enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’re one of the best players in the game.