While 24 PGA Tour veterans are positioning themselves in Naples, Florida to take a piece of the Franklin Templeton Shootout purse (the team of Jason Day and Cameron Tringale has a 2-shot lead over Harris English and Matt Kuchar), 150 PGA Tour wannabes and wannabes-again have teed it up in Palm Beach Gardens to lock up the only way to the PGA Tour these days, a Web.com Tour card.
They are playing six rounds with no cut at PGA National on the Champion (home of the Bear Trap) and Fazio courses. They have to play as well as they can because not only do they get a Web.com card, they get a priority ranking based on their finish at Q-School. That ranking can exempt them from the periodic reshuffles; for the medalist, all year long. For those finishing 2nd through 10th, the third periodic reshuffle; 11th though 45th, the second reshuffle.
Professional golf is one huge meritocracy. Shoot the numbers and make money or go home. As the tournaments unfold, the winnings are tallied. All the players begin with their earned priority ranking (the pecking order for getting into tournaments) from Q-School. At the first reshuffle, the then current money list determines the new priority rankings. If you are not playing well and not exempt from the reshuffles, you could cascade right down the money list and, with each reshuffle, cascade your way out of being able to get into hardly any tournaments. You can’t make money if you can’t play.
A lot of pressure unless you have the discipline not to think about it, one of the first skills of the golf mastery process. A better thing to think about is one day becoming one of those seasoned veterans in Naples.