Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The PGA Tour Qualifying School's second
stage is wrapping up this week with a pair of tournaments in Florida (at the
Southern Hills Plantation Club and the Hombre Golf Club) and one in California
(Bear Creek Golf Club).
In late November-early December, winners from the second stage and certain
exempt players will descend upon PGA West in La Quinta, California, for the Q
School's final stage. Over the course of one, six-day tournament (Nov. 28 -
Dec. 3) some 300-plus golfers will duke it out with the hope of gaining a 2013
PGA Tour Card. Only the top-25 finishers (plus ties) will earn a card.
Sounds like high drama, right? Well, it is; and if this type of high-stakes
competition intrigues you, be sure to tune in, because after this year Q
School will never be the same again.
The official 2013 PGA Tour schedule was released a few weeks ago, shedding
light on some significant changes to the end of season qualifying format;
and Q School was directly affected. Per the new schedule, Q School will still
exist, but it will only serve as an avenue to the developmental Web.com Tour
(formerly Nationwide Tour).
Fortunately, though, for spectators, an even more compelling, high-profile
qualifying event will take its place: the Web.com Tour Finals -- a four-
tournament fall event which will coincide with the FedExCup Playoffs.
Currently, the top-25 golfers on the Web.com money list earn PGA cards for the
following season -- Casey Wittenberg finished at the top of that list this
year. In 2013 this will still be the case, but another 25 cards will be handed
out at the conclusion of the Web.com Tour Finals.
The field for the Finals will consist of the top-75 from the Web.com money
list and golfers Nos. 126-200 on the FedExCup points list, with the 25 PGA
Tour cards going to the highest cumulative earners (excluding the Web.com
regular-season top-25) over the four Finals events.
The cumulative earnings in the Finals will also determine priority for PGA
Tour tournament fields. This means that even though the Web.com regular-season
top-25 will have already earned their cards, they will still need to perform
well in the Finals to better their chances of making the preferred PGA
The top-50 cumulative earners in the Finals will be given tournament priority
following the top-125 from the previous season's FedExCup points list and
other exempt eligibility categories.
It all sounds somewhat convoluted at the moment, but the essential point to
take away is that in 2013 there will be another interesting end-of-season
event in the mix.
The last Web.com Tour Finals tournament will take place a week after the Tour
Championship (the final FedExCup Playoffs event).
So while we say goodbye to the significance of the Q School, we should welcome
the Web.com Tour Finals and look forward more high-stakes fall golf to come.
The Sports Network