The top 25 players from the Web.com Tour’s 2013 regular season are assured of getting PGA Tour cards under a new system announced Tuesday that does away with Q-school being a direct path to the PGA Tour.
The PGA Tour ended more than six months of discussions with what it thought was the best plan for awarding privileges.
Starting in September 2013, the top 75 players from the Web.com Tour and the top 75 players who do not qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs — those who are No. 126 through No. 200 in the FedEx Cup standings — will compete in three $1 million tournaments known as “The Finals.”
Players will start from scratch, and the top 50 in Finals money will earn cards.
However, the top 25 from the Web.com Tour regular season will be assured of getting PGA cards, even if they fall out of the top 50 in the Finals.
Olympia’s Andres Gonzales is currently fourth in money on the Web.com Tour, which also will award 25 PGA Tour cards this year.
Next year, the player who leads the Web.com Tour money list in the regular season, and the player who wins the Finals money list, will be exempt into The Players Championship and have the same status as a PGA Tour player who kept his card the previous year.
“We looked at a dizzying number of potential options,” said Andy Pazder, the tour’s chief of operations. “This one provided the best blend of continuing to recognize the seasonal performance of the Web.com Tour. At the same time, it creates a way for the cream to rise over three weeks of head-to-head play.”
The change is part of an overhaul of the PGA Tour season that starting next fall will do away with the money list as a measure of performance.
The FedEx Cup season now ends with the Tour Championship in late September, followed by Fall Series events that give players a chance to finish in the top 125 on the money list. Those who fail go to Q-school, a six-round tournament with 25 cards awarded.
Under the new system, the FedEx Cup still ends at the Tour Championship. The Finals will end the week after the Tour Championship. The next season then starts in October.
Q-school will continue to be held in late fall, but only to award privileges to play on the Web.com Tour.