As the AP reports in detail, he tour is in the process of considering several changes to its season-ending format. One that will surely draw plenty of attention is a plan to make those players who don't reach the FedEx Cup playoffs compete for their cards against top Nationwide players. The top-125 players in points reach the playoffs; everybody else suddenly ends up on the bubble.
Under the proposed change, those players who don't reach the top 125 would compete in a three-tournament series against an as-yet-undetermined number of Nationwide pros. Those who didn't survive the three-tournament series could still get into PGA events through various exemptions.
In a way, it's brilliant, a total meritocracy. It's the equivalent of the English Premier League's relegation, where underperforming teams get bounced to lower leagues and minor league powerhouses get promoted. It's not done often in pro sports because, well, pro teams only want to have to compete so much. (The Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Clippers, say, don't want to have demotion hanging over their heads.)
The other side of the issue, of course, is that it adds even more complexity to an already ridiculously complex process. It will be up to the tour to explain, in probably player-by-player detail, what's necessary for each competitor to remain on tour or move upward.
Another possible change, and one that would have a dramatic effect on the romance of Q School, is the elimination of the possibility of going straight from Q School to the PGA Tour. The change would, in the PGA Tour's estimation, better prepare young pros for the rigors of the tour. But, as the AP notes, players such as J.B. Holmes and Dustin Johnson jumped straight from college to the tour via Q School. Still, anything that raises the overall level of the game is worth consideration.
PGA Tour considers change of season-ending format [AP/Yahoo! Sports]
- PGA Tour
- FedEx Cup