Here's the deal: the Tour was going to create a new qualifying system that put 50 Tour cards up for grabs in one hell of an awkward and tense three-tourney battle between the best Nationwide players and the worst, from a money perspective, on the PGA Tour each year.
As for Q-School? Forget jumping straight from there to the Tour; the new rules would force players to go to the Nationwide Tour, no matter what. Currently, 25 Tour cards are available through Q-School, with another 25 available to the top Nationwide money winners.
But as Golfweek reports, the new plan won't be implemented until 2013 at the earliest, thanks to the necessity of overhauling schedules and setting up seeding methods.
So why the changes? Money, of course. Nationwide is scheduled to end its sponsorship of the Nationwide Tour at the end of 2012, and a new umbrella sponsor would love the assurances of exposure that would come from routing the best college players to at least a year of the developmental tour. (Aside: naming rights for the tour are still available. Save those pennies.)
Now, as Golfweek notes, the Tour of course has more altruistic reasons for wanting the change, preparing players for the grind of the PGA Tour and not rewarding them for playing one great week and so on. Sure, it's easy to be cynical about this, but we will say that the proposed "fight for your professional life" three-tournament battle has the potential to be a lot more fascinating than the battle-of-millionaires FedEx Cup. Now if they would just set loose a couple grizzly bears on the course, we'd be set.
- PGA Tour
- Nationwide Tour