Even though the 2012 PGA TOUR season wrapped on Sunday, it's time to turn our attention to 2013. You know that there's no such thing as an offseason in this sport.
Below are thresholds on the money list that help define fantasy value. Q-school grads would earn an upgrade to the reshuffle category. Meanwhile, PGA TOUR officials are working on expanding fields next season to help offset the compressed schedule. The residual effect from that is a moving target due to unknown impact on how the fully exempt adjust their schedules.
• 151-200 ... Modicum of status at the end of the line on the PGA TOUR. (For example, Bob Heintz cracked the field at the 2010 Reno-Tahoe Open on merit in this category, and then finished second in the tournament.) More relevantly, golfers in this category are granted a form of status on the Web.com Tour.
• 126-150 ... Conditional status and exempt into the final stage of q-school. Ignoring how the sponsor exemptions are distributed throughout the year, the overall value in this group holds a direct relationship with the increase of daylight hours. Simply, as fields grow, they gain entry into more tournaments on merit. Worst-case scenario, young non-winners are happy to snipe 15 starts, but that's a number that's expected to take a hit with the new vagaries in play in 2013. Regardless, even the deepest of fantasy formats probably don't need to go fishing here. If you do, remain patient until late April when their schedules begin filling up.
• Top 125 ... Fully exempt. Access to all open events. This is the largest pool of talent.
|Rob's fantasy recap|
• Top 80 ... Exempt into the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. It's worth noting that the alternates at Colonial are plucked from an updated FedExCup points list in 2013, not the 2012 money list. Therefore, if golfers outside the top 80 in earnings aren't already exempt into the 2013 Colonial, their counters are reset to zero at the start of the season.
• Top 70 ... Exempt into both the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard and the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. Like Colonial above, the alternates into the API are taken from the 2013 FedExCup points list, not this year's money list. Meanwhile, to fill its field, the Memorial alternates between this year's money list and the 2013 FedExCup points list.
• Top 30 ... Exempt into the Masters.
Now, there is often a handful of golfers already fully exempt next year despite finishing outside the top 125 on the money list. This includes those that will receive Major Medical Extensions (to be announced in the offseason), winners of regular PGA TOUR events in 2010 and winners of all majors since 2008. Below are the list of golfers needing to remain on your draft sheet regardless of their current place on the money list:
• Trevor Immelman (winner of 2008 Masters)
• Angel Cabrera (winner of 2009 Masters)
• Lucas Glover (winner of 2009 U.S. Open) ... He also won the 2011 Wells Fargo Championship, which extended his exemption through 2015.
• Stewart Cink (winner of 2009 Open Championship)
• Y.E. Yang (winner of 2009 PGA Championship)
• Michael Bradley (winner of 2011 Puerto Rico Open)
• Gary Woodland (winner of 2011 Tampa Bay Championship)
Others including Jerry Kelly (126th on the money list), Justin Leonard (140th) and Stuart Appleby (162nd) could burn a career earnings exemption, thus affording fully exempt status. Their decisions must be submitted by Dec. 31.
After the season concludes, please check back periodically for offseason features to help gear up for next season. In fact, the first has alreadypublished for my projections for the 25 graduates of the Web.com Tour.