Many of my fellow scribes seem to be opposed to the PGA Tour’s concept to change the Qualifying School where survivors will get tickets to what now is called the Nationwide Tour instead of the PGA Tour, making good points about how we need to “Keep the Dream Alive” and not keep future stars like Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland, Dustin Johnson and J. B. Holmes from immediate access to the big show.
Currently, the top 25 from the Q-School get their cards along with the top 25 from the season-long Nationwide Tour.
Lanny Wadkins told Jeff Rude the new plan was ridiculous, saying: “Is this an old-boys’ club or who the best players are?”
Agent Rocky Hamric said: “You can’t restrict people like that.”
With a little tweaking that can answer some of the concerns of the critics, a version of the plan can work in my opinion.
Under the plan released to the players in a memo, about 75 players who finish between 126-200 on the PGA Tour and the top 75 from the second tour would compete for the 50 tour cards in a fall series of three events.
Commissioner Tim Finchem said this would enhance the second tour competitively, make it more compelling for television and increase its appeal to sponsors. Nationwide is dropping its sponsorship after next season of what previously was called the Hogan Tour, Nike Tour and buy.com Tour.
I think it would also definitely add some excitement to the falls events that come after the FedEx finals, adding to their importance as they compete against football in the eyes of fans and the media.
However, I’d reduce the 50 to 30 for tour cards from this series and then allow the top 10 from the second tour who have proven themselves over an entire season and the top 10 from the Q-School to also get their opportunities. This way we do not kill the dream.
Are you listening Mr. Finchem?