Doug Ferguson has an interesting article on the changes coming to the PGA Tour. The bottom line: Nationwide Tour results and a three tournament playoff series will replace Q School, and the “season” will begin in October rather than January.
There are lots of details yet to worry about, though. The one most difficult to resolve will be who gets into that three tournament series. The Tour’s brass and player representatives are going to find the question difficult to resolve equitably, given the disparate levels of talent. Is a guy who finished 150th on the big Tour more deserving of a spot than the 50th guy on the Nationwide? And what of the top twenty five Nationwide Tour players who already get a pass to the bigs?
I like much of the plan. It never made sense to me that the season ran beyond the Tour Championship. The Fall series was an afterthought lost in the College and NFL seasons. And Q School was never exploited for the drama it could offer.
The new schedule essentially would make the Tour a year-round sport. But that’s ok, because no individual actually will play that much. Most of the star players still will arrange their schedules around the Majors. And they’ll still take several weeks off at a time.
The one downside I see is the continuing weakness of the October – January schedule. Ferguson says that the Tour may combat that by moving the Match Play Championship to the fall. I hope not. I’d hate to see one of the most exciting events in golf competing with Michigan, Alabama, Tom Brady and Tim Tebow.