Tour Considers Fall Start To Season

PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem has hit on a couple of interesting—and I think terrific ideas.

The first is to start the PGA Tour season in the fall, after the Tour Championship. The impetus apparently was to give the HSBC Champions event equal status with the other WGC events, but it makes sens on other ways, too. I’ve never understood why the season continued after the Tour Championship. That was always a bit like having several more games after the Super Bowl. This puts the season in a more logical sequence.

Just as interesting are the proposed revisions to the whole Q School concept. In the new format, the fall series would feature Tour Players and Nationwide veterans trying to get their cards. Q School would only qualify a player for the Nationwide Tour.

Combine the two, and you have a way to rejuvenate the entire Tour. The season ends in August, and the fall series then becomes a multi-week Q School.  Rather than an afterthought, the fall series becomes a play-in. The schedule then lends itself to all kinds of interesting story lines, such as the player who battles to get his regular card in the Fall, then goes on to make the playoffs in the SAME SEASON.

The GolfBlogger doesn’t get a vote on this, but if I did, it’d be a big yes.


The PGA TOUR no longer is looking for new tournaments in Asia as it considers revamping the schedule so that a new season would start in the fall after the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup is over.

PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem said Sunday that if players approve the idea of a fall start to the season, then it would be easy to give the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions equal status as the other three World Golf Championships. That would include making prize money official.

That would give the PGA TOUR two Asia stops—the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic in Malaysia and the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions—which Finchem feels is adequate combined with the domestic tournaments.

The earliest a fall start could happen is 2013, and Finchem said much of that depends on a player meeting in January at Torrey Pines and the next PGA TOUR Policy Board meeting in March.

“We have a combination set of changes in front of the players that would relate to restructuring the Nationwide Tour and maybe restarting the season in the fall,” Finchem said. “If we go down that road, it makes it a lot easier. And that’s the road I’d like to go down.”

Later this month, The Presidents Cup takes place in Australia. In 2013, the biennial event will be held on U.S. soil at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio. As of now, the site for the 2015 event has not been determined. With the PGA TOUR having just completed its two-week swing through Asia, Commissioner Tim Finchem said there is strong interest in having the 2015 event in the region.

PGA TOUR officials have been studying a concept that would merge top Nationwide Tour players with PGA TOUR players who fail to qualify for the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. They would play their own series of events to determine who gets PGA TOUR cards for the following season, while qualifying school would offer Nationwide Tour cards.

If that happens, a new season could start with what is now the Fall Series, and it would include Malaysia and Shanghai. Both tournaments would offer official money and FedExCup points toward the following year.

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