The final version of the PGA Tour Q-School is under way in six first-stage qualifiers. Next week, another eight Stage I qualifiers will place around the nation. Until now the only way to be able to play in the PGA Tour was either to perform within the top 25 players during the entire year at the Web.com Tour (formerly Nationwide Tour), Monday qualify for certain events or go through the rigorous 3 stage PGA Tour Q-School. Tim Finchem and the PGA Tour have indicated that beginning 2013 a new format will be in place:
“….with respect to the qualifying system, the web.com TOUR now becomes the primary pathway to the PGA TOUR, and we think the way the qualifying system is structured now by bringing together the top 75 off the web.com TOUR with an inviting over to the end of that TOUR, the 126 to 200 will be able to do a couple of things. One, we’ll be able to better promote and communicate what pressure there is in qualifying for a PGA TOUR card. In the process, we’re going to have a system that creates a better way to get new, young players some notice and some recognition earlier in the process than they currently do. Because we’ve found that the fans are into the young players and we want to promote them more heavily going forward, and that process is going to allow us to do that. So we’re very excited about those changes for next year…“
In fact; this year will be the final time that qualifying school offers direct access to the PGA Tour. It’s the final time that, in theory, a golfer can go from washing carts to courtesy cars. No more lucky rides to the big tent.