New questions arise from Q-School changes

By March 21, 2012, 1:52 am

The PGA Tour announced Tuesday changes the Policy Board has approved to alter both the tour calendar and the nature of Q-School. Though the foundation for those changes has been given the nod, a number of key questions still have to be answered ' including these top five.

1. What will determine the fully-exempt top 125 players going forward: FedEx Cup points or money earned?

The delineation between qualifying for the PGA Tour Playoffs and the soon-to-be-former Nationwide Tour Final Series is FedEx Cup points. The top 125 get into the Barclays, while the next 75 drop down to the developmental tour for three tournaments.

There were 13 players last season, however, whose status could be in limbo without further details. Seven players outside the top 125 on the money list qualified for the PGA Tour Playoffs. Another half-dozen did not get into the Barclays but were in the top 125 on the money list.

It may wind up that the PGA Tour will have to choose one or the other ' points or money - to determine status. FedEx Cup points would likely win.

2. How will the 150 players in the Finals Series be seeded going into the trio of events?

The idea of throwing 75 PGA Tour players and 75 Nationwide Tour players into the same cauldron has led to conjecture about how the two will be blended and seeded before the Finals Series. Comparing the quality of competition and money earned on the two tours has been a point of contention.

Perhaps a solution would be to offer FedEx Cup points to Nationwide Tour players at a drastically-reduced rate ' perhaps one-fourth of the total for a normal PGA Tour event. Top Nationwide Tour players typically win twice, so they would net 250 FedEx Cup points for the win. The 126th player in FedEx Cup points last year earned 328 points.

Under this idea, a Nationwide Tour player could earn enough FedEx Cup points to get into the top 125, avoid the Finals Series entirely and compete in the playoffs instead. Besides, they would likely otherwise be a lock for a PGA Tour card.

3. Will there be an avenue for amateurs, newly-minted pros and non-members to earn a place in the Finals Series?

Nationwide Tour President Bill Calfee has said a proposal has been made to allow all three niche groups to gain entry if they earn enough points in their limited starts to finish in the top 200 in FedEx Cup points.

If that ultimately is true, amateurs could earn points for their starts on the PGA Tour ' a conundrum unto itself. If an amateur does qualify, it is unclear if such a player must turn pro to compete in the Finals Series or be able to pull a Peter Uihlein and play as an amateur.

The current situation for non-members is clear: if they earn enough money to get inside the top 125 on the PGA Tour money list, they earn full membership for the next season. In the future, this path may fall under the debate to use points or dollars for status.

4. Will PGA Tour players drop down to play Nationwide Tour events to help their chances in earning a PGA Tour card?

If it becomes clear to a PGA Tour player that they will struggle to make the FedEx Cup playoffs, it is conceivable for some that they could choose to play on the Nationwide Tour in the final weeks of the season. By making Nationwide Tour starts, a player could earn enough money to assure a card regardless of the outcome of the Finals Series.

Whether those dollars earned on the Nationwide Tour would be treated as a separate ledger from their FedEx Cup points on the PGA Tour, is also a question ' for players on both tours.

5. Can Nationwide Tour players expect to play for higher purses under the new system?

For PGA Tour players in the Final Series, it could feel like a dip in an ice bath to play for Nationwide Tour purses. In a given week, the difference can be as low as a factor of five and as high as a factor of 10.

How much the players will compete for in the trio of events is still to be determined. The Q-school medalist currently earns $50,000, and the case could be made that earning a PGA Tour card is payment enough.

With more PGA Tour veterans likely taking a detour to the Nationwide Tour, however, they may expect a bump in pay as compensation for their inability to earn back their PGA Tour status through Q-School.

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.