Punch Shot: Web.com Finals vs. Q-School?

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 30, 2013, 8:23 pm

The inaugural Web.com Finals have come and gone with 50 players earning their PGA Tour cards for the 2013-14 season on Sunday. And while the new qualifying system is here to stay, there is some debate over whether it is better than the old Q-School. GolfChannel.com writers debate which system they prefer.


There were moments on Sunday afternoon at TPC Sawgrass when the Web.com Tour Championship delivered the kind of excitement we’ve come to expect when players face the ultimate opponent – unemployment. But those moments were few and far between, at least compared to the annual drama Q-School produced.

Andres Gonzales’ plight – a missed 18 footer for par at the last hole that cost him his 2013-14 PGA Tour card – was heartbreak in HD; while Brad Fritsch and Andrew Loupe’s final-round charges were the stuff of legend. But it wasn’t Q-School.

One golf scribe summed up the central difference between the old qualifying process and the new – this season’s four-event Web.com Tour Finals – is that at the Fall Classic you play for score, at the Finals you play for money.

Confusion, more so than a climactic finish, ruled the day on Sunday at TPC Sawgrass, with calculators replacing clinched fists as family and friends tried to track the progress of big league hopefuls. Brendon Todd shot the round of the day (a 5-under 65), but he was already exempt for next season via his finish in the top 25 on the regular-season Web.com Tour money list.

And what drama there was on Sunday at the finale was largely absent for the first three Finals events as a byproduct of the new system’s volatility. Consider that Loupe missed the cut in the first three qualifying events yet earned his card with a tie for sixth at the Tour Championship.

The new system is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean it’s better. 


The Web.com Tour Finals represent a marked improvement, assuming, of course, that the necessary tweaks are made before next fall.

At its core, the Finals better identifies the players that will graduate to the PGA Tour because it is a four-week series, not a six-day marathon. In the old format, with so many good players, with everyone so desperate to secure playing privileges, one poor round could be the difference between competing on the PGA and Web.com tours. Now, players can afford an off-week – or three – and still receive their card.

The tweaks to the current system are obvious: The money breakdown is so drastic that it required players to post only one good finish to lock up their Tour card, and the priority ranking should be skewed more toward the 25 players who earned their card through the season-long money list.

Even so, just like the FedEx Cup, this new series will only get better with age.


After the first implementation of the Web.com Finals, this much is evident to me: It’s a much improved alternative to Q-School.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m neither heartless nor unromantic. I do love the idea that a guy can go from working in a pro shop, then pay his thousands of dollars to play Q-School and be teeing it up alongside the Tigers and Phils of the world a few months later. And really, I wish there were still a few PGA Tour cards – five sounds about right – still handed out at the annual grindfest.

But if the PGA Tour is looking to promote the best players to its most elite circuit, then the Web.com Finals will accomplish that goal. Rather than six rounds in a single location, players are tested during 16 rounds in four different locations. A greater sample size should equal a greater return in talent, too.

This isn’t unique to golf, either. Think about it: If you were running a business and hiring candidates, would you want to promote those who proved their worth over the longer haul or those who showed one brief flash of brilliance? Give me longevity every time.

In golf, many are often reluctant to change, viewing anything new as similarly unsatisfactory. That’s not the case here, though. While the Web.com Finals could use some tweaks, it’s clear that it beats the previous system.


Give me the Web.com Tour Finals with a few tweaks.

And give me Q-School, too.

Hey, if you can have your cake, why not eat it, too?

There was an appeal to the Web.com Tour Finals, though the drama doesn’t build as intensely as it does at Q-School. What drama that exists does unfold with more confusion than Q-School did. That’s where the PGA Tour needs to do some tweaking. How about just giving Tour cards to the top 15 money winners from the Web.com Tour regular season and forego the nonsense of making them play for priority rankings in the Web.com Tour Finals? Give them the top 15 priority rankings from these categories.

After that, stage your Web.com Tour Finals using players who finished Nos. 16-75 on the Web.com Tour regular-season money list with players who finished Nos. 126-200 on the PGA Tour money list and let them play for 25 Tour cards. Priority rank them behind the top 15 from the Web.com Tour regular season.

And then bring back PGA Tour Q-School but cut the cards awarded to 10.

That’s 50 PGA Tour cards won via three different routes. Doing it this way, the Web.com Tour’s regular season would be more justly rewarded, you would still have the new appeal of the Web.com Tour Finals – and you would keep the romantic notion of Q-School where players (including collegians) can come out of nowhere and win a Tour card.

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Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.