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Debate continues over NationwideQ-School proposal

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Ty Votaw, the PGA Tour’s executive vice president of communications and international affairs, was asked on Wednesday’s “Morning Drive” show his assessment of Tuesday’s players meeting at the Zurich Classic.

The meeting was called to explain the circuit’s new proposal to realign the Nationwide Tour and the PGA Tour’s Qualifying School Tournament into a season-ending series of events.

“We had a very good dialogue and feedback from a number of corners of the membership at those meetings. We’re going to take that feedback and work through the various issues that were discussed,” Votaw said.

“Our goal is to create a greater connection between play on the Nationwide Tour and play on the PGA Tour. As you know we’ve found experience and performance on the Nationwide Tour prepare players in better ways for their experiences and performances on the PGA Tour.”

The proposal would make almost all access to the PGA Tour through the Nationwide Tour and relegate Q-School to a feeder system for the secondary circuit. The top 50 or 75 players after the Nationwide Tour’s regular season and Nos. 126 to 175 or 200 off the PGA Tour money list would advance to a three-event “Finals Series.” Following the last “Finals Series” event, probably the Nationwide Tour Championship, the top 50 would earn PGA Tour cards.

Not everyone, however, was as optimistic as Votaw. One veteran player refused to attend the meeting saying, “The whole thing is ridiculous. The thought of a guy who has been on Tour for 20 years, has one bad season and can’t get his card back via Q-School, but has to do a penalty year on the Nationwide Tour is ludicrous. The whole point of this proposal is to attract a new sponsor (for the secondary circuit). Seems like a lot of change for that.”

Nationwide will step down as umbrella sponsor of the secondary circuit following the 2012 season.