NORTON, Mass. – Although a final decision doesn’t seem imminent, last week’s season-ending meeting of the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council was a step forward for a proposal that would dramatically change the way players earn Tour cards.
Numerous versions of the proposal, which would create a playoff-like race which would combine the top players from the regular-season Nationwide Tour money list with the bottom of the PGA Tour money list that would serve as the primary avenue to “Big League” membership, were reviewed by the PAC, but the final product remains elusive.
“Everyone is interested in the Tour preparing different proposals, different scenarios,” said PAC member Ben Crane. “Are the top 10 players on the (regular season) Nationwide Tour money list safe (to earn their Tour cards), should it be top 15? Do we go with money, do we go with points?”
The potential volatility of a points race, similar to what is used for the FedEx Cup playoffs, was a primary concern for players. A player, for example, who finishes the regular Nationwide Tour season in the top 5 will likely be assured one of the 50 Tour cards at the end of the three-event series. Similarly, it will be difficult to reach a consensus on how to seed players from two tours for the “Finals Series.”
Although the year’s final Policy Board meeting will be held after the Tour Championship there likely will not be a final product before 2012, but Crane felt the circuit is moving closer to a final product.
“We went into the meeting with an idea of what was going to be presented and now we need to meet again,” Crane said. “We want to get it right.”