PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Following a third-round 78 that dropped Alexandre Rocha into 66th place at the Web.com Tour Championship – only 67 players made the cut – the Brazilian voiced his concern with the new PGA Tour qualifying process.
Rocha told Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman that he felt it was unfair for players who have already secured their Tour card on the regular-season Web.com Tour money list to lose ground in the priority rankings in the four-event Finals series.
Under the new system, the top 25 players in regular-season earnings on the Web.com Tour are assured a PGA Tour card next season, but their priority – which dictates which events they will be able to play – can be impacted by their play in the Finals events.
Jamie Lovemark, for example, finished 12th in regular-season earnings on the secondary circuit to secure his card but hasn’t finished better than 32nd in the Finals and is currently 44th, out of 50, on the priority rankings.
“It is hard to see guys who I beat on the regular-season money list, by a good amount, pass me with one decent finish,” said Lovemark, who is currently alone in fifth place at TPC Sawgrass. “It means I have to have a good finish. But you kind of feel like you should have a little more weight for the top 25 guys (regular-season money winners), but I’m sure that will probably be tinkered with in the future just like we did with the FedEx Cup.”
Kevin Tway may be impacted by the adjustment the most. Tway, who missed the cut at the finale, has earned just $5,600 in the Finals and has slipped to 43rd on the priority list after finishing the year fifth in regular-season earnings on the Web.com Tour.