PGA Tour considers change of season-ending format

By Doug FergusonMarch 22, 2011, 1:29 am

PGA Tour (75x100)ORLANDO, Fla. – The PGA Tour is considering a change to the end of its season in which players who don’t make the FedEx Cup playoffs would compete for their cards in a series of tournaments against top Nationwide Tour players.

PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw confirmed the policy board has given preliminary approval to the concept, although it is in the early stages of discussion. The tour began informing players by memo late Monday afternoon.

Another change being contemplated is Q-school at the end of the year providing access only to the Nationwide Tour.

“There are still a number of steps,” Votaw said.

The tour has been looking at ways to strengthen the Nationwide Tour, its developmental circuit. It is looking for a new umbrella sponsor, because Nationwide has said it would not renew its contract after 2012.

Under the preliminary plan, the top 125 on the FedEx Cup standings after the Wyndham Championship would advance to the playoffs and compete for $35 million in bonus money, with $10 million for the winner.

Those who don’t make the top 125 would have the option of playing a series of three tournaments along with top Nationwide Tour players. Those tournaments also would have a points structure, and it would determine who gets PGA Tour cards the following season.

Among the numbers being mentioned for the three-tournament series is 75 players from the FedEx Cup standings and the top 50 players from the Nationwide Tour money list, with the top 50 players from that series earning their cards.

“The number from the Nationwide that goes to the three-tournament series hasn’t been determined yet,” Votaw said. “And the question of how many cards has not been, either.”

If the plan goes through, that means players could no longer go straight from Q-school to the PGA Tour. If a player doesn’t make the FedEx Cup playoffs and doesn’t make it through the three-tournament series, he still could compete the following year on limited status as a past champion or depending on how high he finished beyond the top 125. That part wouldn’t change.

The PGA Tour over the past several years has been awarding more cards through the Nationwide Tour money list than those who make it through six rounds of Q-school. It feels players are more prepared for the big leagues after going through an entire season of traveling and trying to make cuts in the minors.

Such a change, however, would eliminate dreams of long shots who go make it through Q-school, some of them fresh out of college, others who have toiled through mini-tours.

J.B. Holmes and Dustin Johnson are among those who went straight from college and made it through Q-school, then won in their rookie season. A year ago, Rickie Fowler went from Q-school to a spot on the Ryder Cup team.

Some tour officials feel those players are exceptions, and that the quality of fields would be strengthened.

It also would add a layer of drama to the end of the year – PGA Tour players who struggled and Nationwide Tour players who performed well, meeting in a cutthroat series of events.

Still to be determined is how the Fall Series, which typically is held after the FedEx Cup, would be effected.

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Watch: Pieters snaps club ... around his neck

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 1:19 pm

After opening in 3-over 75, Thomas Pieters was in no mood for more poor play on Friday.

Unfortunately for Pieters, he bogeyed two of his first three holes in the second round of the BMW PGA Championship and then didn't like his second shot at the par-5 fourth.

Someone - or some thing - had to pay, and an innocent iron bore the brunt of Pieters' anger.



Pieters made par on the hole, but at 5 over for the tournament, he was five shots off the cut line.

It's not the first time a club has faced Pieters' wrath. 

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Woods would 'love' to see Tour allow shorts

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:59 pm

Players on the European Tour are allowed to wear shorts during practices and pro-ams.

The PGA of America permitted players to show some leg while prepping for last year’s PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods would like to see the PGA Tour follow suit.

"I would love it," he said Thursday in a Facebook Live with Bridgestone Golf. "We play in some of the hottest climates on the planet. We usually travel with the sun, and a lot of our events are played in the summer, and then on top of that when we have the winter months here a lot of the guys go down to South Africa and Australia where it's summer down there.

"It would be nice to wear shorts. Even with my little chicken legs, I still would like to wear shorts."

Caddies are currently allowed to wear shorts on Tour, during events.

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Feasting again: McIlroy shoots 65 to lead BMW PGA

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:04 pm

Updated at 9:42 a.m. ET

Rory McIlroy made seven birdies and no bogeys on Friday for a 7-under 65 and the second-round lead at the BMW PGA Championship.

After opening in 67, McIlroy was among the early groups out on Day 2 at Wentworth Club. He made three birdies and no bogeys on the par-35 front nine on Friday, and then went on a run after the turn.

McIlroy made four consecutive birdies, beginning at the par-5 12th. That got him to 12 under, overall, and gave him a clear advantage over the field. With two closing par-5s, a very low number was in sight. But, as he did on Day 1, McIlroy finished par-par.

"I've made four pars there [on 17 and 18] when I really should be making at least two birdies, but I played the other par-5s well," McIlroy said. "It all balances itself out."


Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship


McIlroy has made 14 birdies and two bogeys through two rounds. At 12 under, he has a three-stroke lead over Sam Horsfield.

"The work has paid off, to some degree," McIlroy said of his practice with swing coach Michael Bannon. "I still feel like I'm hitting some loose shots out there. But, for the most part, it's been really good. If I can keep these swing thoughts and keep going in the right direction, hopefully this is the type of golf I'll be able to produce."

This event has been feast or famine for McIlroy. He won here in 2014, but has three missed cuts in his other three starts. This week, however, he’ll be around for the weekend and is in position for his first European Tour victory since the 2016 Irish Open and his second worldwide victory of the year (Arnold Palmer Invitational).

"I have the confidence that I'm playing well and I can go out and try to just replicate what I did the day before," McIlroy said about his weekend approach with the lead. "On the first tee box tomorrow I'll be thinking about what I did today. Trying to just keep the same thoughts, make the same swings. I went a couple better today than I did yesterday. I'm not sure I'll keep that progression going but something similiar tomorrow would be nice."

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Goat visor propels Na to Colonial lead

By Will GrayMay 25, 2018, 1:29 am

Jason Dufner officially has some company in the headwear free agency wing of the PGA Tour.

Like Dufner, Kevin Na is now open to wear whatever he wants on his head at tournaments, as his visor sponsorship with Titleist ended earlier this month. He finished T-6 at the AT&T Byron Nelson in his second tournament as a free agent, and this week at the Fort Worth Invitational he's once again wearing a simple white visor with a picture of a goat.

"I bought it at The Players Championship for $22 with the 30 percent discount that they give the Tour players," Na told reporters. "It's very nice."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Perhaps a change in headwear was just what Na needed to jumpstart his game. Last week's result in Dallas was his first top-35 finish in his last six events dating back to February, and he built upon that momentum with an 8-under 62 to take a one-shot lead over Charley Hoffman after the first round at Colonial Country Club.

While many sports fans know the "GOAT" acronym to stand for "Greatest Of All Time," it's a definition that the veteran Na only learned about earlier this year.

"I do social media, but they kept calling Tiger the GOAT. I go, 'Man, why do they keep calling Tiger the GOAT? That's just mean,'" Na said. "Then I realized it meant greatest of all time. Thinking of getting it signed by Jack (Nicklaus) next week (at the Memorial)."