The PGA Tour is prepared to share its final vision for awarding playing privileges through the Nationwide Tour and Q-School, according to Nationwide Tour president Bill Calfee.
In a meeting with the players at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego in two weeks, the Tour will share its proposed details on a plan to change how players earn PGA Tour cards exclusively through the developmental tour.
“Because the Nationwide Tour is so competitive, its players so good and the system makes so much sense in their development of players getting to the PGA Tour, we’re at the point where we’re going to combine [how cards are awarded],” Calfee said Tuesday at TPC Potomac.
Beginning in 2013, a total of 50 PGA Tour cards will be awarded through a three-tournament series on the Nationwide Tour schedule. Q-School will only offer status on the Nationwide Tour.
The top 75 players from the Nationwide Tour money list and the first 75 players who fail to qualify for the PGA Tour playoffs will be a part of the series. In addition, Calfee said a number of top amateurs or collegiate players could be invited to take part in the series.
“It’s kind of like our form of the FedEx Cup, in some ways,” he said.
A point of contention with the proposed change has been how players would be seeded. The Tour has a recommendation for seeding in mind, but will discuss the specifics of a couple of plans. Additionally, it is unclear whether money earned in the series or a points system will be used to determine the top 50 players.
The trio of events which make up that series will fall under the Nationwide Tour schedule, but Calfee said the schedule could be modified to determine which three events comprise the series. The Nationwide Tour Championship, however, will be the final event which determines the top 50 players.
After the meeting at Torrey Pines, the concept will be taken to the Tour Board. It has approved the structure of the concept, but needs to ratify the final details.
The new title sponsor of the Nationwide Tour will have their name attached to the series, similar to the relationship FedEx has with the PGA Tour playoffs. As for who that sponsor will be, Calfee said the tour has two “very serious candidates” and expects to make an announcement in the next 30-60 days.