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Players pushing for changes to Finals Tour
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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – While the new Tour Finals appear to have won over the support of the majority of pros competing in it, there are some tweaks being pushed for within the ranks.

After Sunday’s conclusion of the Tour Championship, 50 PGA Tour cards will be awarded, with half of them having already been secured by the top 25 money winners from the Tour’s regular season. The other 25 cards come off the money list from the Tour Finals, which replaced Q-School this year as the PGA Tour’s system for doling out cards.

Last year, the PGA Tour awarded cards to the top 25 on the Tour’s season-ending money list. They also awarded cards to the top 25 at Q-School.

This year, the system for awarding cards was revamped. The PGA Tour put the top 75 players from the Tour regular-season money list and the players who finished Nos. 126-200 on the PGA Tour money list together to compete in the Tour Finals.

With this new system, the top 25 money winners from the Tour regular season aren’t required to play the Finals to win cards, but they continue to play for priority ranking access to the PGA Tour next season.

In the past, Tour and Q-School card winners alternated priority ranking positions. The Tour’s leading money winner received the highest priority ranking among the 50 card winners in a category all his own. The Q-School winner got the next highest ranking. Q-School and Tour card winners alternated priority ranking positions all the way through the 50 card winners.

“The whole ranking thing now, I think they dropped the ball on that a little bit,” said Chesson Hadley, who otherwise raves about the Finals as a better way than Q-School.

Hadley and other Tour players competing this week are pushing for the Tour regular season to somehow be more favorably rewarded in the Finals. Hadley and others don’t like the idea that a player who battled all year long to claim second on the Tour regular-season money list could end up No. 49 or No. 50 on the priority ranking list when the Finals are over.

While Michael Putnam is guaranteed a No. 1 priority ranking as the leading money winner in the Tour’s regular season, the rest of the priority rankings are determined by money won at the Finals.

“I think it’s a little unfair that guys who finished 26th, 27th or 28th [on the regular-season money list] and guys who finish 75th start the same at Finals,” said Adam Crawford, who finished 71st on the Tour regular season money list to just squeeze into the Finals. “You might finish second on the regular season money list, have a little injury for the Finals and end up with the last card.

“You come second on the Tour over the course of the year, I think you should be rewarded for that.”

A PGA Tour pro could make the same argument for the guy who just misses keeping his card finishing 126th on the PGA Tour money list.