One of the criticisms of the new qualifying system that will begin this season was that newly minted professionals would not be able to play their way into the Web.com Tour Finals, which will be the primary avenue to PGA Tour membership going forward.
The four-event finals, which will be played opposite the FedEx Cup playoffs, will include the top 75 players from the Web.com Tour regular-season money list and Nos. 126-200 on the regular-season FedEx Cup points list. The top 50 players after the Web.com Tour Championship will earn 2013-14 Tour cards.
Under the new system, Q-School would only offer status on the secondary circuit, which could leave some young players straight out of college or the amateur ranks with few options for direct access to the Big Leagues.
Through the West Coast swing, however, that doesn’t seem to be the case. For example, in four events Patrick Cantlay has earned 75 FedEx Cup points. In 2012, No. 200 on the points list had 78 points, which means Cantlay has likely already secured himself a spot in the Web.com Tour Finals. Danny Lee and Jordan Spieth have also gotten off to strong starts with 59 and 48 points, respectively.
The real litmus test of the new system will occur later this year after the NCAA Championship, when young professionals fresh from college scramble to crack the top 200, or top 75 on the Web.com Tour money list, for a spot in the finals.
This year’s NCAA Championship ends on June 2, 11 weeks before the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs and Web.com Finals.