coming soon: the ‘finals series’
whatever one might think of the points system and playoffs for the pga tour’s
fedex cup, there are marketing and branding elements that can’t be dismissed.
thus, it should come as no surprise that the plan to revamp the current feeder
systems into the tour—via the nationwide tour and q school—incorporates a
similar points race. the rough proposal given to the 16-member player advisory
council last week at the heritage entails a late-season three-tournament “finals
series” in which top nationwide players (above) and pga tour players who fail
to finish the regular season in the top 125 would vie for 50 tour cards. q-school
grads would go straight to the nationwide tour. the plan also might cause the
pga tour to begin its season in the late fall and carry over into the following cal-
endar year, just like the european tour has done. nothing occurs before 2013, and
there’s a reason for that: that’s when nationwide bows out as umbrella sponsor
of the secondary tour. this plan is being proposed to make the pga tour stronger.
but there are also tV money and sponsor deals at stake. it could be a win-win deal
if the particulars are ironed out. let’s hope, however, it doesn’t take years of tinker-
ing to get the right formula. unlike the fedex cup, which essentially left the tour’s
competitive structure intact, the arc of a player’s career is directly at stake here.
an adverse outcome doesn’t help sell anything. —D.S.
chris condon/pga tour
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