Tour considers changing season-ending format

Orange County National was the site of the 2010 PGA Tour Q-School.

Orange County National was the site of the 2010 PGA Tour Q-School.

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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 says the Policy Board has given preliminary approval, although a number of steps remain.

The Tour informed the players by memo Monday.

Also, the annual year-end Qualifying Tournament, known as Q-School, would provide access only to the Nationwide Tour. Traditionally, the top 25 finishers and ties at Q-School have earned their PGA Tour cards.

Nationwide Insurance’s sponsorship of the developmental tour ends after the 2012 season.

According to the memo, a copy of which was obtained by Golfweek, here are the key points in the proposal:

• All PGA Tour cards will be awarded through the Nationwide Tour.

• Similar to the current Nationwide Tour season, players would play season--long to position themselves for PGA Tour cards. However, the season would culminate in a three tournament Finals Series where 50 PGA Tour cards would be at stake.

• The fields for the Nationwide Tour Finals Series would combine the top 75--100 players on the Nationwide Tour at the end of the regular season with PGA Tour players finishing Nos. 126--175 or 126--200 at the end of the PGA Tour regular season.

• Players would be seeded based on season--long performance for the first Finals Series event, and the 50 PGA Tour cards would be determined via a points system used throughout the Finals Series events.

• Q--School would remain in a similar format to its current format, but would award access onto the Nationwide Tour only.

In the memo, commissioner Tim Finchem told players that “the proposed format enhances the Nationwide Tour from a competitive perspective while making it more compelling for television viewers and fans.” He added that the change also “increases the attractiveness of the Nationwide Tour for the umbrella sponsor as well as local tournament title sponsors.”

– The Associated Press contributed

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