PGA reveals new qualifying method

Ponte Vedra Beach - US PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem revealed on Tuesday the new system under which 50 players will qualify for the tour starting in 2013 through a developmental tour.

The system diminishes the importance of the season-ending qualifying school tournament in favour of awarding spots on the subsequent season's tour to top season and late-season players on the developmental Tour.

The top 125 finishers on the PGA season money list will continue to earn berths for the following season.

Starting in 2013, the PGA will also award tour spots for the following season to the top 25 finishers on the Tour season money list.

Another 25 spots will be available to the top finishers in the Tour Finals, three $1-million season-ending tournaments in September.

Those fields will include top-75 money-list players, those from 126-200 on the PGA Tour playoff season points and non-members whose season performance would have put them between 126-200 in points.

From that lineup, the top players from the developmental series and the least-successful players from the PGA level will face a showdown over several weeks for the last available PGA spots in the subsequent season.

Starting next year, the PGA plans to begin its seasons in October and conclude with the PGA playoffs in the following September.

“With the Tour becoming the pathway to the PGA Tour, it was important to continue rewarding season-long performance on the Tour,” Finchem said.

“We wanted to create a system that would award additional PGA Tour cards based on a player's performance in a series of season-ending tournaments.

“We wanted it to be objective and equitable to all competitors and be easy to understand. This structure accomplishes that.”

Qualifying school will still exist, but it will now bring top finishers only berths in the Tour, not the US PGA Tour. - Sapa-AFP

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