Nice little debate in this week's SI/golf.com Confidential on Q-School, with Gary Van Sickle taking the case of keeping Q-School. Van Sickle notes that "the real story here is that the PGA Tour is scrambling to find sponsors to replace Nationwide."
To which I ask, is this tour going to collapse without an umbrella sponsor, or are they simply trying to "grow" the "value proposition" of the sponsorship deal. Me thinks the latter.
Anyway, more fun is the debate breaking out between writer Van Sickle and editor Jim Herre. Not surprisingly, the editor gets trounced!
Herre: Q-schoolers doing well is fun, but rare. I don't get all the gnashing of teeth over this change. It's simply part of a plan to grow the Tour, probably in Asia and some day in South America. The PGA Tour has done a tremendous job growing its business. You have to make some changes now and then to do that.
Van Sickle: I can't wait to hear you change your tune when the next real star (like Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson) of amateur/college golf can't get a crack at the PGA Tour in his first year. And we still haven't heard the final details of how this is going to work. If it's anything like the FedEx Cup points system, that's a problem. Rickie Fowler wouldn't have made the Ryder Cup team with this rule in place. He'd likely have been sentenced to the Nationwide Tour that year instead.
Herre: Big deal.
Van Sickle: Fowler is one of the top three stars on the PGA Tour now. I think that is a big deal. Why would the Tour want to delay good players from getting to the show?
Herre: If you're that big a star coming out of college, you're still allowed seven exemptions, right?
Van Sickle: Yes, but Rickie waited to play in the Walker Cup in August. Now that the Fall series is disappearing, there are only three or four events left that a player could get in. If you turn pro after the NCAA championship in June, you might be able to land seven exemptions, but you'd have to get one almost every week.
Fine match gentlemen. Now, can we give you a ride in since the 12th green is the farthest point from the clubhouse!