Follow The Money: PAC Okays Sweeping PGA Tour Changes

Doug Ferguson reports that the PGA Tour Player Advisory Council rolled over became convinced to scrap Q-School for the PGA Tour to help attract a title sponsor for the Nationwide Tour. The rationale, not surprisingly, came down to money.

It’s about making the fall tournaments relevant, and the only way to do that is to include them in the FedEx Cup season. Otherwise, the likelihood is they would go away.

BTW, I've yet to hear a satisfying answer as to why the fall events could not be flipped with the current FedExCup dates so that the playoffs are going up against the middle of football season instead of their opening weekends when interest is higher. That would make the fall events the final events prior to the playoffs, and still leave most of November and December open.

Anyway, back to the money...I mean the charitable donation options...

That equates to as much as $24.3 million in prize money, not to mention the loss in charity money, the backbone of the PGA Tour.

“We’d be the first professional sport to vote down money,” said Joe Ogilvie, part of the 16-member PAC. “That’s what we would be doing if we voted it down. When you put it in those terms, a lot of guys went from, ‘We shouldn’t do this’ to ‘You kind of have to.’”

Even worse than changing Q-School and introducing a skimpy-on-details three-week playoff system to play your way onto the PGA Tour (so much for the Nationwide season-long "body of work" is better than three-weeks of golf argument!), this means the PGA Tour goes to a "fiscal year" schedule.

Year-round PGA Tour golf "that matters."

Ferguson reveals something that absolutely floors me. This is information I was not aware of when writing a Golf World Voices item last week (not posted online) about the negative impact this will have on the West Coast Swing.

According to two people apprised of the conversations, one option is to move the Match Play Championship to Harding Park in San Francisco — and move it from late February to October as part of the fall start to the season.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss negotiations. Both stressed that the option was in the early stages of consideration.

If that were to happen, it would give the fall start to at least two World Golf Championships (HSBC Champions in China is the other), which would be hard for players to turn down. Also, the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico — held opposite the Match Play this week — is getting its own spot on the calendar, most likely toward the end of the year — again, in the fall start to the season.

However, such a move might create problems for the West Coast Swing, a key stretch in setting the tone for the year. Four of the West Coast events don’t conflict with the NFL, and all of them are prior to March Madness.

When is the offseason?

That'll be January for sure and maybe part of February.

Tim, I have 42 on line 1 and he wants to know why we have no one in the World Top 25 this year for the Humana. And Jerry West is on line 2 to report that he got his first top 20 player to commit verbally! Who do you want first?  Who? No, Joe Louis Barrow hasn't called today with an update on the goal to raise $100 million...

Still, if players add tournaments in the fall, some could take time off in the early part of the following year. Kuchar played the Australian Open and the Presidents Cup in Australia, the World Cup in China, and then the Chevron World Challenge in California.

“I like my time off,” Kuchar said. “This year on the West Coast, I’ve just been getting my feet wet. I’ve only played two events. I just didn’t think I had much of an offseason.”

I never thought I'd see the day they'd kill the West Coast Swing to save the Fall Finish.