At least the Commish was honest about the reason for the convoluted, as-yet-determined PGA Tour playoff system that will replace Q-School in 2013. It was a business decision. I would have been worried if he thought this was a better way to graduate players or to sift through the 126-and-beyond players to form the strongest possible tour each year.
The transcript of Wednesday's Web.com announcement is here, if you have a few hours to read through the introductory remarks of Brown and Finchem.
The central question was asked about the new PGA Tour qualifying process, and out of it we learn that it sounds like Web.com came along only recently. And more impressively, the honest answer that this new fall finish/playoff for livelihoods was driven by the sponsors and is not necessarily what is best for feeding players to the PGA Tour. At least the Commish admitted the sponsors drove him to this.
TIM FINCHEM: I agree. I don't have much to add to that. We were way down the road before these discussions began. I think because of the things that David said, though, that going forward the way the structure will be starting next year is more of an integration with the PGA TOUR, which is kind of what prior sponsors of this TOUR have always talked about. They'd like to see a closer relationship. David saw that given the restructure, and it's something that'll be part of where this TOUR is now.
But these negotiations had little to do with the direction of the restructure. This has been going on for 16 months.
Worse, check out the options for the new PGA Tour-Web.com season ending playoff at this point, as outlined by Doug Ferguson in his story today.
In one model, the top 15 players from the Web.com Tour would start the three-tournament series with whatever money they earned that year. It would be enough money to guarantee their cards. Everyone else would start from scratch, meaning 35 cards would be up for grabs.
Make $800k on the PGA Tour playing against Tiger and Rory, and start from scratch against guys who were playing against weaker fields. Yes, that makes sense.
In the second model, the top 25 players from the Web.com Tour would be guaranteed their cards. They would join the others in the three-tournament series, with everyone starting from scratch, so only 25 cards would be at stake. The only thing the top 25 players from the Web.com Tour could lose, even if they missed every cut, would be their priority ranking for getting into tournaments.
Oh fans can really wrap their arms around that one!
Let's face it, we'll never figure this one out. And that's just the way the algorithm writers like it. Unfortunately, sports fans don't like their competitions decided by beancounters.
Steve DiMeglio includes some eye-opening comments from Web.com CEO David Brown about his business.
"But we believe that mass adoption of the internet by small businesses is happening now, so now we think it's time to strike. We looked through all the different opportunities, and we felt that the PGA Tour was the best opportunity not only to create a voice in the marketplace but to create a positive voice. That professionalism, that integrity, that dedication that is associated with PGA Tour, that's what we are, as well. And we want that to rub off on us as we build our brand in the marketplace."
I'm sorry, is it 2005 again?
And the video: