Adam Schupak has covered Q-Schools and now his first WTF Championship and after seeing courtesy cars in the TPC Sawgrass lot, knew he was covering something not necessarily better than the old Q-School.
The problem with the Web.com Tour Championship, with its $1 million purse, is it feels too much like another ho-hum event. Q-School, on the other hand, felt like life or death.
Paul Azinger, the 1984 medalist, once described it as “climbing up a cactus backwards, naked.” Erik Compton said, “it was no place for women or children,” and Joe Ogilvie said, “Shakespeare would have written one hell of a tragedy here.”
The PGA Tour has sucked much of the drama out of earning a Tour card. Under the new scenario, 25 cards will go to the top money winners off the Web.com Tour Finals money list after Sunday who haven’t already secured a card. So many of the cards already have been wrapped up that only 10 to, at most, 14 are really up for grabs this week.
And for those who make the understandable argument that Q-School was not so great either, Schupak touches on the more important ramification of this: the death of free market golf.
The long-held criticism of the Tour’s top-125 exempt format is that it created a welfare state – a well-compensated one at that. The players who finished Nos. 126-200 on the PGA Tour and Nos. 26-75 on the Web.com Tour to qualify for the Finals already proved they aren’t good enough for the Tour. By limiting the opportunity to this group, the Tour has never looked more like a closed shop. It creates a self-fulfilling prophecy: too many re-treads.
“Every year, there were players that came out of Q-School that impacted the PGA Tour,” Chamblee said. “Now, you’re literally costing these players a year of their career."
In case you care, Jeff Shain has the lowdown on the bubble boys heading into to the final round.
Golf Channel starts coverage at 2:30 ET with a Golf Central pre-game followed by the telecast from Ponte Vedra Beach.