As the inevitable (and certainly understandable) cries of “that’s what Q-School was for” tumble in, the PGA Tour’s exploratory look into a system that feeds college players to their various tours is being met with expected criticism. As someone who loved Q-School (and wrote many blog posts in favor of saving it), the criticisms are legitimate from the geezers who remember the old system (Brentley Romine reports for GolfChannel.com).
That said, the ship on a proper calendar year schedule has sailed until fall sponsors realize they are badly overpaying for very small audiences.
In the meantime, college players, who make up the majority of polished, long-term PGA Tour players that fans get to know and watch grow old because they arrive on tour a complete player, are turning pro earlier than ever.
Check out Romine’s latest exclusive for GolfChannel.com on Alabama losing senior Davis Riley a semester short of getting a degree and finishing off a storied career for the Crimson Tide. Of all the players I saw at the U.S. Amateur, Riley was the most polished and complete. Maybe he didn’t have the extreme upside of eventual winner Viktor Hovland or runner-up Devon Bling, but his prospects are certainly strong. And yet, the only reason he’s turning pro can only be chalked up to the current schedule and system that has agents convincing him sponsor’s invites await, setting up Davis to maybe make enough money in 7 starts to earn a card.
This is a longshot players are repeatedly convinced to take by agents and families, with very few succeeding. Which is why any system that encourages players to finish out their careers makes more sense than what we have now.