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Monday, November 28, 2011

What's at Stake for Everyone in the Final Stage

There are several "prizes" to be won at the final stage of Q School.  The Grand Prize comes to those that finish in the Top 25 and ties in the form of fully exempt status on the 2012 PGA Tour, but there are a number of other scenarios that can play out for this week's competitors.

  • Top 25 & Ties - Fully Exempt PGA Tour status, but it's a bit more complicated than that.  Players are ranked based on their Q School finish and the higher they finish within the Top 25, the more tournaments they are able to get in.  For example, someone finished T24th may get in 18 tournaments in 2012, whereas someone finishing T3 may get in 25 tournaments.  That's 7 more chances to cash a check and avoid next year's Q School.  There are also multiple re-shuffles of the order of entry throughout the year, so it's very important to get some early starts and make some early cuts to maintain or improve one's original number.
  • Next 50 and ties after Top 25 and ties -   Receive fully exempt Nationwide Tour status, but once again it's a bit more complicated than that.  About 10 events into the Nationwide season, there is a re-shuffle there as well so it will be important for people in this classification to make some early cuts to maintain their status.
  • All other finishers - Receive conditional Nationwide status based on their order of finish in Q School.  It is extremely important that players in this classification take advantage of all events they get in; especially early, because they could benefit from the re-shuffle or end up lost for the season before it even really gets started. 
For each player, the goal of the week will be a little different.  Some will not be happy with anything less than a T25 or better, whereas others will have a career kick start in the Next 50 and ties.  No matter where  people end up coming out of Q School, equally important (if not more important) is how they perform either on the PGA Tour or Nationwide Tour before the first re-shuffle.

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