The road to the PGA Tour gets longer
BY Bruce Young | 28 Aug 2013
While 150 players will fight out the Web.Com Tour finals starting this week in Fort Wayne in Indiana, for all others who hope for a place on the Web.Com Tour in 2014 and eventually the PGA Tour in 2015, their hopes rely on success at the Web.Com Tour School staged over the next three months.
Reflecting the long road required just to reach the Final Stage of qualifying, pre qualifying for Stage One begins this week at the first of six venues across the USA.
Twelve further venues are then used at Stage One in October, followed by six venues for Stage Two in November and the Final Stage to be played in December at La Quinta in California.
It is not only an extended campaign to get to the Final and beyond but it is an expensive one. Even just to tee it up at the Pre Qualifying is $2,700 but that only gets a player to First Stage if successful. He must then top up his entry fee with another $2500 if he is to remain in the quest for a Finals berth.
For those exempt into the First Stage they will pay $4500, into the Second Stage $4000 and to the Finals $3500. It is therefore not only an expensive process but a nice money spinner for the PGA Tour although its expenses for the golf courses and to staff so many venues is no doubt costly.
At the completion of the Finals all players will earn some form of exemption to the 2014 Web.Com Tour although their ranking on that Tour will be based on where they finished in the Finals.
The most prominent of the Australians having to go through the Web.Com Tour School is Peter Lonard who, after a tough year, needed a top three last week in the last Web.Com Tour event of the regular season in Omaha if he was to gain access to the Web.Com Tour Finals. In a gutsy display Lonard actually moved into 3rd position halfway through his final round before finishing 9th.