The reports that emerged earlier this week stating that the PGA Tour is in talks to create a type of “draft” for collegiate players, granting them status on various levels of the PGA Tour and its feeder Tours for a job well done in college is going over about as well as you’d expect with the older guard.
The majority of the PGA Tour and the PGA Tour Champions rank and file not only had to navigate the uneasy waters of mini and developmental Tours, but also endure the potentially spirit-crushing exercise known as Q-School.
Olin Browne, a three-time PGA Tour winner and current PGA Tour Champions member, voiced his displeasure with the new avenue to the big leagues on social media.
The PGA Tour used to have a pipeline from college to the Tour-it was called Q School. Kids used to be able qualify directly to the PGA Tour but someone changed it so college kids could only qualify for @WebDotComTour. Now they’re trying to reverse that? Brilliant?? Hardly https://t.co/ecYDg7LPPG
— Olin Browne (@OlinBrowne) December 6, 2018
“The PGA Tour used to have a pipeline from college to the Tour,” Browne wrote. “It was called Q-School. Kids used to be able (to) qualify directly to the PGA Tour but someone changed it so college kids could only qualify for (the Web.com Tour). Now they’re trying to reverse that? Brilliant?? Hardly.”
The PGA Tour did away with its Q-School, a six-round qualifying series that handed out 25 Tour cards at the end of the marathon, in 2014. Instead of 25 cards to the Q-School grads and 25 cards to the top Web.com Tour finishers, they introduced the Web.com Tour Finals, which took over the 25 cards handed out by Q-School.
As a result, Q-School still exists in a similar form today with the major exception being that those 25 Tour cards earned from the six grueling rounds only get players Web.com Tour status.
Browne is very close to the debate as his son, Olin Browne, Jr., is teeing it up this week in the Web.com Tour Q-School final stage. And he’s not alone in his thinking. Fellow Champions Tour players John Cook and Bob Estes voiced their support for Browne’s statement on Twitter as well.
— John Cook (@johncookgolf) December 6, 2018
Yep. In 1988, myself, @BMayfairGolf and Larry Silviera all went straight from college to the @PGATOUR. No mini-tours or secondary tour necessary to prepare us. For others, it was a GREAT thing. @GeoffShac
— Bob Estes (@BobEstesPGA) December 6, 2018