“Right now, we continue to have an entry fee at the same level,” said Andy Pazder, the tour’s chief of operations. “One of the factors in setting that is making sure only the high-caliber player enters Q-school who legitimately is competitive at a high level. In some ways, we’re making a player in his mind ask himself if his game is ready to make this kind of commitment.”
Another change this year is the prize money. D.H. Lee won Q-school last year and earned $50,000 (in addition to his PGA Tour card). The winner of this year’s Q-school earns only $25,000.
SEMINOLE: These are good times for American amateurs who are good enough to be selected for the Walker Cup. Golf Digest reported on its website this week that Seminole Golf Club is the latest classic to host the Walker Cup in 2021.
For Seminole, the Donald Ross design along the Atlantic Ocean in South Florida, it will be the first time for a public competition since it opened in 1929.
The course is not long by modern standards _ 6,836 yards all the way back _ but the wind and difficult greens make it a strong test for even the pros. Ben Hogan used to prepare for the Masters every spring at Seminole. The club has a pro-member event each spring, and Rickie Fowler has the low score at 65.
The Walker Cup was played this year at National Golf Links on Long Island. It previously was at Merion in 2009 and Chicago Golf Club in 2005. The next American venue will be Los Angeles Country Club (2017). When held in Britain & Ireland, it has gone to Royal County Down and Royal Aberdeen in recent years. The event next will be played in 2015 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
BIG EASY: The original field for the World Challenge that Tiger Woods hosts each year in California included Ernie Els, who had never played the unofficial event. The Big Easy has kept his streak alive.
He withdrew this week to play the Nedbank Challenge in his native South Africa on Dec. 5-8.
“This tournament holds some really wonderful memories for me and my whole family,” Els said on his website. His staff sent him a list of achievements at the Nedbank Challenge, which included his three wins, record 16 appearances, a 69.93 scoring average and 46 rounds under par.
Els was replaced in the 18-man field at Sherwood Country Club by Dustin Johnson.
For a tournament that counts only toward the world ranking, the World Challenge still managed to attract 18 of the top 29 players in the world.
WELCOME TO THE 60s: Tiger Woods doesn’t play a lot of PGA Tour events where he has all four rounds in the 60s and still doesn’t win. It happened once this year at The Barclays, where he was runner-up. It happened once in 2012 at the Deutsche Bank Championship. Before that, go all the way back to the Tour Championship in 2006.