Notebook: PGA Tour unveils three of four 'Final' events for 2014 cards

Scarlet Course at Ohio State University
Getty Images
The Scarlet Course at Ohio State University will host one of the events that makes up the " Tour Final."
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 | 2:47 p.m.

ATLANTA -- The road to a PGA Tour card will go through Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio -- and a fourth tournament still to be determined.

The PGA Tour announced three new tournaments that will make up the '' Tour Final,'' a series of four events that effectively replaces the old Q-School and will determine which 50 players get full tour cards for the following season.

The fields will be comprised of the top 75 players from the Tour money list, the players who fail to qualify for the FedExCup playoffs (Nos. 126-200 on the points list) and nonmembers who would have earned enough FedExCup points to place them between Nos. 126-200.

Each of the four ''Finals'' events will have a $1 million purse, with the cut made at top 60 and ties.

The Finals will start Aug. 29 with the Hotel Fitness Championship at Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, Ind. The next week will be the Chiquita Classic at The Club at Longview outside Charlotte, N.C., followed by the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship on the Scarlet Course at Ohio State.

The original plan was for three tournaments, but the tour added another tournament to the Finals. That event has not been determined, though it would be played Sept. 26-29, giving the players a one-week break before the last tournament.

All players start from scratch in the Finals, though the top 25 from the Tour regular season will be assured of getting their cards. The next 25 on the list also will get cards. The separate money list from the Finals will determine the pecking order to get into tournaments in the 2013-14 season that begins in October.

The tour said the leading money winner from the Tour regular season, and the leading money winner from the Finals, will be assured of getting in every regular tournament the following year, including The Players Championship.

The idea behind adding a fourth tournament was to bring out the most consistent players.

''With the introduction of this new qualifying process and four Finals events in 2013, the Tour is about to embark on the most exciting era in its 23-year history,'' Finchem said.

The final event would be held a week after the Tour Championship. The new season would start two weeks later.

As for Q-School? That will continue, though only Tour cards will be awarded.

EAST LAKE PERKS: Reaching the Tour Championship is such a big deal that several players were mistaken about the perks. Ryan Moore was only the latest when he mentioned ''getting in the World Golf Championships.''

It only guarantees the Cadillac Championship at Doral. Players have to be among the top 64 in the world next February to get into the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, and they have to win a tournament (depending on its field strength), be in the top 50 or make the Ryder Cup team to play at the WGc-Bridgestone Invitational.

They are exempt to the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open -- but not the PGA Championship, although it's rare that a player at East Lake does not make it into the final major a year later. Players also get in Bay Hill, Colonial, Memorial, AT&T National, along with the CIMB Classic in Malaysia.

DIVOTS: The Volvo Golf Champions on the European Tour will move to its third golf course next year when it goes to Durban Country Club in South Africa. It started in 2011 in Bahrain, and was played this year at Fancourt in South Africa. ... NBC Sports plans to use Colin Montgomerie as an analyst during the Ryder Cup. Montgomerie, who never lost a singles match, was Europe's captain when it won in Wales in 2010. ... Steve Stricker and Hunter Mahan are the only players who have competed in every FedExCup playoff event since it began in 2007.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Seventeen of the 30 players at the Tour Championship will compete in the Ryder Cup next week.

FINAL WORD: ''We got him started playing golf, which was a benefit to a lot of the golfing world because he wasn't a good gambler starting off.'' -- Davis Love III on Michael Jordan.