As PGA Tour Q-School returns for the first time in more than a decade later this year, it will be played in familiar territory.
GolfChannel.com has learned that TPC Sawgrass will host the qualifying tournament in conjunction with nearby Sawgrass Country Club, according to an email from Sawgrass CC’s president to members. The news was first reported by Golfweek.
In the email, which was obtained by GolfChannel.com, Dan Cavey told his membership that the PGA Tour approached the club to be a partner, and that Q-School would be elevated into a “featured televised event” in mid-December that would feature a 170-player field split over four rounds on TPC Sawgrass’ Dye’s Valley Course and two of Sawgrass Country Club’s three nines.
“The board determined that this exposure and partnership fit perfectly into our long-term strategy to improve the national recognition of our club and our course,” Cavey wrote. “The idea had full support from the Board, the Green Committee, and the Golf Committee. While not an income windfall, the PGA [Tour] will pay us sufficient funds to make it worth our while. We will need to close 18 holes for their use for 6 days in mid-December, but otherwise, all facilities and the other nine holes will be open. … This is just another positive step in our partnership as they believe our course is a true test of golf for awarding players their PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour cards.”
Sawgrass Country Club currently hosts The Hayt, a college event that is set to be played next Monday-Tuesday, but it also is no stranger to big events. The club hosted The Players from 1977 to 1981. The Dye’s Valley has hosted the KFT Championship in year’s past.
The PGA Tour says it plans to announce Q-School details, including dates, eligibility, performance benefits, registration dates and broadcast coverage in the coming weeks. What is known is that PGA Tour cards, for the first time since 2012, will be up for grabs at Q-School.
For the past decade, the top 40 and ties at final stage earned at least eight guaranteed starts to kick off the following KFT season. Now, as part of the Tour’s sweeping changes, the top five and ties will get PGA Tour status, with other top finishers earning KFT status.
KFT president Alex Baldwin told GolfChannel.com last November that Q-School was searching for a new host as the change to December dates did not work for The Landings Club in Savannah, Georgia, which has hosted recent final stages and still hosts a KFT regular-season event.