Q-School gets underway at PGA West, while Sherwood CC hosts World Challenge
Both of this week’s PGA Tour events tee off at two of the most recognized Jack Nicklaus-designed courses in California and in the United States. The World Challenge presented by Northwestern Mutual begins play Wednesday at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, outside of Los Angeles, while at the same time the first round of the PGA Tour’s Q-School Finals tee off at the PGA West Nicklaus Tournament Course in La Quinta.
The World Challenge brings together a star-studded 18-man field of PGA Tour pros competing for their share of a $4 million purse ($1 million to the winner), with all proceeds benefitting the college-access programs of the Tiger Woods Foundation. The Q-School Finals, though, represent golf’s most grueling week. The six-day tournament will witness 172 players vying for status on the PGA Tour next year.
Both tournaments have attracted many of today’s and tomorrow’s best players in the world. But you might say one event gives aspiring touring pros a chance at a career, while the other event simply gives back.
In the spirit of charity, the World Challenge brings together 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson, 2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, and reigning FedEx Cup champion Brandt Snedeker. Victorious 2012 European Ryder Cup team members Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell, himself a past World Challenge winner, will once again face 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup team members Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker, and five-time World Challenge Champion and tournament host Tiger Woods. PGA Tour stars Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan, Bo Van Pelt, and Nick Watney round out the impressive who’s who list of World Challenge competitors.
Meanwhile, more than 1,500 players sent in applications to participate in the 2012 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament, in what will be the last year that the PGA Tour will award cards for through Q-School. Through a series of pre-qualifiers and regionals held across the country, the field has been reduced to 172 players for the final qualifying stage. The top-25 from this week’s 108-hole event will secure status on the PGA Tour next year. The next 50 players plus ties will earn fully exempt status on the Web.com Tour for the first 10 events in 2013, and anyone outside of the top 50 will receive conditional Web.com Tour status. The tournament will be played at a Nicklaus-designed PGA West course for the eighth time since 1993. Sherwood Country Club opened for play in 1989, and became the host site of the World Challenge in 2000. All but one of the World Challenge tournaments since has been played on the challenging and scenic layout.
Both events will be televised. The World Challenge will be air live on the Golf Channel Nov. 28 and 29 from 12-3 p.m. PT, and receive live network coverage on NBC, Dec. 1 and 2 from 12-3 p.m. PT. A special two-hour highlights show looking back at the week that was at Q-School will air on the Golf Channel on Monday, Dec. 3, from 8 – 10 p.m. ET.