Let’s put it bluntly: the Web.com Tour is punishing players for playing in the U.S. Open. Take Former All-American Jack Maguire. This weekend, he shot 74-66 to miss the cut at the Web.com Tour’s Price Cutter Championship. The missed cut dropped the 22-year-old from 81st to 86th on the Money List. It’s a bad development for Maguire because the top 75 on the Web.com Tour earn a spot in the season-ending Web.com Tour Finals. The Finals give players another shot at earning their PGA Tour card and exempt status on the 2018 Web.com Tour. If Maguire fails to earn a spot in the top 75, he will head back to Q-School to try to reearn his Web.com Tour status.
Maguire is the victim of a major scheduling gaff in the world of golf. SB Nation’s Brendan Porath shed light on it during U.S. Open week. Web.com Tour Players are forced to pick between competing on their Tour or in the U.S. Open. This can carry huge consequences – as Maguire is (unfortunately) dealing with now.
Maguire choose to play in the U.S. Open rather than the Web.com’s Air Capital Classic. He was one of 14 Web.com Tour pros who made it through Sectional Qualifying and into the U.S. Open. At Erin Hills he was impressive, finishing t41st, the best of the 14 Web.com players in the field. For his effort, Maguire earned some world ranking points but hurt his standing on the Web.com Tour.
U.S. Open is open to anyone with a 1.4 handicap index or lower can qualify. It’s one of the things that makes the tournament great. Over the years, we have seen a number of thrilling runs from qualifiers, which makes for great storylines during the championship. Who can forget Beau Hossler’s run at the 2012 U.S. Open at Olympic Club?
The past two seasons the Web.com Tour has hosted a tournament opposite the U.S. Open. This has forced many players to focus on the Web.Com Tour Money List and skip a chance at playing in the U.S. Open.
Maguire wasn’t one of those players. He chose to play in the US Open and played very well. But this choice may cost him his Web.com Tour status. While it’s difficult to compare tournaments, what would Maguire’s t41 at the U.S. Open been at that week’s Web Event?
It’s best to use his performance against his peers at the U.S. Open. Maguire finished first of the 14 Web players at the U.S. Open. That would be in the top 7% of a full field Web.com Event. Using a full-field Web event of 156 players, Maguire’s performance would have been good for a top 12 finish. On the low end, a t11th finish would have netted him at least $13,750. That would move Maguire from 86th to 71st on the money list. On the high-end, Maguire might have won the event and the $112,500 paycheck. The win would have moved Maguire to 22nd on the money list and in the hunt for a spot in the top 25 who earn a PGA Tour Card.
This projection is not perfect but Maguire and his fellow Web.com comrades who made the cut deserve something. This policy and scheduling decision need to be addressed in the future. The Web.com Tour hosts some of the world’s best players who are capable of contending and potentially winning on the PGA Tour level. These players should be able to compete in the U.S. Open without damaging their standing on the Web.com Tour.