Golf World (UK) - - PGA TOUR AT 50 -

Nowa­days, if you fin­ish in­side the PGA Tour’s top-125 mon­ey­win­ners list, you can play just about as of­ten as you like for the next 12 months. Win a (reg­u­lar) tour­na­ment and you are ex­empt for the next two years. Be­fore 1983 and the in­tro­duc­tion of the All Ex­empt Tour, how­ever, only the top 60 en­joyed that sta­tus. Back then, ev­ery Mon­day a qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment made up the rest of the field. It was a bru­tal ex­is­tence, in con­trast to what many feel is the cos­seted life ex­empt play­ers en­joy to­day. Not many pros took a week off. If you kept qual­i­fy­ing – or mak­ing the cut – you kept play­ing. “You learned how to qual­ify, not how to play,” says Gary McCord, for­mer tour player. “It was in­san­ity.”

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