PGA Tour Confidential: More fallout from belly ban, McDowell wins World Challenge

Keegan Bradley, World Challenge
Warren Little / Getty Images
Martin Kaymer won in South Africa by two shots.

Q-SCHOOL MEMORIES
Ritter: There's still one round to be played on Monday, but this week we say goodbye to Q-school as we know it because next year the Tour will launch a wraparound schedule and revamped qualifying process. Most of you have witnessed several years of Q-school. What's your all-time favorite Q-school story? Will you miss the old format?

Shipnuck: I'll miss guys like Rich Beem, who was folding sweaters in the pro shop at El Paso C.C. and entered Q-school on a lark. He played his way through all three stages, and the rest is mythology.

Wei: I'm wearing all black to Q-school tomorrow in mourning. All-time favorite? Here are a couple from last year: Richard H. Lee went five under in his last five holes to get inside the top 25. Colt Knost double-bogeyed the last hole and was misty as he walked off the green. He thought he'd missed by a shot until he signed his scorecard and found out he was actually inside the number. When he spoke with the press, he was still crying.

Reiterman: It's odd that this tournament has never caught on with the general public. Guys fighting for their careers, so many great storylines and so much drama. Yet Golf Channel is only devoting a two-hour special to it? I applaud the Tour for thinking outside the box and scrapping Q-school. I'm excited for the three-tournament jambaroo next year.

Dusek: For the general public to catch on to anything, they need recognizable people and storylines. Watching a guy you don't know, or someone you haven't thought of in years, just isn't very compelling. Obviously the Golf Channel has figured this out.

Van Sickle: Everyone says how dramatic Q-school is, but does anyone ever watch it? And until the last few years, TV hadn't figured out that the action was all at the cut line, not at the top of the leaderboard. Q-school sounds exciting until you turn it on and don't recognize a single player's name. I'll still miss it.

Dusek: I can't lie ... I won't miss Q-school.

Godich: You could argue that it's the game's ultimate pressure-cooker, with so much on the line over six rounds of golf. How long do you stay aggressive? When do you back off? Who around the cut line is making moves?

Wei: I guess I'm weird, but Q-school is one of my favorite events to cover. The stories and perspectives are fascinating – former major champ Todd Hamilton; four-time Tour winner Steve Flesch; Ross Fisher; 53-year-old Tom Pernice Jr.; Camilo Villegas and 17-year-old South Korean Si Woo Kim. Not to mention the guys who have been to Q-school eight or nine times without making it to the bigs.

Van Sickle: I hate that it's turning into a closed shop. The best players (like Rickie Fowler) should have a chance to play their way onto the Tour. Three spots at the Web.com Q-school would solve that complaint.

Wei: I've asked a bunch of veteran players what they think of the Tour doing away with Q-school. All of them vehemently disagree with it even though the new system actually benefits them. They say they know, but they still don't like the change and don't think it's for the greater good of the Tour. It's rare when golfers actually form a selfless opinion. I was shocked.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Will you miss Q-school?

KAYMER'S RESURGENCE
Ritter: Two months removed from sinking the clinching putt at the Ryder Cup, Martin Kaymer won the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa. Two years ago, the German was No. 1 and looked like golf's next dominant force. Do you see Kaymer getting back in the mix in the majors in 2013? How about – dare I say it – a return to No. 1?

Herre: The guy has issues, but he wouldn't be the first tour pro to return from the abyss.

Van Sickle: He tried to make a change to improve his swing and it didn't work. Learning what doesn't work for you is often as valuable as learning what does in the long term. He's better than he played this year, but I don't see him challenging Rory.

Dusek: A return to No. 1, no, but Kaymer is going to start seeing his name on leaderboards on more Saturdays and Sundays. He's just got too much talent and brains. Making that putt at Medinah was exactly what he needed to jump start his career.

Godich: With all due respect, he beat Steve Stricker at the Ryder Cup. And he beat 11 others in South Africa. Let's hold off on the No. 1 talk.

Shipnuck: He's going to have a great career. He has talent, a strong work ethic and, as we saw at Medinah, a ton of intestinal fortitude. But Kaymer doesn't have nearly enough firepower to supplant McIlroy.

Wei: I'm a fan of Kaymer's, and I hope he regains his form and contends in majors this year. But sorry, winning a 12-man field doesn't mean much to me. It's like Tiger's member-guest, but an even smaller field.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Can Kaymer be a major factor next season?

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