By BETH ANN BALDRY
The LPGA announced Aug. 20 that tour cards awarded to Duramed Futures Tour members has expanded from five to 10 for the 2009 season. There are two tournaments left on the Futures Tour schedule that count toward the money list. The change required a vote by LPGA membership.
It’s important to note, however, that Nos. 6-10 don’t fall under the same priority status as the top 5. The LPGA will drop its traditional exempt/non-exempt labels next season, instead filling fields by going down a list of priority categories.
Those who finish in the top 5 of the Futures Tour money list will fall in category No. 9, while Nos. 6-10 are No. 17.
LPGA deputy commissioner Libba Galloway said it’s too difficult to tell how many tournaments players in category 17 will get in for ’09, and said it might behoove them to still go to the final stage of LPGA Q-School to better their position.
The top 20 players from Q-School fall under category No. 11 and will alternate with Nos. 81-100 on the LPGA Money List.
“Some players may still choose to play another season on the Duramed Futures Tour, but it gives them more options are far as the LPGA is concerned,” Galloway said.
By gaining LPGA membership, those who finish top 10 on the DFT money list are eligible to skip the sectional stage of Q-School and can play in Monday qualifiers.
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Beth Ann Baldry is a Golfweek senior writer. To reach her email firstname.lastname@example.org.