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2012 PGA TOUR qualifying tournament: Q-school offers cards for final time

Q-school kicks off this weekend, with players vying for spots on the PGA Tour.

Ross Kinnaird

The final stage of the 2012 PGA Tour qualifying tournament, or "Q-school," tees off on Wednesday as competitors look to earn their way onto the Tour. The top 25 finishers plus ties in the six-round tournament will earn their Tour cards for 2013, while the next 50 will get full-time status on the Tour.

This year's Q-school is special, in that it is the final year that the tournament will offer direct placement onto the PGA Tour. Starting in 2013, players will only earn Tour status at the event.

Robert Karlsson, Billy Hurley III, and Arjun Atwal are all expected to contend in the tournament. Karlsson will be trying stay on the Tour and bounce back from a drop-off in 2012, where he had just two top-25 finishes after six in 2011. Hurley is trying to build on his most successful year to date, as he earned $474,130 with two top-10 finishes. Atwal has one career PGA tour win to his credit and has earned $4,761,703.

Last year's Q-school winner, Brandon Todd, used the card he earned to net $474,295 in 2012. That was a vast improvement over the $60,035 Todd earned on the Tour in 2011 and underscores the importance of this tournament.