Most golf fans think of tournaments as starting Thursday and ending on Sunday, but Monday qualifying -- also called open qualifying -- is really when tournament week begins, and Monday qualifying offers an opportunity for players with limited or no status on major tours to get a shot at changing their lives in one week.
Monday qualifying happens on most major worldwide tours, but it's of particular interest in the United States on the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and Web.com Tour. Monday qualifying isn't every week, and the rules for every Monday qualifying event are not exactly the same. However, there are some general rules of thumb to explain how Monday qualifying works.
Monday qualifying tournaments are typically one-day affairs that are 18-hole stroke-play tournaments. The field is generally anywhere from 80-100 players in size, and the players in the field are those who have some status on the presenting tour but couldn't get into the event, or they're exempt into the Monday qualifying field through some other means, or they've gotten into final Monday qualifying by getting through a series of pre-qualifying tournaments typically offered for PGA Tour events. There are eligibility requirements for Monday qualifying
These one-day Monday qualifying tournaments only happen in what are considered open events, and those are defined by each tour. That generally means that they're not a major, which each have their own qualifying systems, or an invitational, which has a closed field structure entirely determined ahead of time by the tournament (like the Masters or the Memorial Tournament). The open events have full fields by a tour's standards.
Typically, Monday qualifying tournaments on the PGA Tour offer four spots into that week's field. There are some that only offer three. On the LPGA Tour, sometimes there are only two spots on offer. Four is the rule of thumb, but variations exist.
Of course, if there is a tie for the cutoff spots, there's a sudden-death playoff to determine who gets into the tournament. If it's a situation where there are too many players for multiple spots, the playoff continues until enough players are eliminated to leaves as many spots as players.
Generally, Monday qualifiers do not fare well in the tournament that week. A top-10 finish is remarkable. The last player to win on the PGA Tour after Monday qualifying earlier in the week is Arjun Atwal, who won the 2010 Wyndham Championship.
2017 PGA Tour open qualifying schedule
- Safeway Open - Oct. 10
- Sanderson Farms Championship - Oct. 24
- Shriners Hospitals for Children Open - Oct. 31
- OHL Classic at Mayakoba - Nov. 7
- The RSM Classic - Nov. 14
- Sony Open in Hawaii - Jan. 9
- Farmers Insurance Open - Jan. 23
- Waste Management Phoenix Open (3 spots) - Jan. 30
- Genesis Open - Feb. 13
- The Honda Classic - Feb. 20
- Valspar Championship - March 6
- Puerto Rico Open - March 20
- Shell Houston Open - March 27
- Valero Texas Open - April 17
- Wells Fargo Championship - May 1
- AT&T Byron Nelson - May 15
- FedEx S. Jude Classic - June 5
- Travelers Championship - June 19
- The Greenbrier Classic - July 3
- John Deere Classic - July 10
- Barbasol Championship - July 17
- RBC Canadian Open - July 24
- Barracuda Championship - July 31
- Wyndham Championship - Aug. 14