A couple of related items have been touched upon over the past couple of weeks with regard to Tour cards, criteria, and what have you.
The PGA Tour, it seems, is recognizing that the system they put in place a few years ago when they made the Web.com the only avenue to gain entry to the tour, while practical in theory, has also limited the opportunities of the Web.com players who've graduated to the PGA Tour. The reason for this is trifold... but the two biggest reasons are that there are too many waivers/exemptions being made available, and perhaps (opinion more than fact) that 125 players might be getting to the point where there's simply too many guys competing for X number of events that have open availability. In fact, the PGA Tour execs recently approached the tour's players advisory council to consider reducing the longstanding 125 number, but naturally the PAC wasn't overly fond of the idea. It seems they'd rather continue the old tradition of "taking care of their own" with regard to recycling older players back into the competitive mix versus enabling more younger players coming up from the Web.com their earned opportunities to more fairly compete and earn a living.
Essentially, the Tour as-is is bloated. And considering how many events are currently on the schedule each season, especially compared to how many more they have now versus just a decade or so ago, that more than reinforces the perception. They have several more tournaments each season, yet it's twice as difficult to find available spots.
But anyway... I seriously doubt that the 125 number will change.
What has changed, however, is that starting next season (2017-2018) the traditional season money list will no longer be an avenue for a tour player to keep his tour card for the following year. The only avenue for current tour players next season to maintain tour cards will be via FedEx Cup points.
Six players this season who retained tour cards via earned money without qualifying via the FedEx Cup points are Ken Duke, Bud Cauley, Morgan Hoffman, Chad Collins, Steve Marino and Retief Goosen. They'll officially be the last group of guys to retain tour privileges for the following season via the traditional money-list exemption. After this season - that ship will have sailed.
So a player will either qualify for the FedEx Cup, or maybe use an exemption that they earned or was granted in the past, to secure tour cards for the following season.
But that will not change anything for most of the new guys coming up via the Web.com. They'll continue to have a very limited number of opportunities, and unless they somehow catch lightning in a bottle and have a great showing in those limited events - they're destined to go through that entire process again. Instead of a system granting these guys their fair share of opportunities that they've worked years and years to earn - it's almost like it's intentionally designed to help them fail.
That needs to change.