PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem today announced the tournaments, sites and dates for three of the events in 2013 that will comprise the newly-created Web.com Tour Finals, which will finalize the 50 players who earn PGA TOUR playing privileges for the 2013-14 season and their eligibility positions under the TOUR’s enhanced qualifying system. A fourth event will be announced in the near future.
Tournaments in Charlotte, N.C., Columbus, Ohio and a new one in Fort Wayne, Ind. will host the debut of the “Web.com Tour Finals” next September. The three host tournaments, in order of schedule, will be the Hotel Fitness Championship (Fort Wayne), Chiquita Classic (Charlotte) and Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship (Columbus). Three-year agreements are in place for all three.
Details of the three announced Finals are highlighted below:
Aug. 26 – Sept. 1
Hotel Fitness Championship
Sycamore Hills Golf Club
Fort Wayne, Ind.
The Club at Longview
Weddington, N.C. (Charlotte)
Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship
Ohio State University Golf Club / Scarlet Course
Fourth Finals Event
“With the introduction of this new qualifying process and four Finals events in 2013, the Web.com Tour is about to embark on the most exciting era in its 23-year history,” Commissioner Finchem said. “The Finals will be the culmination of a season-long quest to secure a PGA TOUR card and will end the year in a new and exciting fashion. Beginning in 2013, the Web.com Tour will clearly be the pathway to the PGA TOUR.
“We are very appreciative of the support of Web.com, the three sponsors named today – Hotel Fitness, Chiquita and Nationwide Insurance -- their host cities, venues and tournament organizations,” Finchem added. “We look forward to working with them to make the Web.com Tour Finals a big success next year and in the years to follow.”
“Web.com is coming on board at a very exciting time in the Tour's history, not only for the Web.com Tour and the PGA TOUR, but golf in general. We are proud to be a part of such a significant development in the evolution of the Tour,” said David Brown, chairman and chief executive officer of Web.com. “We are looking forward to our participation as the players compete throughout the regular season to identify the first 25 cards, and then through the Finals where the 50 spots for 2013-14 will be determined.”
Press conferences were held simultaneously in Fort Wayne, Charlotte and Columbus.
“Hotel Fitness is proud to sponsor this prestigious PGA TOUR event here in Fort Wayne,” said Bruce Dye, CEO of Hotel Fitness. “We are excited to showcase Fort Wayne’s many fine assets, especially the warm people who make up this community. We are equally excited to join with the PGA TOUR in bringing a whole new level of competition and excitement to the golfing community of Indiana. This sponsorship is also a unique and powerful tool to increase fundraising for local charities.”
“We’ve enjoyed a strong partnership with the PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour and are very excited to be a part of the newly-created Tour Finals next year,” said Fernando Aguirre, Chiquita Brands chairman and chief executive officer. "Charlotte plays host to many marquee sporting events so it is very fitting to add an event such as this to the lineup. Giving back to the communities in which we work and live is woven deep into the fabric that makes Chiquita. Through the Chiquita Classic with Web.com’s support, we’ve been able to expand the reach of our giving efforts and help many charitable organizations. We are pleased to continue this partnership.”
“Columbus is a world-class golf town and we’re very proud to host the third event of the Web.com Tour Finals at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course,” said Matt Jauchius, chief marketing officer of Nationwide Insurance and chairman of the board for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. “This event will continue to support the great work at Nationwide Children’s Hospital while it sets the stage for Web.com Tour golfers to reach the next level in their professional careers.”
In July, Commissioner Finchem outlined details of the new qualifying system that will result in the 50 PGA TOUR membership cards being awarded through the Web.com Tour, beginning with the 2013 Web.com Tour season:
Eligibility for the Finals will be as follows:
The top-75 money winners on the Web.com Tour money list at the conclusion of the Web.com Tour regular season.
· Players who finish 126-200 on the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup points list at the conclusion of the PGA TOUR’s regular season.
· Non-members who have earned enough FedExCup points based on their performance on the PGA TOUR to place them 126-200 on that points list.
The 50 PGA TOUR cards will be awarded as follows:
· The 25 leading money winners on the Web.com Tour will be guaranteed cards at the end of the regular season.
· Another 25 cards will go to those players who earn the most cumulative money in the four Finals events.
A Web.com Tour Finals money list reflecting earnings in the four Finals’ events will be in effect, with all players starting with $0. For those in the Finals, a player’s finish on the Finals’ money list will determine his position within the PGA TOUR priority ranking, which is used to form fields for TOUR events, with two exceptions. The Web.com Tour’s leading money winner during the regular season and the player who earns the most money during the Web.com Tour Finals will be fully exempt, meaning each is guaranteed a spot in PGA TOUR events the following season (excluding invitationals). Both will earn invitations to THE PLAYERS.
The 48 remaining players will be slotted next in priority after the top 125 off the FedExCup points list. The 2013-14 PGA TOUR season will start in October, 2013.
The field size for all four Finals’ tournaments is projected to be around 144 players, depending on overlap between players and other eligibility for the PGA TOUR. The tournaments will have purses of $1 million, with first prize being $180,000.
They will be 72-hole stroke-play events, with a 36-hole cut coming at the Web.com Tour’s standard 60 and ties.
Golf Channel will carry four-round coverage of all four events.
Finals’ Tournament Particulars
Hotel Fitness Championship
· The Championship will be a first-time event on the Web.com Tour in 2013
· Host Sycamore Hills Golf Club was designed by Jack Nicklaus and opened for play in 1989. It has enjoyed “top 100 U.S.” and top-five status in Indiana in select golf course rankings and hosted numerous events including the Indiana State Amateur, Junior PGA Championship and USGA Open and Amateur qualifiers.
· The course plays to a par of 72 at 7,275 yards
· The Western Golf Association, host organization of the BMW Championship on the PGA TOUR, will be the host organization
· The tournament will benefit the WGA’s Evans Scholars Foundation
· The 2012 Chiquita Classic will be played Sept. 27-30 for the first time in the Charlotte area
· The Club at Longview opened for play in 2003
· Course plays to a par of 72 at 7,065 yards
· NASCAR legend Richard Petty will serve as this year’s honorary chairman
· Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation / Charlotte Chapter is the primary beneficiary, with a portion of tournament proceeds earmarked for The First Tee of Charlotte and the Petty Family Foundation
· HNS of Dublin, Ohio, host of The Memorial on the PGA TOUR, will provide tournament management.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship
· The 2012 tournament was played July 26-29
· The host Ohio State University Golf Club / Scarlet Course, originally opened for play in 1938.
· The course plays to a par of 71 at 7,455 yards.
· First played in 2007, the tournament has featured a unique college All-American eligibility component and seen college stars win three times, including 2012 (Ben Kohles). The All-American component will not be a part of the 2013 event.
· More than $2.1 million has been raised through the 2011 Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus for charity since the tournament’s inception.
· HNS of Dublin, Ohio will provide tournament management in Columbus as well.
About the Web.com Tour
Founded (1990), owned and operated by the PGA TOUR, the Web.Com Tour identifies those players who are ready to compete and win on golf's biggest stage. As the official proving ground of the PGA TOUR, three out of four PGA TOUR members are Web.com Tour alumni. Tour alumni have won 342 PGA TOUR titles, including 17 majors and five PLAYERS Championships. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards will be at stake over the course of 27 events in 2012. Web.com became the Tour’s umbrella sponsor on June 27, 2012, replacing Nationwide Insurance. A 10-year agreement (through 2021) is in place. The PGA TOUR, through the efforts of its three tours and their tournaments, sponsors, players and volunteers, supports over 2,000 local charities and has surpassed $1.7 billion in charitable giving. To learn more about the PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour and to follow the season-long quest for a PGA TOUR card, visit PGATOUR.COM, Twitter and Facebook.
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