Web.com Tour

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The Web.com Tour is the developmental tour for the U.S.-based PGA Tour, and features professional golfers who have either failed to score well enough at that level's Qualifying School (the main tour's qualifying tournament, popularly referred to as "Q-School") to earn their PGA Tour card, or who have done so but then failed to win enough money to stay at that level. Those who are on the top 25 of the money list at year's end are given PGA Tour memberships for the next season. Beginning with the 2013 season, the Web.com Tour will play a greater role in professional golf by becoming the dominant pathway for non-members to earn their PGA Tour card.

History[edit]

The "satellite tour" was formalized by the PGA Tour in 1990, originally named the Ben Hogan Tour, sponsored by the Ben Hogan Golf Company.[1][2] The first season of 1990 had 30 events, and the typical event purse was $100,000. After three seasons, Nike acquired the title sponsorship and it became the Nike Tour, which held for seven seasons (1993–99), then became the Buy.com Tour for three seasons (2000–02). Naming rights for the tour were purchased by Nationwide Insurance and it was renamed the Nationwide Tour for 2003. In 2007 there were 32 events, one each in Australia, New Zealand, and Panama, with the remainder in the United States. The events in Australia and New Zealand were co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia. Canada and Mexico have hosted events since 2008, and Colombia hosted an event since 2010. Purses in 2010 ranged from $500,000 to $1 million, about one-tenth of the level on the PGA Tour. After 9½ seasons as the Nationwide Tour, Web.com was announced as the new title sponsor in late June 2012. Effective immediately with a 10-year sponsorship deal, the tour's name was changed in mid-season.[3]

Rules and results[edit]

All Web.com Tour tournaments operate similarly to typical PGA Tour tournaments in that they are all 72-hole stroke play events with a cut made after 36 holes. The cut on the Web.com Tour is for the top 60 players and ties, unlike 70 for the PGA Tour. The fields are usually 144 or 156 players, depending on time of year (and available daylight hours). For the aforementioned international events, the joint tour will split players spots with the Web.com Tour for proper sanctioning. As with the PGA Tour, the winner of the tournament will get a prize of 18% of the total purse.

Since this tour is a developmental tour, players are usually vying to play well enough to gain status on the PGA Tour.

Until 2012, there were a number of ways of getting onto the Web.com Tour: Top 50 golfers at qualifying school after the top 25 and ties, those who finished between 26th and 60th on the previous year's money list, 126–150th on the previous season's PGA Tour money list, and those who were formerly fully exempt on the PGA Tour in the recent past. Those without status can also earn enough to exceed 100th on the previous season's money list and earned unlimited exemptions for the remainder of the season. Around 14 open qualifying spots are given during the Monday of tournament week, and those who finished in the top 25 of a Web.com event are automatically exempt into the next tournament. If a Monday morning qualifier wins an event, they will earn full-exempt status for the remainder of the season. Past PGA Tour winners aged 48 and 49 can play on the Web.com Tour on an increased basis to prepare themselves for the Champions Tour.

Since 1997, a player who wins three tournaments in one year on the Web.com Tour receives an immediate promotion to the PGA Tour for the remainder of the year and for the following year.[4] This "performance promotion" (sometimes informally referred to as a "battlefield promotion") has occurred ten times:[5]

In 2007 Paul Claxton became the first man to reach US$1 million in Web.com Tour career earnings.[6]

The Web.com Tour is one of the 14 men's professional tours whose tournaments receive Official World Golf Ranking points. The winner earns a minimum of 14 OWGR points (provided at least 54 holes are played) and 20 for the Web.com Tour Championship. Starting in 2013, the first three events of the Web.com Tour Finals award 16 OWGR points to the winner.

Changes for 2013 season and beyond[edit]

On March 20, 2012, the PGA Tour announced radical changes to the main tour's season and qualifying process effective in 2013. Major changes to what was then known as the Nationwide Tour were also announced at that time.[7][8] Full details of these changes were announced on July 10 of that year.[9]

The first major change was that beginning in fall 2013, the PGA Tour season started in October of the previous calendar year.[8] This change had several consequences for the Web.com Tour, either directly or indirectly.

Starting with the 2013 season, the Web.com Tour has a structure similar to that of the main PGA Tour, with a regular season followed by a season-ending series of tournaments. In the case of the Web.com Tour, the ending series consists of four tournaments, to be held during the main tour's FedEx Cup playoffs, called the Web.com Tour Finals. At least 150 players will be eligible to compete in the Finals—the top 75 on the Web.com Tour regular-season money list, plus the players finishing between 126 and 200 on the FedEx Cup points list.[10] Non-members of the PGA Tour are also eligible if they would have earned enough FedEx Cup points to finish 126 to 200. Because some of the PGA Tour players will be exempt by other means, such as tournament wins in the previous two years, the Finals fields will not consist of all eligible players.[11] A total of 50 PGA Tour cards for the following season will be awarded at the end of the Finals—25 to the top regular-season money winners on the Web.com Tour, with the remaining 25 determined by total money earned during the Finals.[10]

Also, starting in 2013, the PGA Tour's qualifying school grants playing rights only for the Web.com Tour.[9][10] The medalist is fully exempt on the Web.com Tour for the entire season. Those finishing in the top ten plus ties are exempt through the third reshuffle, or twelve events. Players finishing 11th-45th are exempt through the second reshuffle after eight events and all remaining golfers have conditional status. One can also earn direct access to the Web.com Tour through a top-five finish on the Order of Merit on PGA Tour Canada, PGA Tour Latinoamérica, or (beginning in 2014) PGA Tour China.

Finally, the Web.com Tour will provide up to two entrants in the following year's Players Championship. One invitation will be extended to the player who tops the regular season money list. The golfer who tops the money list during the Finals will also receive an invitation, but only if he did not also finish atop the regular season money list.[10]

2014 schedule[edit]

Main article: 2014 Web.com Tour

Career money leaders[edit]

The table shows top-10 career money leaders on the Web.com Tour as of the 2013 season. Players in bold were 2013 Web.com Tour members.

Rank Player Country Earnings ($)
1 Darron Stiles  United States 1,836,669
2 Paul Claxton  United States 1,764,949
3 Hunter Haas  United States 1,513,477
4 Jeff Gove  United States 1,498,755
5 Justin Bolli  United States 1,431,767
6 Gavin Coles  Australia 1,381,768
7 Chris Tidland  United States 1,373,747
8 Michael Putnam  United States 1,364,893
9 Craig Bowden  United States 1,334,487
10 Kyle Thompson  United States 1,290,044

There is a full list on the PGA Tour's website here.

Money list and Player of the Year winners[edit]

Year Regular season
money winner
Earnings (US$) Finals winner Earnings (US$) Overall
money winner
Earnings (US$) Player of the Year
Web.com Tour
2013 United States Michael Putnam 450,184 United States John Peterson 230,000 United States Chesson Hadley 535,432 United States Michael Putnam
Year Money winner Earnings (US$) Player of the Year
Web.com Tour
2012 United States Casey Wittenberg 433,453 United States Casey Wittenberg
Nationwide Tour
2011 United States J. J. Killeen 414,273 United States J. J. Killeen
2010 United States Jamie Lovemark 452,951 United States Jamie Lovemark
2009 Australia Michael Sim 644,142 Australia Michael Sim
2008 United States Matt Bettencourt 447,863 Zimbabwe Brendon de Jonge
2007 Wales Richard Johnson 445,421 Australia Nick Flanagan
2006 United States Ken Duke 382,443 United States Ken Duke
2005 United States Troy Matteson 495,009 United States Jason Gore
2004 United States Jimmy Walker 371,346 United States Jimmy Walker
2003 United States Zach Johnson 494,882 United States Zach Johnson
Buy.com Tour
2002 United States Patrick Moore 381,965 United States Patrick Moore
2001 United States Chad Campbell 394,552 United States Chad Campbell
2000 United States Spike McRoy 300,638 United States Spike McRoy
Nike Tour
1999 United States Carl Paulson 223,051 United States Carl Paulson
1998 United States Bob Burns 178,664 United States Bob Burns
1997 United States Chris Smith 225,201 United States Chris Smith
1996 United States Stewart Cink 251,699 United States Stewart Cink
1995 United States Jerry Kelly 188,878 United States Jerry Kelly
1994 United States Chris Perry 167,148 United States Chris Perry
1993 United States Sean Murphy 166,293 United States Sean Murphy
Ben Hogan Tour
1992 United States John Flannery 164,115 United States John Flannery
1991 United States Tom Lehman 141,934 United States Tom Lehman
1990 United States Jeff Maggert 108,644 United States Jeff Maggert

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Rushin, Steve (May 7, 1990). "Hogan's Golfing Heroes". Sports Illustrated. 
  2. ^ Rovell, Darren (August 12, 2003). "Legendary brand will soon have new owner - again". ESPN. Retrieved May 26, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Web.com signs deal to be new umbrella sponsor". PGA Tour. June 27, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  4. ^ "2008 Nationwide Tour Eligibility Requirements". PGA Tour. January 17, 2008. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Three-win Nationwide Tour promotions to the PGA Tour". PGA Tour. May 19, 2009. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  6. ^ Reimer, Chris (May 27, 2007). "PG County Open victory makes Claxton first million-dollar man". PGA Tour. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  7. ^ "PGA Tour announces changes". ESPN. March 21, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Harig, Bob (March 21, 2012). "Decoding tour's schedule changes". ESPN. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Elling, Steve (July 10, 2012). "PGA Tour finalizes controversial makeover as Qualifying School gone after six-decade run". CBS Sports. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d Dell, John (July 10, 2012). "Web.com impact expanded with qualifying changes". PGA Tour. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Top 25 assured of PGA Tour card". ESPN. Associated Press. July 10, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 

External links[edit]