|This article does not cite any references (sources). (February 2011)|
The Gateway Tour is a third-level men's professional golf tour headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona that runs tournaments in Arizona, California, and Florida. The top level of men's professional golf in the United States is the PGA Tour. The second level is the Web.com Tour, which is the official developmental tour run by the PGA Tour. The Gateway Tour and rival ventures such as the NGA Pro Golf Tour are the level below that. The fourth and lowest level of tour golf is the mini-tour circuit.
The Gateway Tour was founded in 2001 by former Arizona State All-American golfer Chris Stutts. The first season had 14 tournaments and paid out US$2.4 million in prize money. By 2006 it had expanded to 59 tournaments with a pay-out of $7.2 million. The prize money is partly funded by the players' entry fees. It is not possible to play in all the tournaments as some of them run concurrently.
The West Palm Beach series in Florida originated as the Golden Bear Tour, which the Gateway Tour purchased in March 2005. The regular tournaments are 54-hole events, and the four Series Championships are played over 72 holes. There is also a 72-hole Tour Championship for the top players in all four Series.
The sporting aim of the Tour is to help players to win a place on the Web.com Tour, or to jump directly to the PGA Tour. The tour's board of advisors includes Phil Mickelson and Tom Lehman. In 2006 Gateway Tour players earned 10 PGA Tour and 15 fully exempt Web.Com Tour cards. Tour alumni include Sean O'Hair, Notah Begay III, J. B. Holmes, Steve Marino, Kevin Stadler, and Bubba Watson.
In 2013, the tour was renamed the All-American Gateway Tour.
Overall money leaders