PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem announced on Tuesday 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.
"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 on Tuesday..
"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."
PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem announces the first three events in the four-part Web.com Tour Finals, which will begin in 2013.
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.