13 AT MERION, WITH SIX MAKING U.S. OPEN DEBUT – There are 13 Web.com Tour members who will tee it up on Thursday in the 113th U.S. Open. Steven Alker, Matt Bettencourt, Mathew Goggin, Adam Hadwin, Matt Harmon, Randall Hutchison, Bio Kim, Cliff Kresge, Edward Loar, Ryan Sullivan, Roger Tambellini and Matt Weibring all qualified last Monday. Alker, Harmon, Hutchison, Kim, Sullivan and Weibring are playing in their first U.S. Open. They will be joined by fellow Tour member John Peterson (see next note). A total of 61 players with Web.com Tour experience are in the field. Defending champion Webb Simpson is a 2008 Tour alum.
JOHN PETERSON TO PLAY SECOND MAJOR OF ’13 – John Peterson makes his second consecutive major championship appearance this week at the U.S. Open. In April, he became the first Tour member to secure an invitation to the Masters. His appearances at both Augusta National Golf Club and Merion Golf Club are the result of his T4 finish in the U.S. Open last year at Olympic Club.
HEART OF 2013 SEASON BEGINS - The 2013 Web.com Tour season kicks into high gear at the Air Capital Classic. It is the first of 14 tournaments over a stretch of 16 weeks. The run includes the new four-event Web.com Tour Finals, which promises to end the season in unique and dramatic fashion at TOUR headquarters / TPC Sawgrass Dye’s Valley Course in late September.
“AIR CAPITAL OF THE WORLD” – In 2013 the Wichita tournament has a new name, direction and energy with key aerospace industry resources more directly engaged. During the 20th century aircraft pioneers such as Messrs. Cessna, Beech, Lear and Mooney began manufacturing aircraft in Wichita, encouraging city leaders to dub it the “air capital of the world”. Aircraft enterprises in Wichita have manufactured an estimated 250,000 aircraft since the first Cessna was built in 1916.
CONGRATS TO HARRIS ENGLISH – Second-year PGA TOUR member Harris English claimed his first TOUR victory on Sunday in the FedEx St. Jude Classic. It came in his 44th start. English became the third amateur (Daniel Summerhays/2007, Russell Henley/2011) to win a Web.com Tour event when he captured the 2011 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship shortly after graduating from the University of Georgia. The Sea Island, Ga. resident played seven Web.com Tour events in 2011, adding a runner-up and a third-place finish after he turned professional following the Walker Cup that September. English’s win was the 357th on TOUR by a Web.com Tour alumnus. He vaulted to 13th in the FedExCup.
24TH YEAR – Wichita holds the distinction of being one of four original Web.com Tour events still on the schedule. In 1990, events in Wichita, Springfield, Mo., Boise, Idaho and Knoxville, Tenn. were among 30 that launched the Tour. Tom Lehman, who has gone on to enjoy a stellar PGA TOUR and now Champions Tour career, won that first event in Wichita at Reflection Ridge Golf Club. The most recent winner of the event is 2012 Player of the Year Casey Wittenberg.
NEXT WEEK – The Tour heads to Raleigh, N.C. for the Rex Hospital Open at TPC Wakefield Plantation (June 20-23) where Billy Casper will be the official tournament host.