First Look: Hotel Fitness ChampionshipSycamore Hills will provide a dramatic backdrop to the Hotel Fitness Championship.August 26, 2013
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM contributor
• COURSE: Sycamore Hills Golf Club, 7,275 yards, par 72. Built on land first deeded by Andrew Jackson in the 1830s and later the estate of a prominent Fort Wayne family, designer Jack Nicklaus sculpted the gentle hills along the Aboite River into one of Indiana’s top layouts. The course was site of the Junior PGA Championship from 2010-12, and was on the national stage again last month as host of the U.S. Girls’ Junior captured by Gabriella Then. Sycamore Hills also has held three Indiana State Amateurs, plus several other state and USGA qualifiers.
• PURSE: $1 million.
• CHARITY: The Evans Scholars Foundation, an arm of the Western Golf Association which awards college scholarships to caddies across the country with limited financial means. The foundation currently supports 835 caddies attending college.
• FIELD WATCH: Former Masters champion Trevor Immelman and former Ryder/Presidents Cup stalwart Chris DiMarco head the inaugural Web.com Tour Finals field, bringing together the top 75 in Web.com Tour earnings with the top 75 PGA TOUR pros who missed the FedExCup playoffs. … Multiple winners Michael Putnam and Ben Martin top the Web.com Tour contingent. One of them will have already secured the No. 1 spot on the money list, earning higher entry status for the 2013-14 PGA TOUR season and an automatic berth in THE PLAYERS Championship. … Other former PGA TOUR winners entered: Daniel Chopra, Joe Durant, Sean O’Hair, Heath Slocum.
• 72-HOLE RECORD: New event.
• 18-HOLE RECORD: New event.
• STORYLINES: The Finals moves from concept to reality, determining the final 25 PGA TOUR cards available for 2013-14 and setting the entry priority for those already earning promotion from the Web.com Tour. They’ll be determined by a four-event money list, with PGA TOUR cards given to the top 25 not already given promotion. The money list also sets the pecking order for entry. … The Finals now controls those cards previously available through PGA TOUR Q-School. Starting this year, the three-stage qualifying process will determine access to the Web.com Tour.
• SHORT CHIPS: Three entrants claimed Finals berths as PGA TOUR non-members, with earnings exceeding No.200 on the money list. Spots went to Peter Tomasulo, Jeff Klauk and Marcel Siem. … Three competitors are former Web.com Tour money champions – Jason Gore (2005), Jamie Lovemark (2010) and Casey Wittenberg (2012). … Ariel Canete, who topped the money list in last fall’s debut of PGA TOUR Latinoamerica, now will play for a PGA TOUR card after making the Web.com Tour’s top 75.
• TELEVISION: Thursday, 3-5 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Friday, 12:30-2:30 p.m. (GC). Saturday, 1-3 p.m. (GC). Sunday, 3-5 p.m. (GC).