PGA TOUR recognizes Boise, Springfield, Knoxville, Wichita on 25 years of support
June 17, 2014
- Deane Beman and Ben Hogan announcing the Ben Hogan Tour in 1989. (PGA TOUR)
Thursday’s opening shot of the Air Capital Classic presented by Aetna in Wichita, Kan. will initiate the celebration of four Web.com Tour tournaments that turn 25 this year and have had a significant impact on the Tour and the communities they represent.
Tournaments in Boise, Idaho, Knoxville, Tenn., Springfield, Mo. and Wichita, Kan. debuted on the Web.com Tour’s original schedule in 1990 (then the Ben Hogan Tour). The events have grown every year and can proudly point to the many contributions they have made to the Tour and their individual communities.
“The Web.com Tour is honored to have worked side-by-side with each of these tournaments and their communities for a quarter of a century,” said PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem. “They have greatly contributed to the foundation and growth of the Tour, and created lasting memories and impact across their communities as a result of a lot of hard work and dedication.”
“I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the four events who were on the original Ben Hogan Tour, now Web.com Tour,” said Deane Beman, who was PGA TOUR commissioner from 1974-94 and spearheaded the launch of the new Tour in the late 1980s. “Boise, Knoxville, Springfield and Wichita can be proud that through the efforts of their volunteers, they’ve been able to do something worthy for golf, and at the same time sustain an event that has been great for their communities. I wish that when I was starting out in golf, many, many years ago, that I’d been able to play in these four communities.”
Collectively, the four tournament organizations have generated more than $28 million for charitable entities in their communities and regions. The current tournament directors of the four tournaments are Jeff Sanders (Boise), Patrick Nichol (Knoxville), Jerald Andrews (Springfield) and Roy Turner (Wichita). Sanders has run the Boise event every year since 1990, with Andrews overseeing things in Springfield since 1996, Turner in Wichita since 1999 and Nichol in Knoxville since 2010.
The following are the first champions at each event and the name, site and date of their first tournament in 1990:
• Ricky Smallridge – Ben Hogan Boise Open, Hillcrest CC (Sept. 21-23, 1990)
• Jeff Maggert – Ben Hogan Knoxville Open, Willow Creek GC (May 11-13, 1990)
• Jeff Cook – Ben Hogan Greater Ozarks Open, Highland Springs CC (Aug. 17-19, 1990)
• Tom Lehman - Ben Hogan Reflection Ridge Open, Reflection Ridge GC (Aug. 24-26, 1990)
Hillcrest Country Club in Boise and Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield have hosted their respective events all 25 years. The purse in 1990 at all four was $100,000, with the champion taking home $20,000.
Many things have changed over the last 25 years on the Web.com Tour, resulting in dramatic growth for the Tour and significant impact on the PGA TOUR. Consider the following:
• There are 68 international members from 17 countries outside the U.S. on Tour this year
• Five PGA TOUR cards were awarded in 1990; 50 cards are awarded now
• Purses were $100,000 in 1990; they average $708,000 today
• 386 PGA TOUR titles have been won by Web.com Tour alumni
• $91 million has been raised for charity, with approximately 265,000 volunteers contributing their time and effort
• 1,364 players have Web.com Tour alumni status
• 11 televised events can be seen on Golf Channel, with airings in 192 countries and territories
The 2014 editions of the four tournaments will be held as follows:
June 19-22 (this week)
Air Capital Classic presented by Aetna
Crestview CC, Wichita, Kan.
2013 Winner: Scott Parel
Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft
Hillcrest CC, Boise, Idaho
2013 Winner: Kevin Tway
Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper
Highland Springs CC, Springfield, Mo.
2013 Winner: Andrew Svoboda
News Sentinel Open presented by Pilot
Fox Den CC, Knoxville, Tenn.
2013 Winner: Peter Malnati
The Web.com Tour celebrates 25 years
The Web.com Tour celebrates 25 years