You can argue the wisdom of having young golfers, many of whom are struggling financially, start the season with four of the first five events requiring international travel, but that’s the way it will be on the 2016 Web.com Tour. Schedule was announced today – Ken MacLeod
By PGA Tour Communications
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida – The PGA TOUR today announced the 2016 Web.com Tour schedule, which features 25 tournaments, played in 15 states and five countries outside the United States, and culminates with the four-event Web.com Tour Finals in September and October.
The season-long chase for 50 available PGA TOUR cards encompasses a 21-event Regular Season that runs from next week’s season-opening Panama Claro Championship in late January through the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Nabisco in late August and will end at the Web.com Tour Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. the week of October 3-9.
Ten events will air on Golf Channel in the United States, including all four Web.com Tour Finals tournaments. The Web.com Tour will be seen in 180 other countries and territories, reaching a potential 300 million households across 35 channels outside the United States via the PGA TOUR’s international broadcasting operation.
“Entering our fourth year of the Web.com Tour serving as the primary path to the PGA TOUR, we are seeing the positive impact that the scheduling changes have had on the development of the next generation of TOUR stars,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “Three of the first four events in the 2015-16 TOUR season were won by players who competed in the Web.com Tour Finals, which continue to provide a dramatic ending to an exciting Regular Season for our fans.”
“On behalf of Web.com, we are pleased with the success of the 2015 Web.com Tour season. The impact of the graduating class has been felt immediately on the PGA TOUR and we expect this trend to continue,” said David L. Brown, Chairman and CEO of Web.com. “As the Web.com partnership with the PGA TOUR continues, we look forward to watching more players realize their dreams and reach their potential. We are also excited to see continued improvement of the Tour and the positive impact the events have on their local communities.”
“We are excited for the 2016 Web.com Tour season, as a host of new sponsors and tournaments join our schedule to create what should be a compelling season-long chase for the 50 PGA TOUR cards,” said Web.com Tour president Bill Calfee. “The Web.com Tour Finals have continued to highlight some of the game’s best players as the season-ending series looks to develop the next generation of TOUR stars.”
The 2016 season opens with back-to-back events in Latin America as the Panama Claro Championship in Panama City, Panama and the Club Colombia Championship presented by Claro in Bogota, Colombia kick off the Tour’s 27th season.
The 25th annual Chitimacha Louisiana Open presented by NACHER will take place the week of March 14-20 before the Tour returns to Latin America for the Brasil Championship (March 28-April 3) and the Servientrega Championship presented by Efecty, which will be played for a second straight year at TPC Cartagena in Cartagena, Colombia.
The bulk of the Tour’s North American schedule starts in April with the United Leasing Championship presented by PTI (April 25-1), followed by the Rex Hospital Open (May 9-15) and the 25th annual BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX (May 16-22) wrapping up a stretch of three tournaments in four weeks.
The inaugural Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in the Dominican Republic will kick off a busy summer swing for the Web.com Tour during the week of May 30-5, with 12 tournaments in 13 weeks through June, July and August in advance of the Web.com Tour Finals.
New stops during the 12-tournament stretch include the Rust-Oleum Championship in Ivanhoe, Ill. on June 6-12, the Nashville Golf Open at Nashville Golf & Athletic Club in Brentwood, Tenn. on June 13-19, the LECOM Health Challenge in Clymer, N.Y. on July 4-10 and the Lincoln Land Charity Championship at Panther Creek Country Club in Springfield, Ill. on July 11-17.
The Rust-Oleum Championship, contested the past two years in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, moves to the award-winning Ivanhoe Club for the Tour’s first stop in the greater Chicago area since 2008, while the LECOM Health Challenge will be contested at Peek n’ Peak Resort, which previously hosted the Web.com Tour from 2002 through 2007.
The Regular Season finale, the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Nabisco, will return to Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club the week of August 22-28 for a third straight year, where the first 25 PGA TOUR cards for the 2016-17 season will be determined.
The 2016 Finals will follow a week off after Portland, and will open with a new event – the DAP Championship benefitting the LeBron James Family Foundation – to be contested at Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood, Ohio.
The Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco, one of the Tour’s original four events dating back to 1990, moves from the Regular Season to the Finals as the second of four season-ending tournaments.
The schedule for the four-tournament Web.com Tour Finals is below:
DAP Championship benefitting The LeBron James Family Foundation at Canterbury Golf Club, Beachwood, Ohio (September 5-11).
Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco at Hillcrest Country Club, Boise, Idaho (September 12-18).
Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship at Ohio State University Golf Club – Scarlet Course, Columbus, Ohio (September 19-25).
Web.com Tour Championship, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida (October 3-9).
The season-ending Web.com Tour Championship will finalize the second set of 25 PGA TOUR cards for 2016-17 and determine player positioning in the priority ranking system, which is used to form fields for TOUR events, for all 50 card recipients.
The first three years of the Web.com Tour Finals have created a dramatic conclusion to the season-long chase for the 50 available PGA TOUR cards, with a host of the graduates finding immediate success on TOUR.
In 2015, Emiliano Grillo (Frys.com Open), Smylie Kaufman (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open) and Peter Malnati (Sanderson Farms Championship) went from the Finals to the PGA TOUR winner’s circle in the first four weeks of the 2015-16 season.
The fast start by the trio of Finals competitors mirrored the Web.com Tour’s success throughout the start of the new PGA TOUR season, as Tour graduates Justin Thomas (CIMB Classic), Russell Knox (WGC-HSBC Champions) and Kevin Kisner (The RSM Classic) each earned their first TOUR titles.
All six players are currently inside the top 12 in the TOUR’s FedExCup standings, with Kisner, Knox and Thomas atop the list at Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively.
Three tours under the PGA TOUR umbrella currently deliver the game’s next set of rising stars directly to the Web.com Tour – PGA TOUR Latinoamerica, PGA TOUR China and the Mackenzie Tour (PGA TOUR Canada). Each respective tour’s leading money winner from 2015 earned full status on the 2016 Web.com Tour, with Nos. 2 through 5 earning conditional status.
The Web.com Tour’s annual Qualifying Tournament again produced a strong rookie crop of players for the 2016 season, including former Georgia Tech star Ollie Schniederjans, trick shot and social media mogul Wesley Bryan and Taiwan’s Cheng-Tsung Pan, in addition to 2015 Order of Merit winners J.J. Spaun (Mackenzie Tour), Rodolfo Cazaubon (PGA TOUR Latinoamerica) and Bryden Macpherson (PGA TOUR China).
For more information on the 2016 Web.com Tour season, please visit www.PGATOUR.com.