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Tour Notebook: Time for Web.com golfers to bear down

Posted: July 10, 2013 - 7:05pm
Gene J. Puskar Associated Press  Fred Couples hits a drive during the Senior Players Championship on June 29 in Pittsburgh.  AP
AP
Gene J. Puskar Associated Press Fred Couples hits a drive during the Senior Players Championship on June 29 in Pittsburgh.

The countdown to the TPC Sawgrass Dye’s Valley can begin.

After being off last week, the Web.com Tour has seven regular-season events in seven weeks for players to finish among the top 75 on the money list and qualify for the Web.com Tour Finals, a four-tournament series that ends with the Web.com Tour Championship Sept. 26-29 at the Valley.

It won’t be an easy stretch, especially for players who have to floor it to make the top 75. It begins this week with the Utah Championship and will go through six more states in the midsummer heat: Kansas, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Nebraska, where the stretch ends Aug. 22-25 with the Cox Classic in Omaha.

The format is part of the new PGA Tour qualifying system that will add Web.com Tour players with Nos. 126-200 on the final PGA Tour FedEx Cup points list through the Wyndham Championship Aug. 15-18. Unless players who did not reach the FedEx Cup Playoffs are otherwise qualified (such as those who won tournaments in the past two years or majors, or a Players Championship in the last five), the Web.com Tour finals are the avenue to get back to the PGA Tour.

The top 25 on the final Web.com Tour money list are assured of PGA Tour cards for 2013-2014. However, the incentive to play all four finals events includes $1 million purses ($108,000 to the winner) and the chance to move up the priority list for next year’s Tour events.

If the Web.com Tour season had ended last week, past PGA Tour winners such as Daniel Chopra, Jason Gore, Brett Wetterich and Joe Durant would be in the finals. Healthy area representation is on target with Tim Wilkinson (7th), Steve Wheatcroft (36th), Nick Flanagan (51st), Aron Price (53rd) and Len Mattiace (54th) inside the top 75.

There are 20 past PGA Tour winners between Nos. 126 and 200 on the FedEx Cup points list who would need to play in the Web.com Tour finals if the regular season had ended last week. They include Stuart Appleby, Trevor Immelman, Tim Herron, Sean O’Hair, Chad Campbell, David Toms, Robert Allenby, Mike Weir, Chris DiMarco, Kevin Sutherland and Heath Slocum.

Rapp honored

Players Championship executive director Matt Rapp was named the 2013 recipient of the Florida Economic Development Council’s Volunteer of the Year award for his contributions to the economic development of North Florida.

Rapp has run The Players since 2010. He launched a series of initiatives and amenities for on-site fans that have resulted in record attendance in the past two years. The 930 million households in 224 countries and territories have given the TPC Sawgrass, PGA Tour and Northeast Florida worldwide exposure.

Web.com qualifying entries open

The PGA Tour is accepting entries for the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament, with pre-qualifiers beginning in August and the final stage played at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif., Dec. 12-17.

One of the first-stage qualifiers will be Oct. 22-25 at the St. Johns Golf and Country Club.

To enter online, visit pgatour.com/web.com. The deadline for pre-qualifiers is Aug. 7 and the deadline for players eligible for first, second or final stage is Sept. 18.

Etc.

Recent World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Fred Couples has extended his endorsement agreement with Ecco golf shoes. Couples will continue to wear the BIOM “hybrid” shoe collection. ... The Greenbrier Classic victory last week for Jonas Blixt of Jacksonville Beach was No. 360 on the PGA Tour by Web.com Tour graduates.