Many of the future stars of mens professional golf will have to test their mettle at Sycamore Hills Golf Club the next three years.
The Jack Nicklaus-designed course will play host to the Hotel Fitness Championship, Aug. 26 to Sept. 1, 2013, in the first of four tournaments within the new Web.com Tour Finals, it was announced Tuesday.
The Web.com is the top developmental circuit of the PGA Tour, which signed a three-year agreement with Sycamore Hills.
This is truly an exciting day for the city of Fort Wayne, Mayor Tom Henry said. To be able to bring a tournament of this type to Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a magnificent statement for those involved in this, and it really will put Fort Wayne on the map.
The top 75 players on the Web.com Tours money list will be eligible for the finals, as will players who are ranked 126 to 200 on the PGA Tours FedExCup points list.
At stake will be portions of a $1 million purse – the winner will get $180,000 – and players will vie for PGA Tour cards for the following year. Tour cards go to the 25 leading money winners on the Web.com Tour and another 25 players with the most cumulative money from the Tour Finals, which will also be held in Weddington, N.C., Columbus, Ohio, and an as-yet-announced location.
All four rounds of the tournament at Sycamore Hills will be broadcast on The Golf Channel, and Henry said he expects $6 million to $8 million to be infused into the local economy.
Playing host to a prestigious finals event is a very exciting time for Sycamore Hills, said Sycamore Hills general manager, Eric Schneider. We feel this championship course will provide a great test for some of the games best rising stars and veteran tour players.
About 75 percent of the current PGA Tour players have competed on the Web.com Tour – formerly known as the Nationwide Tour and founded in 1990 – and it boasts alumni that have won 17 major championships, including Webb Simpson at this years U.S. Open.
For me, the Web.com Tour was a platform that helped me become a better player, Richmond native and PGA Tour player Bo Van Pelt said via telephone.
Sycamore Hills growth on the national scene in recent years has been rapid. It played host to the Junior PGA Championship this summer – it was the fourth national championship there in as many years – and it will have the United States Golf Associations Girls Junior in 2013.
These events have gone a long way toward validating Sycamore Hills as a championship venue, Schneider said.
Instrumental in growing that exposure has been Bruce Dye, whose companies have been presenting sponsors of professional, amateur and charity events at Sycamore Hills.
We are thrilled at the opportunity to further build on our relationship with the PGA Tour, most notably with the Web.com Tour, said Dye, CEO of Hotel Fitness. Its an exciting time for the PGA Tour right now with all the up-and-coming talent.
The Western Golf Association will be the host organization, as it was at the recent BMW Championship at Crooked Stick in Carmel, and the Hotel Fitness Championship will benefit the Evans Scholars, which provides college scholarships for golf caddies and has benefited many students from Fort Wayne.