The Web.com Tour is the developmental professional golf tour for golfers who do not have membership in the PGA Tour. The PGA Tour owns and operates the Web.com Tour, and the Web.com Tour is the steppingstone for golfers who want to move up to the PGA Tour. As such, the Web.com Tour is the second-level of professional men's golf in the United States, and is the highest-profile "developmental tour" in the world of men's golf. Players on the Web.com Tour earn points for and are listed in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Web.com is an Internet services provider to small- and medium-sized businesses; the company is based in Jacksonville, Fla. It became the title sponsor of the tour on June 27, 2012, when it replaced Nationwide Insurance in that role.
Beginning in 2013, the Web.com Tour "regular season" is followed by the Web.com Tour Finals, a series of tournaments that is the main method of earning PGA Tour membership.
Also Known As ...:
This tour has had several names in its history. They are:
• Ben Hogan Tour - 1990-93
• Nike Tour - 1993-99
• Buy.com Tour - 2000-2002
• Nationwide Tour - 2003-2012
• Web.com Tour - 2012-
The Ben Hogan Company golf manufacturer was the tour's first sponsor, followed by Nike Inc. Buy.com is an online discount retailer, and, as noted, Nationwide is an insurance company.
Web.com Tour Tournaments:
All tournaments on the Web.com Tour are played at stroke play over four rounds (72 holes), unless shortened by weather conditions. A cut takes place following the second round (36 holes). If a playoff is necessary, it is a sudden-death playoff.
The number of tournaments played in a Web.com Tour season typically ranges from the upper 20s to low 30s. Those tournaments take place primarily in the United States, but a handful each year might be played outside the U.S. Tournaments have taken place in Mexico, Central and South America, Australia and New Zealand, among other locales.
Graduating from Web.com Tour to PGA Tour:
Through Money List/3-Tournament Series
Golfers finishing high enough on the Web.com Tour money list in the past received automatic membership in the PGA Tour for the following PGA Tour season. In 1990, for example, the Top 5 finishers on the developmental tour "graduated" to the 1991 PGA Tour. In 1992, the Top 10 money list finishers received PGA Tour cards; in 1997, it became the Top 15. Later still, it was increased to the Top 20 and then the Top 25.
Beginning with the 2013 Web.com Tour season, the "graduation" mechanism changed. The Top 75 on the Web.com money list are joined by players ranked Nos. 126-200 on the PGA Tour money list (plus a handful of others qualifying by other means) in a series of three Web.com Tour tournaments. That series culminates with 50 golfers earning PGA Tour membership for the following season.
See Web.com Tour Finals for more information about the qualifying series.
Beginning in 1997, any golfer who wins three tournaments in the same Web.com Tour season automatically earns PGA Tour membership, and immediately moves up to the PGA Tour. The list of golfers who have earned what is commonly called a "battlefield promotion" are:
• Michael Sim, 2009
• Nick Flanagan, 2007
• Jason Gore, 2005
• Tom Carter, 2003
• Patrick Moore, 2002
• Heath Slocum, 2001
• Chad Campbell, 2001
• Pat Bates, 2001
• Chris Smith, 1997
Web.com Tour Records:
• Career wins: 7 - Jason Gore
• Most tournaments played: 409 - Ben Bates (through 2011 season)
• Scoring, 72 holes: 255 - Steve Wheatcroft, 2011 Melwood Prince George's County Open
• Scoring, 18 holes: 59 - Notah Begay III, 1998 Dominion Open; Doug Dunakey, 1998 Miami Valley Open; Jason Gore, 2005 Cox Classic; Will Wilcox, 2013 Utah Championship; Russell Knox, 2013 Albertsons Boise Open
• Scoring, 9 holes: 27 - Notah Begay III, second round, 1998 Dominion Open; Doug Dunakey, second round, 1998 Miami Valley Open
• Fewest Putts, 18 holes: 18 - Mike Brisky, 2003 Wichita Open, first round; Steven Bowditch, 2010 Soboba Golf Classic, third round
Web.com Tour Money Leaders
The list of golfers who have led the money list on the Web.com Tour:
2013 - Michael Putnam, $450,184
2012 - Casey Wittenberg, $433,453
2011 - J.J. Killeen, $414,273
2010 - Jamie Lovemark, $452,951
2009 - Michael Sim, $644,142
2008 - Matt Bettencourt, $447,863
2007 - Richard Johnson, $445,421
2006 - Ken Duke, $382,443
2005 - Troy Matteson, $495,009
2004 - Jimmy Walker, $371,346
2003 - Zach Johnson, $494,882
2002 - Patrick Moore, $381, 965
2001 - Chad Campbell, $394,552
2000 - Spike McRoy, $300,638
1999 - Carl Paulson, $223,051
1998 - Bob Burns, $178,664
1997 - Chris Smith, $225,201
1996 - Stewart Cink, $251,699
1995 - Jerry Kelly, $188,878
1994 - Chris Perry, $167,148
1993 - Sean Murphy, $166,293
1992 - John Flannery, $164,115
1991 - Tom Lehman, $141,934
1990 - Jeff Maggert, $108,644
Web.com Tour Players of the Year
The list of golfers who have been named Player of the Year on the Web.com Tour (winner receives the Jack Nicklaus Trophy):
2013 - Michael Putnam
2012 - Casey Wittenberg
2011 - J.J. Killeen
2010 - Jamie Lovemark
2009 - Michael Sim
2008 - Brendon de Jonge
2007 - Nick Flanagan
2006 - Ken Duke
2005 - Jason Gore
2004 - Jimmy Walker
2003 - Zach Johnson
2002 - Patrick Moore
2001 - Chad Campbell
2000 - Spike McRoy
1999 - Carl Paulson
1998 - Bob Burns
1997 - Chris Smith
1996 - Stewart Cink
1995 - Jerry Kelly
1994 - Chris Perry
1993 - Sean Murphy
1992 - John Flannery
1991 - Tom Lehman
1990 - Jeff Maggert
Web.com Tour History and Trivia
• Former PGA Tour commissioner Deane Beman was the driving force behind the creation of a developmental circuit for the PGA Tour.
• The first tournament in tour history was the 1990 Ben Hogan Tour Bakersfield Open, which teed off on Feb. 2, 1990. The first tour winner was 1990 Bakersfield Open champ Mike Springer.
• When Nike took over sponsorship of the tour in 1993, it was Nike Inc., not Nike Golf, that did so. That's because Nike Golf didn't yet exist. Nike Inc. made golf shoes, but the company was still several years away from manufacturing golf clubs.
• The first golfer to win back-to-back events on this tour was Tommy Armour III. In 1994, he won the Miami Valley Open and Cleveland Open in consecutive starts.
• At the 1994 Shreveport Open, Omar Uresti set a tour record by making nine consecutive birdies. No golfer has ever made nine straight birdies on the PGA Tour, European Tour or Champions Tour.
• In 1994, David Duval played on the then-Nike Tour. In 1995, he finished 11th on the PGA Tour money list. That's the highest finish on the PGA Tour money list by any golfer who graduated from the previous year's Web.com Tour.
• Doug Dunakey's 59 at the 1998 Miami Valley Open came just two weeks after Notah Begah III carded the first-ever 59 in Web.com Tour history. Dunakey probably should have had a 58 - he missed a 3-foot par putt on the tournament's final hole.
• The first golfer to shoot 60 on the Web.com Tour was Jeff Woodland, who did so at the 1991 Dakota Dunes Open.
• The youngest golfer to play in a Web.com Tour tournament is Michelle Wie, who was 24 days shy of turning 14 when she played the 2003 Albertsons Boise Open.
• In 2005, Jason Gore became the only golfer to win three straight starts on what was then the Nationwide Tour. In winning the last of those three, Gore threw in a round of 59.
• When the tour was founded, in addition to grooming PGA Tour players it was also intended to help golfers prepare for the Champions Tour. PGA Tour and former PGA Tour golfers who are 48 or 49 years old and plan to play the Champions Tour are allowed Web.com Tour starts for that purpose.
• The highest score on an individual hole in tour history is 14, recorded three times, all three times on par-5 holes. The unfortunate golfers who had to write down "14" on their scorecards are Mike Foster (1992 New England Classic), J.L. Lewis (1997 Permian Basin Open) and Matt Hansen (2008 Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational).
• There are three aces on par-4 holes in tour history. Chip Beck, Richard Johnson and Rahil Gangjee are the golfers who've holed out from the tee on par-4s.
• Three amateurs have won on the Web.com Tour: Daniel Summerhays (2007 Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational); Russell Henley (2011 Stadion Classic at UGA); and Harris English (2011 Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational).