The PGA Tour announced this morning that they have entered a 10 year agreement with Web.com to replace Nationwide Insurance as the Title Sponsor for the developmental tour.
Nationwide Insurance exited their deal with the PGA Tour last year as the Title Sponsor.
Nationwide Insurance, based in Columbus, OH, became the Title Sponsor for Jack’s Memorial Golf Tournament beginning this year.
The deal with Web.com is effective immediately. The financial terms are not disclosed.
Who is Web.com?
If you run an online business, you’re already aware of this brand, but most are not.
Web.com is an internet based, service provider which has been growing rapidly since 1997. Their primary focus is small and mid-sized businesses here in the US and Globally.
The company went public in 2005 and has since grown to over 3,000,000 customers, many of which are subscribed to business critical, monthly subscription plans.
These subscriptions are paid to many companies you have probably heard of such as, Register.com, Leads.com, Network Solutions and 1Shoppingcart.com. All of which are subsidiaries of Web.com.
We at Golf-Newz.com use many of these services and Web.com makes operating an online business incredibly simple.
No need to worry about the financial viability of the company, they are solid and growing.
As a component of the agreement to become the Title Sponsor, Web.com will gain access to all 27 Web.com events and over 35 PGA Tour events, where they will put their services on display for tournament patrons to view and gain a better understanding of the products available from the company.
New Qualification Add Significance to Web.com Tour
The Web.com Tour is growing in significance as the PGA Tour has altered qualifications for a PGA Tour Card.
For as long as anyone can remember, the PGA Tour has held “Q School” a 6 round marathon event held each August which allows anyone who can pay the entrance fee of approximately $5,000, to get shot at finishing high enough to qualify for a Tour Card.
Beginning in 2013, you will no longer be able to qualify for the PGA Tour via Q School. You will now have to finish in the Top 25 of the Web.com Tour in order to get your card.
This shift does come with some controversy as it is believed that many highly ranked college amateur players will ditch school in favor of going to Q School now. Starting in 2013, Q School high finishers will gain entrance to the Web.com Tour as opposed to the PGA Tour.
Patrick Cantlay is the most recent to dump amateur status and turn pro in the last week. The reason for this is simple. In order to gain PGA Tour exempt status in the past you could simply go to Q School in August and be in the PGA Tour the following season.
Starting next year, you will need to grind out a season in between, on the Web.com Tour and finish in the Top 25 on the money list.
Web.com Tour Will Be More Interesting
This will also bring some fringe players that missed the Top 125 on the PGA Tour Money List, the previous year to the newly branded Web.com Tour.
This has potential to put some names you know playing in the fields at Web.com events. Under the old rules they would have simply gone to Q School and got their status back.
While the name may not roll off the tongue like “The Nike Tour”, it is a good marriage for the PGA Tour, with a good company.
The reality is, even with the new rules surrounding the PGA Tour Card Qualifications, there weren’t many suitors for the sponsorship that either didn’t support the tour in other ways or do not have conflicts with other Title Sponsors.
Tim Finchem’s Tenure as PGA Tour Commissioner Coming to an End
The 10 year deal caps off quite a run as Tim Finchem’s tenure at the PGA Tour is coming to a close.
In recent months, Finchem has added value to the Fall Series by making these dead season events part of the FedEx Cup. Finchem did this by altering the start date of the Official PGA Tour Season to just before the Fall Series schedule, as opposed to January of the following year. This change gave them the ability to add these events to the FedEx Cup without moving the Tour Championship events that start in the early fall.
He has added value to the new Web.com Tour as described above.
He wrapped up a long term deal with FedEx to remain the sponsor of the wealthiest single payout in sports, the $10,000,000 FedEx Cup.
He also recently extended all the broadcast agreements with the major TV outlets for 10 years.
Mr. Finchem retires from the Tour next year and…he leaves the Greatest Tour On Earth in Great Shape. Finchem will certainly go down in history as one of the best PGA Tour Commissioners in history.
Thanks for your service Mr. Finchem.