The PGA Tour has ended its sponsorship deal with Nationwide for its minor league circuit and signed a ten year deal with Web.com.
The Florida-based internet service provider replaces the insurance giant with immediate effect – though terms of the deal are yet to be revealed.
It is the fifth name change since the developmental Tour was launched. Founded as the Hogan Tour in 1990, the sponsorship was taken over by Nike between 1993 and 1999 and Buy.com had it for three seasons from 2000 before Nationwide came on board.
Starting in September of next year, the top 75 players from the Web.com Tour and the top 75 PGA Tour players missing out on the FedEx Cup playoffs will be entered into a three-tournament series which effectively replaces Q-School – with 50 cards up for grabs.
Next on the agenda for Tim Finchem and co is to decide how to distribute PGA Tour cards throughout the Web.com Tour.
The Tour’s policy board has already approved a change in the schedule. From September 2013 the new season will begin straight after the FedEx Cup playoffs and end at the 2014 Tour Championship.
Three models are being considered to blend 150 players from the PGA and Web.com Tours – with two leading options.
In the first model, according to Associated Press, the top 15 from the Web.com Tour would start the three-tournament series with whatever money they earned that year, while everyone else would start from scratch, meaning 35 cards would be available.
In the second model, the top 25 players from the Web.com Tour would be guaranteed cards, and they would join the others in the three-tournament series with everyone starting from scratch - so only 25 cards would be at stake. The only thing the top 25 players from the Web.com Tour could lose, even if they missed every cut, would be their priority ranking for getting into tournaments.
The policy board are expected to make a decision on whether to offer 15 or 25 cards before next month’s Open Championship.