New name, new date for D.C.’s Tour event

Pitches and Putts,Sports,Kevin Dunleavy

Washington’s stop on the Tour will undergo another date change, moving back to its former spot on the calendar in 2013. The event will be played May 30-June 2, at TPC Potomac Avenel Farms and has been re-named the Mid-Atlantic Championship. Last year as the Neediest Kids Championship, it was staged in October, with the lightly-attended final round coinciding with a Redskins-Falcons game at FedEx Field and a Nationals road playoff game against the Cardinals.

The event wasn’t the only one on the Tour that moved to accommodate a new format, which should provide increased exposure. The tour now concludes in September with a four-tournament Tour Finals, a playoff format similar to the FedEx Cup, which will determine qualifiers for the PGA Tour. The field will include the top 75 players from the Tour and the bottom 75 in the FedEx Cup standings.

This is the final year that players could qualify for the PGA Tour by way of the December Qualifying School. Next year, those who emerge at Q School will advance to the Tour.

The Tour Finals will open with a new event, the Hotel Fitness Championship in Fort Wayne, Ind., followed by the Chiquita Classic (Charlotte, N.C.), the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship (Columbus, Ohio), and conclude with the Tour Championship at Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.). The top 25 players will qualify for the PGA Tour, with the next 50 earning priority status for PGA events.

The Tour opens in late February, with the first three events held in Panama, Colombia, and Chile. Four events have remained on tour since its inception 24 years ago – the Wichita Open (Kansas), Price Cutter Charity Championship (Springfield, Mo.), Albertsons Boise Open (Idaho), and News Sentinel Open (Knoxville, Tenn.).

“The 2013 season is going to be a landmark year for the Tour,” tour president Bill Calfee said. “It marks the debut of a restructure of the PGA Tour’s qualifying system that will put a great deal more spotlight on the Tour.”

View article comments Leave a comment