2014 Web.com Tour schedule includes 25 events

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2014, 7:52 pm

The Web.com Tour will kick off its 2014 schedule next month in Colombia, the first of 25 events on a journey that will lead to 50 players earning PGA Tour cards for the 2014-15 season.

The circuit will visit 15 states and make six trips to foreign countries, the first of which comes Feb. 13-16 when the season begins in Bogota, Colombia for the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship. Events will also be held in Chile, Brazil, and Panama before the Tour's first tournament in the U.S. in March.

Three new events were added to the schedule for 2014: the Cleveland Open, held June 5-8 in Westlake, Ohio; the Nova Scotia Classic, which will begin July 3 in Halifax and marks the Tour's first-ever trip to the province; and the WinCo Foods Portland Open, which will serve as the final event of the regular season at Pumpkin Ridge. The Stonebrae Classic also returns to the slate this year after a one-year hiatus during which a new clubhouse was constructed at TPC Stonebrae near San Francisco.

The top 25 players on the season-long money list after the Tour's stop in Portland will be guaranteed PGA Tour cards for next season, while another 25 cards will remain up for grabs across the four-event Web.com Tour Finals in September. Those events, which culminate with the Web.com Tour Championship at TPC Sawgrass, will combine the top 75 players on the final Web.com Tour money list and those finishing Nos. 126-200 on the FedEx Cup points list, with players' priority ranking for the following season determined by the amount of money accrued across the four-tournament series.

Here's a look at the full schedule for 2014:

Feb. 13-16: Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship (CC de Bogota, Bogota, Colombia)

March 6-9: Chile Classic (Prince of Wales CC, Santiago, Chile)

March 13-16: Brasil Champions (Sao Paulo GC, Sao Paulo, Brazil)

March 20-23: Panama Claro Championship (Club de Golf de Panama, Panama City, Panama)

March 27-30: Chitimacha Louisiana Open (Le Triomphe CC, Broussard, La.)

April 10-13: El Bosque Mexico Championship (El Bosque CC, Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico)

April 24-27: WNB Golf Classic (Midland CC, Midland, Tex.)

May 1-4: South Georgia Classic (Kinderlou Forest GC, Valdosta, Ga.)

May 15-18: BMW Charity Pro-Am (Thornblade Club, Greenville, S.C.)

May 22-25: Rex Hospital Open (TPC at Wakefield Plantation, Raleigh, N.C.)

June 5-8: Cleveland Open (Lakewood CC, Westlake, Ohio)

June 19-22: Air Capital Classic (Crestview CC, Wichita, Kan.)

June 26-29: United Leasing Championship (Victoria National GC, Newburgh, Ind.)

July 3-6: Nova Scotia Classic (Ashburn GC (New Course), Halifax, Nova Scotia)

July 10-13: Utah Championship (Willow Creek CC, Sandy, Utah)

July 17-20: Albertsons Boise Open (Hillcrest CC, Boise, Idaho)

July 24-27: Midwest Classic (Nicklaus GC at LionsGate, Overland Park, Kan.)

July 31-Aug. 3: Stonebrae Classic (TPC Stonebrae, Hayward, Calif.)

Aug. 7-10: Price Cutter Charity Championship (Highland Springs CC, Springfield, Mo.)

Aug. 14-17: News Sentinel Open (Fox Den CC, Farragut, Tenn.)

Aug. 21-24: WinCo Foods Portland Open (Pumpkin Ridge GC (Witch Hollow), Portland, Ore.)

Web.com Tour Finals

Aug. 28-31: Hotel Fitness Championship (Sycamore Hills GC, Fort Wayne, Ind.)

Sept. 4-7: Chiquita Classic (River Run CC, Davidson, N.C.)

Sept. 11-14: Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship (Ohio State University GC (Scarlet Course), Columbus, Ohio)

Sept. 18-21: Web.com Tour Championship (TPC Sawgrass (Dye's Valley Course), Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.)

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Crocker among quartet of Open qualifiers in Singapore

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 2:20 pm

Former amateur standout Sean Crocker was among four players who qualified for the 147th Open via top-12 finishes this week at the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open as part of the Open Qualifying Series.

Crocker had a strong college career at USC before turning pro late last year. The 21-year-old received an invitation into this event shortly thereafter, and he made the most of his appearance with a T-6 finish to net his first career major championship berth.

There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore, but winner Sergio Garcia and runners-up Shaun Norris and Satoshi Kodaira had already booked their tickets for Carnoustie. That meant that Thailand's Danthai Boonma and Jazz Janewattanond both qualified thanks to T-4 finishes.

Full-field scores from the Singapore Open

Crocker nabbed the third available qualifying spot, while the final berth went to Australia's Lucas Herbert. Herbert entered the week ranked No. 274 in the world and was the highest-ranked of the three otherwise unqualified players who ended the week in a tie for eighth.

The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be in Japan at the Mizuno Open in May, when four more spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs. The 147th Open will be held July 19-22 in Carnoustie, Scotland.

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Got a second? Fisher a bridesmaid again

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:40 pm

Ross Fisher is in the midst of a career resurgence - he just doesn't have the hardware to prove it.

Fisher entered the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a share of the lead, and as he made the turn he appeared in position to claim his first European Tour victory since March 2014. But he slowed just as Tommy Fleetwood caught fire, and when the final putt fell Fisher ended up alone in second place, two shots behind his fellow Englishman.

It continues a promising trend for Fisher, who at age 37 now has 14 career runner-up finishes and three in his last six starts dating back to October. He was edged by Tyrrell Hatton both at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the fall, and now has amassed nine worldwide top-10 finishes since March.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Fisher took a big step toward ending his winless drought with an eagle on the par-5 second followed by a pair of birdies, and he stood five shots clear of Fleetwood with only nine holes to go. But while Fleetwood played Nos. 10-15 in 4 under, Fisher played the same stretch in 2 over and was unable to eagle the closing hole to force a playoff.

While Fisher remains in search of an elusive trophy, his world ranking has benefited from his recent play. The veteran was ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as September 2016, but his Abu Dhabi runner-up result is expected to move him inside the top 30 when the new rankings are published.

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McIlroy (T-3) notches another Abu Dhabi close call

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:08 pm

Rory McIlroy's trend of doing everything but hoist the trophy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is alive and well.

Making his first start since early October, McIlroy showed few signs of rust en route to a tie for third. Amid gusty winds, he closed with a 2-under 70 to finish the week at 18 under, four shots behind Tommy Fleetwood who rallied to win this event for the second consecutive year.

The result continues a remarkable trend for the Ulsterman, who has now finished third or better seven of the last eight years in Abu Dhabi - all while never winning the tournament. That stretch includes four runner-up finishes and now two straight T-3 results.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy is entering off a disappointing 2017 in which he was injured in his first start and missed two chunks of time while trying to regain his health. He has laid out an ambitious early-season schedule, one that will include a trip to Dubai next week and eight worldwide tournament starts before he heads to the Masters.

McIlroy started the final round one shot off the lead, and he remained in contention after two birdies over his first four holes. But a bogey on No. 6 slowed his momentum, and McIlroy wasn't able to make a back-nine birdie until the closing hole, at which point the title was out of reach.

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Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.