Golf's Web.com Tour, the PGA Tour's developmental league, will return to Western New York in 2016.
The LECOM Health Challenge will be played in Clymer on Peek'n Peak's "Upper Course" on July 4-10, 2016. It will be the first year in what is a four-year agreement between LECOM and the Web.com Tour to hold the event at Peek'n Peak.
Western New York native Kevin Prise, an Orchard Park High grad who is a producer and Web.com Tour reporter for PGATour.com, broke the news on Twitter:
The Web.com press release announcing the event:
CLYMER, N.Y. – The PGA TOUR and Erie, Pennsylvania-based LECOM Health (Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine) announced that LECOM will become the title sponsor of a new Web.com Tour event at Peek’n Peak Resort in western New York, entering a four-year agreement that begins in 2016.
The LECOM Health Challenge will be played at Peek’n Peak’s “Upper Course” July 4-10, 2016, with a similar timeframe anticipated for the 2017-19 tournaments. A weeklong schedule of events will include a Pro-Am on Wednesday, July 6, followed by four official rounds of tournament competition July 7-10, with a tournament purse of $600,000.
“We are excited to partner with the PGA TOUR’s Web.com Tour to encourage health and wellness,” said John M. Ferretti, D.O, President of LECOM. “There is no better example for highlighting wellness than these young Web.com Tour professionals, who like our LECOM students, put in an extraordinary amount of work to achieve their career goals.”
Chautauqua Region Economic Development Corporation (CREDC) will serve as the host organization of the LECOM Health Challenge. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit the LECOM Student Scholarship Fund, as well as other charities in Chautauqua County and the nearby greater Erie, Pennsylvania area.
“While LECOM offers one of the most affordable tuitions in the nation, students still graduate with significant indebtedness,” said Ferretti. “We greatly appreciate that the LECOM Health Challenge promises to help these students by providing scholarship dollars from the tournament proceeds.”
“It is with great enthusiasm and excitement that we announce the PGA TOUR and professional golf are returning to Chautauqua County,” said Kevin Sanvidge, CEO of Chautauqua Region Economic Development Corporation. “This truly isChautauqua County on the move. Six months ago, Vice President of Marketing Michelle Turner moved economic development in a new direction. Her first assignment was to contact the PGA TOUR and in a very short time, she has brought this magnificent event to fruition.”
Golf Channel will televise all four rounds in high definition in the United States. The tournament will be available in another 192 countries and territories, having a potential reach of 93 million households via the PGA TOUR’s international broadcast operations.
“It has been a pleasure collaborating with three top-notch organizations the last few months – the PGA TOUR, one of the most respected professional sports organizations in the world, LECOM, the nation’s largest medical college, and Scott Enterprises, owners and operators of several award-winning properties, including our host venue, Peek’n Peak Resort in Clymer, N.Y.,” Turner said. “Joining forces with the CREDC, all four have made a commitment to western New York and Chautauqua County. With this collaborative effort, we will be able to continue to grow and strengthen our economy.”
“From the moment we purchased Peek’n Peak Resort in 2011, it was a desire to bring the PGA TOUR back to the Peek,” said Nick Scott, Sr., President & Owner of Scott Enterprises. “We had a lot of work to do to bring the Resort up to new higher standards. We have accomplished our goals with the golf courses and the facilities onsite and are now ready to showcase the ‘new’ Peek’n Peak Resort. It is a pleasure to work with the PGA TOUR, LECOM and the Chautauqua Region Economic Development Corporation to create a memorable tournament and create new economic vitality to our region.”
The Web.com Tour previously conducted tournaments at Peek’n Peak Resort from 2002-07. Current PGA TOUR champions who competed at Peek’n Peak during their Web.com Tour careers include newly-minted Open Champion Zach Johnson, FedExCup champions Brandt Snedeker and Bill Haas, two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, and PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner.
“The Web.com Tour enjoyed six very good years in the western New York/Erie, Pennsylvania, area not so long ago,” said Bill Calfee, President of the Web.com Tour. “We return in 2016 with a new team of partners committed to having a significant charitable and economic impact on the area, and providing new PGA TOUR memories courtesy of the next generation of golfers who will be walking in the footsteps of Zach, Brandt, Bill, Bubba, and others. We look forward to getting started immediately with our partners, LECOM, the Chautauqua Region Economic Development Corporation and Peek’n Peak Resort, and then making a splash upon the Web.com Tour’s return next July.”