A little over a week ago, Jason Dufner won the 2013 PGA Championship, one of the four major events on the PGA Tour. Dufner is close to all of us here in Omaha who are associated with the Cox Classic presented by Lexus of Omaha, since he played here in 2001, 2002, 2003 & 2006 (his best finish being T8 in 2001).
(Photo shown is Jason in 2006 at the Cox Classic courtesy of PGATour Images, 2006).
I’ve been involved on the board of the Omaha Community Service Foundation (OCSF dba Cox Classic) since the spring of 2006. At my first event as a board member in 2006 I watched this new 2013 PGA Champion “struggle” to finish -11 and tied for 28th. But big things were in store for him!
That’s the beauty of the Cox Classic, which is a PGA Tour event on the Web.com Tour. The Web.com Tour is the developmental tour and the pathway for players to get to the U.S.-based PGA Tour. At the end of the Web.com season, the top 25 players on the money list are given PGA Tour memberships (cards) for the next season. These 25 PGA Tour cards for the 2014 season will be handed out at a ceremony in Omaha immediately following the conclusion of the Cox Classic on Sunday, August 25th. Another 25 cards are awarded to the top finishers in a four tournament series of events involving players from both the Web. com Tour and the PGA Tour.
One player who will receive a PGA Tour card on Sunday in Omaha is Tim Wilkinson. We had the pleasure of having Tim stay at our house during three tournaments from 2006 to 2008. He has had a great year on the Web.com Tour and irregardless of how he does at the Cox Classic, he will end up in the top 25 on the money list. I have followed him every week on the Web.com Tour over the past several years…and next year will get to follow him and watch him on the PGA Tour!
So, you might not know many of the players on the Web.com Tour…now. But you will likely know many of them someday. Case in point is Jason Dufner and Tim Wilkinson and the dozens of other players on the PGA Tour who have come through Omaha.
The Omaha event, the Cox Classic, is a gem of a tournament at any level. The Web.com players look forward to coming to Omaha because it gives them a feel for what the PGA Tour will be like. In fact, Omaha has more of a PGA Tour feel than many PGA Tour events! The Omaha event draws over 120,000 spectators, generates over $9 million of economic impact to the area, raises over $100,000 for local charities and is assisted by nearly 1,000 community volunteers. It’s an outstanding community event. This week Giving50x52 made a contribution.
THIS WEEK, AUGUST 22-25, THE 18TH ANNUAL OMAHA TOURNAMENT WILL BE PLAYED AT CHAMPIONS RUN GOLF COURSE IN OMAHA. IF YOU ARE IN THE AREA, PLEASE COME OUT AND WATCH TOMORROW’S PGA CHAMPIONS!
What the Omaha tournament will look like after this year is not perfectly clear. The event is in the last year of a contract with major sponsor Cox Communications and with the Champions Run golf course. Both have been outstanding partners for the event!
One thing that is certain is that we plan to be back in 2014 with another Web.com Tour event. Omahans care about this event and its presentation, and we will do whatever it takes to host another quality event in 2014!