Published on : Friday, May 13, 2016
The PGA TOUR and representatives of Puntacana Resort & Club announced at a signing ceremony today at PGA TOUR headquarters that the Web.com Tour will play a new tournament at the Dominican Republic property, beginning in 2016.
A three-year agreement was executed by the officials for 2016 through 2018. The 2016 tournament will be played May 30 – June 5.
The Tom Fazio-designed “Corales” course at Puntacana Resort & Club will be the host venue. Opened in 2010, it plays along the natural cliffs, bays, ocean coves and the inland lakes and coralina quarries of the Caribbean Sea. The layout features six oceanfront holes and culminates with its last three holes known as the “Devil’s Elbow”, with the striking 18th hole requiring a dramatic forced carry over the cliff-lined Bay of Corales.
The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship will feature a 156-player field, with an eligibility component similar to that used at other Web.com Tour events in Latin America. The purse will be $625,000.
With three miles of magnificent white sand beaches and 45 holes of championship golf, the 15,000-acre Puntacana Resort & Club is home to the Caribbean’s ultimate beach and golf experience and is accessible via its own Punta Cana International Airport. The Resort features understated elegance, privacy and unparalleled personal service, making it a favorite among international leaders and world-renowned personalities.
The tournament will be managed by Sport Link of Bogotá, Colombia, organizers of two other Web.com Tour events, in Bogotá and Cartagena, Colombia.
“On behalf of the PGA TOUR, it is a great pleasure to welcome Puntacana Resort & Club to the TOUR’s family of tournament sponsors,” said PGA TOUR deputy commissioner Jay Monahan. “The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship is an important addition to the PGA TOUR’s growing presence and impact in Latin America, which now features the Web.com Tour and PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, not to mention the fast-approaching 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. There is no question Latin America’s impact on the PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour will continue to grow as a result of these many competitions in the region. One has to look no further than 23-year-old Argentinian Emiliano Grillo, who won events on both tours in back-to-back fashion earlier this month.”
“The Web.com Tour is thrilled to be making its first tournament visit to the Caribbean and to have Puntacana Resort & Club as our title sponsor,” said Web.com Tour president Bill Calfee. “The property is spectacular and the players will love the Tom Fazio-designed Corales course. We look forward to the inaugural event next June. In the meantime, we’d like to thank Puntacana Resort & Club for its commitment to the Web.com Tour and to recognize the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship tournament management team, Sport Link, which will be overseeing its third Web.com Tour event in the region.”
“It is exciting for us at Puntacana Resort & Club to host the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship,” said Puntacana Group chief operating officer Frank Elias Rainieri. “We feel this is the right time to do it, as the destination and the resort are growing. The most important part is we will be able to grow golf in the Dominican Republic. Growing golf in the Dominican Republic is very important for golf and for Puntacana. We hope our country will one day bring new players to the PGA TOUR. Bringing the Web.com Tour to Puntacana will also help bring new players to the game and let people know the Dominican Republic has one of the best golf courses in the world in the Corales Course.”
“We are very excited at Sport Link to have this new partnership with the PGA TOUR,” said German Calle, President of Sport Link. “We are going to keep working to make these Web.com Tour events better and better every day, with all the good things the TOUR is doing through golf. I’m sure the Dominican Republic and Corales/Puntacana Resort & Club could not have a better partnership than the one they’re signing today with the PGA TOUR. It will be a big bump for the Dominican Republic and golf in the region. The Corales Course is beautiful and will be very well recognized after the tournament is played. The Dominican Republic is going to see some of the very best players in the world and that will build the reputation of the course even more. The goal is that every year the event will get bigger and bigger.”
“Web.com welcomes the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship to the Web.com Tour. As the prestige and quality of the Web.com Tour continues to grow across North and South America, the players expect to face more challenging courses like the Tom Fazio Corales layout at the Puntacana Resort & Club,” said David Brown, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Web.com. “The Dominican Republic is an exciting travel destination surrounded by an unparalleled natural beauty. We look forward to an outstanding week at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.”
Joining Mr. Rainieri and Mr. Calle in representing Puntacana Resort & Club were Jose Francisco Arata, former chairman of Bogotá, Colombia-based Pacific Rubiales and the event’s tournament chairman and Hiram Silfa Aybar, the resort’s director of golf.
PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, one of three feeder tours to the Web.com Tour, has conducted a tournament in the Dominican Republic since 2012 (2012-13 at Hard Rock GC at Cana Bay and 2014-15 at Casa de Campo). The 2016 Dominican Republic Open is scheduled to be played in the spring.
With the 50 available PGA TOUR cards for the following season coming through the Web.com Tour (since 2013), the Tour is The Path to the PGA TOUR. Twenty-five TOUR cards are reserved for the leading money winners at the end of the 21-event Regular Season. Another 25 are up for grabs at the four-event Web.com Tour Finals that follow the Regular Season in September. On Oct. 18th, Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo won in his PGA TOUR member debut at the Frys.com Open in northern California just two weeks after securing his TOUR card in the Web.com Tour Finals at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach.