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Len Ziehm On Golf

Web.com Tour is coming back — at Ivanhoe in 2016

Ivanhoe Club will host the Rust-Oleum Championship — a full field event on the PGA Tour’s satellite circuit – from June 6-12 in 2016. The event was played at Lakewood Country Club’s West course in suburban Cleveland the last two years.

Shane Bertsch was the champion of last year’s Rust-Oleum Championship, which offered a $600,000 prize fund and paid $108,000 to the champion. Next year’s event will have the full 156-player field and be contested over 72 holes. The prize fund hasn’t been announced.

The Web.com Tour has been a developmental circuit for the PGA Tour since its founding in 1990. It was initially called the Ben Hogan Tour and later was known via its Nike, Buy.com and Nationwide sponsorships.

The circuit had an annual stop in the Chicago area from 2002 to 2008, the tournament being known as the LaSalle Bank Open from 2002 to 2007 and the Bank of America Open in 2008.

Kemper Lakes, in Kildeer, hosted the first of those tournaments with Marco Dawson winning the title in 2002. Then the event moved to The Glen Club, in Glenview. The champions there were Andre Stolz, Brendan Jones, Chris Couch, Jason Dufner, John Riegger and Kris Blanks. Dufner went on to win a major title, the PGA Championship in 2013.

Ivanhoe was a logical new location for the Rust-Oleum Championship since its chief executive officer, Tom Reed, is a member of the club. Rust-Oleum took over sponsorship of the tournament last year after it was played as the Cleveland Open in 2014.

The Web.com Tour had a long history in Cleveland. The circuit’s Greater Cleveland Open ran from 1990-2001 and the Legend Financial Group Classic was played there from 2005-07.

During its run in Cleveland the tourney was notable for two developments. In 2007 it was the site of Jason Day’s first professional victory when the Australian was just 18 years old. Day blossomed this year, when he won the PGA Championship in August and last month’s BMW Championship at Conway Farms in Lake Forest — a victory that catapulted him to No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings.

The 2014 event in Cleveland also was notable, in that it produced the longest playoff in Web.com Tour history – 11 holes — before Steven Aker won the title.