Unless weather intervenes again, the Web.com Tour, the Atlantic Beach Country Club and the Atlantic Beach community have made good use of their mulligan.

 

They will join forces again Sept. 28-Oct. 1 in a second attempt to hold the Web.com Tour Championship, the fourth and final leg of the Web.com Finals that will determine the 50 players and their priority level who will get PGA Tour cards for the 2017-18 season.

The tournament was held the first two years at Dye’s Valley at TPC Sawgrass, then moved to Atlantic Beach after an extensive renovation of the property that was formerly known as the Selva Marina Country Club. But two days before the first round last year, the tournament was cancelled because of the approach of Hurricane Matthew, and wasn’t re-scheduled.

Everyone is hoping for better luck with what they can’t control, the weather. But the extra year helped in terms of what can be controlled.

“Last year was devastating to the players, the volunteers, the staff, the fans … it was just a kick in the gut,” said Web.com Tour president Dan Glod on Thursday at Atlantic Beach CC, after a news conference laying out the plans for this year’s tournament. “But being forever the optimist and seeing the glass half full, it gave us a dress rehearsal. We just didn’t go to the dance. It’s given us two years to prepare and that allowed us to sharpen our focus, learn some things and get even better.”

All of the corporate partners signed on for at least another year and most are in for multi-year deals. Fan amenities such as The Deck on 18 and the Pivot Poolside Lounge will provide off-course food, drink and socializing, local musicians will entertain after each day’s play, a free junior clinic will be held on Sept. 25 at 5 p.m. and the North Beach Kick-Off to Golf, at the Beaches Town Center, will be 5-9 p.m. that day, also free to the public.

“Having the extra year helped in a number of ways,” said tournament director Adam Renfroe. “We have more sponsorships so you’ll see more people here. We have more activities because we had more time to plan. On every front, we’re better prepared.”

Glod said the PGA Tour has such confidence in the golf course and the community that a multi-year deal to hold the event at the ABCC could be announced during the week of the tournament.

Sam Saunders, who got his PGA Tour card during the three Finals events last year, and is going through the process again, now lives in Atlantic Beach and is a member of the club. He said he’s seen first-hand the enthusiasm in embracing the Web.com Tour’s season-ending event.

“The people here don’t feel they needed a mulligan … they know how great this place is,” he said. “Everyone’s going to see it and the golf course is going to prove an awesome challenge and be a lot of fun.”

Tournament officials aren’t overly concerned with possible damage from Hurricane Irma, and said the golf course maintenance staff, backed by the PGA Tour’s resources, will make a quick turnaround. They did that last year when Atlantic Beach was one of the first courses in the area to re-open after Matthew passed through.

“We’ll have a lot of hands on deck to clean up the course and get it turned around,” Renfroe said. “I’m confident in our ability to bounce back, whatever happens.”