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Golf legend Jack Nicklaus at Punta Espada, Cap Cana.

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Charlotte, N.C.– The eGolf Professional Tour, in conjunction with the Orlando, FL-based Fore The Players Tour, announced today that it has been granted three unrestricted exemptions into the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica’s Dominican Republic Open, to be contested at Cana Bay Golf Club in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic on May 27 – June 1, 2013.

The PGA TOUR Latinoamerica exemptions will be the first granted to any United States-based developmental tour. Prior to this announcement, the eGolf Tour had been awarded a total of 13 Tour exemptions since 2009, as well as a total of five exemptions into European Tour events since the fall of 2010.

The Dominican Republic Open will be the seventh event of the season on the 14-tournament PGA TOUR Latinoamerica schedule. The tour, in its second full season, was formed in concert with the now defunct Tour de Las Americas in 2012, and conducted 11 tournaments last fall before giving way to two qualifying schools this February which positioned exempt players to compete throughout the year in 2013. The tour’s schedule is split up into two seasons, with seven spring events contested from March through June, and seven fall events contested from October through December.

PGA TOUR Latinoamerica is one of a handful of developmental tours that awards Official Golf World Ranking points, with each winner earnings six points. At the season-ending Argentine Open on December 5-8, 2013, the tour’s leading money winner will receive full status on the 2014 Tour, with the next four players earning “highly placed” conditional status. Players finishing between Nos. 6 and 60 on the money list will retain their exempt status for the 2014 PGA TOUR Latinoamerica.

“We are looking forward to having representation from both the eGolf Tour and the Fore The Players Tour at our Dominican Republic Open,” said FedoGolf tournament director Rafael Canario. “The quality of their respective tournaments confirms that the exemptions will be awarded to three very deserving players. The relationship is a win-win for all three tours involved.”

The eGolf Tour’s two exemptions will be set up in the form of a tournament-within-a-tournament qualifier at the tour’s upcoming Columbia Open, to be held at venerable Columbia Country Club in Blythewood, SC on May 1-4, 2013. The two eGolf Tour members who finish highest in the event will earn the exemptions into the Dominican Republic Open.

“We are very excited to announce our exemptions into the Dominican Republic Open,” said eGolf Tour president David Siegel. “We are honored to be the first U.S.-based tour to be awarded spots into a PGA TOUR Latinoamerica event, and feel as though our members will represent our tour well while competing on an international stage.”

The Fore The Players Tour, which received one of the three exemptions, will award its spot to the low finisher at the tour’s Orange Tree Golf Club Classic, to be contested at Orange Tree Golf Club in Orlando, FL on May 8th.

“We have established a great working relationship with the eGolf Tour, and these exemptions are a further continuation of that foundation,” said Fore The Players Tour director David Perritt. “We are thrilled to provide our members with new and exciting opportunities to compete and expand their games.”

The centerpiece of the 2013 Dominican Republic Open will be the Jack Nicklaus-designed Cana Bay Golf Club, which sits just a few yards from the Atlantic Ocean, and lies adjacent to the famed Hard Rock Casino & Hotel in Punta Cana. The course, which opened to rave reviews in 2010, meanders through stunning Dominican landscapes dotted in native flora and fauna, and features wide-open vistas that allow for the ocean winds to play a prominent role.

The Dominican Republic Open will begin on Wednesday, May 29th, with 144 players competing for a share of the guaranteed $150,000 purse. Following the conclusion of 36 holes, the field will be cut to the low 60 players and ties for the final two rounds of play.

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