Tour Championship

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Tour Championship
Tour Championship logo.png
Tournament information
LocationAtlanta, Georgia
Established1987, 34 years ago
Course(s)East Lake Golf Club
Par70
Length7,346 yards (6,717 m)
Tour(s)PGA Tour
FormatStroke play
Month playedSeptember
Tournament record score
Aggregate257 Tiger Woods (2007)
To par−23 as above
Current champion
United States Patrick Cantlay
Location Map
East Lake GC is located in the United States
East Lake GC
East Lake GC
Location in the United States
East Lake GC is located in Georgia (U.S. state)
East Lake GC
East Lake GC
Location in Georgia

The Tour Championship (stylized as the TOUR Championship) is a golf tournament that is part of the PGA Tour. It has historically been one of the final events of the PGA Tour season; prior to 2007, its field consisted exclusively of the top 30 money leaders of the past PGA Tour season.

Starting in 2007, it was the final event of the four-tournament FedEx Cup Playoffs, with eligibility determined by FedEx Cup points accumulated throughout the season. From 2019 onward, the FedEx Cup was reduced to three events, and the Tour Championship is now held in late August rather than mid-September.

While originally followed by the PGA Tour Fall Series (for those competing for qualifying exemptions in the following season), a re-alignment of the PGA Tour's season schedule in 2013 made the Tour Championship the final event of the season.

From 1987 to 1996, several courses hosted the event. Beginning in 1997, the event alternated between Champions Golf Club in Houston and East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta; since 2004, East Lake has been the event's permanent home.

Format: 1987–2006[edit]

From its debut in 1987 through 2006, the top 30 money winners on the PGA Tour after the penultimate event qualified for the event. It took place in early November, the week after the comparable event in Europe, the Volvo Masters, which allowed players who are members of both the PGA Tour and the European Tour to play in both end of season events. After the Tour Championship, the money list for the season was finalized. There were a number of additional events between the Tour Championship and Christmas which were recognized by the PGA Tour, but prize money won in them was unofficial. Also, because this tournament's field was not as large as other golf tournaments, there was no 36-hole cut; all players who started the event were credited with making the cut and received some prize money.

Format: 2007–2018[edit]

Brandt Snedeker winning in 2012
Jordan Spieth and Henrik Stenson on the 17th green in 2015
Rory McIlroy during practice rounds in 2015

In 2007, the Tour Championship moved from November to mid-September, where it ended the four-tournament FedEx Cup Playoffs. As in past years, 30 players qualified for the event, but the basis for qualification was no longer prize money. Instead, FedEx Cup points accumulated during the regular PGA Tour season and then during the three preceding playoff events determined the participants. Beginning in 2009, the assignment and awarding of points assured that if any of the top five FedEx Cup point leaders entering The Tour Championship won the event, that player would also won the FedEx Cup. Therefore, it still remained possible for one player to win the Tour Championship and another player to win the FedEx Cup. For example, Tiger Woods won the 2018 Tour Championship but finished second in the FedEx Cup, while Justin Rose won the FedEx Cup despite finishing the tournament tied for fourth, because Woods entered the Tour Championship 20th in overall points while Rose was 2nd.[1][2]

2007 was also the inaugural year for the Tour's Fall Series, which determined the rest of the top 125 players eligible for the following year's FedEx Cup, which made the event no longer the final tournament of the season. However, starting in 2013, the Tour Championship was the final tournament of the PGA Tour season; seasons begin in October of the previous calendar year.[3] Since 2007, those who qualified for the Tour Championship earned a Masters Tournament invitation. For 2020, players who qualify for the Tour Championship will be invited to the Sentry Tournament of Champions, a byproduct of tournament cancellations from the coronavirus pandemic.

Hole 18 at East Lake Golf Club is a par 3, which has been criticized as lacking drama for fans. The PGA Tour announced in 2016 that it would be reversing the nines at East Lake for the Tour Championship so that play would finish on a more exciting par 5 hole.[4]

Format: 2019–present[edit]

Beginning in 2019, the tournament adopted a new format in order to ensure that the winner would also be the FedEx Cup champion. Using a method similar to the Gundersen method in cross-country skiing, the player with the most FedEx Cup points leading into the tournament starts at 10 under par. The player with the second most points starts at −8, the third at −7, and so on down to the fifth at −5. Players ranked 6 through 10 begin at −4; 11 through 15 at −3; and so on, down to numbers 26 to 30 who will start at even par.[5][6]

For purposes of the Official World Golf Ranking only aggregate scores are taken into account, disregarding any starting scores in relation to par.[7]

Calamity Jane trophy[edit]

The Calamity Jane is a sterling silver replica of Bobby Jones's original "Calamity Jane" putter, that has been presented to the winner of the Tour Championship since 2005. In 2017, it was made the official trophy for the tournament.[8][9] Each winner before 2005 has been awarded one retroactively.[10]

Winner's exemption reward[edit]

From 1998 to 2018, the Tour Championship winner, if not already exempt by other means, received a 3-year PGA Tour exemption. Since 2019, the Tour Championship winner has been directly awarded the FedEx Cup and a 5-year PGA Tour exemption.[11]

Tournament hosts[edit]

Years Venue Location
1998, 2000,
2002, 2004–present
East Lake Golf Club Atlanta, Georgia
1990, 1997,
1999, 2001, 2003
Champions Golf Club,
Cypress Creek Course
Houston, Texas
1995–96 Southern Hills Country Club Tulsa, Oklahoma
1993–94 The Olympic Club, Lake Course San Francisco, California
1991–92 Pinehurst Resort, No. 2 Course Pinehurst, North Carolina
1989 Harbour Town Golf Links Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
1988 Pebble Beach Golf Links Pebble Beach, California
1987 Oak Hills Country Club San Antonio, Texas

Winners[edit]

Year Winner To par[a] Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up Lowest gross[b]
Tour Championship
2021 United States Patrick Cantlay −21 (−10) 1 stroke Spain Jon Rahm United States Kevin Na
Spain Jon Rahm
266
2020 United States Dustin Johnson −21 (−10) 3 strokes United States Xander Schauffele
United States Justin Thomas
United States Xander Schauffele 265
2019 Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy (2) −18 (−5) 4 strokes United States Xander Schauffele Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy 267
Year Winner Score To par Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up Purse ($)[c] Winner's
share ($)
Tour Championship
2018 United States Tiger Woods (3) 269 −11 2 strokes United States Billy Horschel 9,000,000 1,620,000
2017 United States Xander Schauffele 268 −12 1 stroke United States Justin Thomas 8,750,000 1,575,000
2016 Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy 268 −12 Playoff United States Kevin Chappell
United States Ryan Moore
8,500,000 1,530,000
Tour Championship by Coca-Cola
2015 United States Jordan Spieth 271 −9 4 strokes New Zealand Danny Lee
England Justin Rose
Sweden Henrik Stenson
8,250,000 1,485,000
2014 United States Billy Horschel 269 −11 3 strokes United States Jim Furyk
Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy
8,000,000 1,440,000
2013 Sweden Henrik Stenson 267 −13 3 strokes United States Jordan Spieth
United States Steve Stricker
8,000,000 1,440,000
2012 United States Brandt Snedeker 270 −10 3 strokes England Justin Rose 8,000,000 1,440,000
2011 United States Bill Haas 272 −8 Playoff United States Hunter Mahan 8,000,000 1,440,000
The Tour Championship presented by Coca-Cola
2010 United States Jim Furyk 272 −8 1 stroke England Luke Donald 7,500,000 1,350,000
2009 United States Phil Mickelson (2) 271 −9 3 strokes United States Tiger Woods 7,500,000 1,350,000
2008 Colombia Camilo Villegas 273 −7 Playoff Spain Sergio García 7,000,000 1,260,000
2007 United States Tiger Woods (2) 257 −23 8 strokes United States Mark Calcavecchia
United States Zach Johnson
7,000,000 1,260,000
2006 Australia Adam Scott 269 −11 3 strokes United States Jim Furyk 6,500,000 1,170,000
2005 United States Bart Bryant 263 −17 6 strokes United States Tiger Woods 6,500,000 1,170,000
2004 South Africa Retief Goosen 269 −11 4 strokes United States Tiger Woods 6,000,000 1,080,000
2003 United States Chad Campbell 268 −16 3 strokes United States Charles Howell III 6,000,000 1,080,000
2002 Fiji Vijay Singh 268 −12 2 strokes United States Charles Howell III 5,000,000 900,000
The Tour Championship presented by Dynegy
2001 Canada Mike Weir 270 −14 1 stroke Spain Sergio García
South Africa Ernie Els
United States David Toms
5,000,000 900,000
The Tour Championship presented by Southern Company
2000 United States Phil Mickelson 267 −13 2 strokes United States Tiger Woods 5,000,000 900,000
1999 United States Tiger Woods 269 −15 4 strokes United States Davis Love III 5,000,000 900,000
1998 United States Hal Sutton 274 −6 Playoff Fiji Vijay Singh 4,000,000 720,000
The Tour Championship
1997 United States David Duval 273 −11 1 stroke United States Jim Furyk 4,000,000 720,000
1996 United States Tom Lehman 268 −12 6 strokes United States Brad Faxon 3,000,000 540,000
1995 United States Billy Mayfair 280 E 3 strokes Australia Steve Elkington
United States Corey Pavin
3,000,000 540,000
1994 United States Mark McCumber 274 −10 Playoff United States Fuzzy Zoeller 3,000,000 540,000
1993 United States Jim Gallagher Jr. 277 −7 1 stroke South Africa David Frost
United States John Huston
Australia Greg Norman
United States Scott Simpson
3,000,000 540,000
1992 United States Paul Azinger 276 −8 3 strokes United States Lee Janzen
United States Corey Pavin
2,000,000 360,000
1991 United States Craig Stadler 279 −5 Playoff United States Russ Cochran 2,000,000 360,000
Nabisco Championship
1990 United States Jodie Mudd 273 −11 Playoff United States Billy Mayfair 2,500,000 450,000
1989 United States Tom Kite 276 −8 Playoff United States Payne Stewart 2,500,000 450,000
1988 United States Curtis Strange 279 −9 Playoff United States Tom Kite 2,000,000 360,000
1987 United States Tom Watson 268 −12 2 strokes United States Chip Beck 2,000,000 360,000
  1. ^ Since 2019, players have been allocated a starting score (relative to par) based on their position in the FedEx Cup standings. This is shown in parentheses.
  2. ^ With the change of format in 2019, OWGR points have been awarded based on the lowest total strokes for the tournament rather than the winning score relative to par.
  3. ^ From 1987 to 2018 the Tour Championship had its own purse. From 2019 the tournament no longer has its own prize fund, with prize money being distributed from the FedEx Cup bonus pool.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Morfit, Cameron. "FedExCup update: Rose heads into final round as projected No. 1". PGA Tour. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  2. ^ Dusek, David. "Justin Rose Rallies to DClaim FedEx Cup Crown, $10 Million Bonus". Golfweek. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  3. ^ "PGA Tour announces changes". ESPN. March 21, 2012. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
  4. ^ "East Lake Golf Club Front, Back Nines to be Reversed for Tour Championship by Coca-Cola". PGA Tour. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  5. ^ "PGA Tour making extreme changes to Tour Championship, FedEx Cup format in 2019". CBS Sports. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  6. ^ McAllister, Mike (September 18, 2018). "Simplicity the key with changes to FedExCup Playoffs finale". PGA Tour.
  7. ^ Hawkins, John (September 1, 2021). "How the PGA Tour Gutted Its Own Championship". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
  8. ^ "Awards". East Lake Golf Club.
  9. ^ "'Calamity Jane' now official trophy of the Tour Championship". Independent Sports News. August 9, 2017. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  10. ^ "Calamity Jane Replica". PGA Tour.
  11. ^ "How it works: Tour Championship". PGA Tour. Retrieved August 19, 2019.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°44′35″N 84°18′11″W / 33.743°N 84.303°W / 33.743; -84.303