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Tour Championship

Tour Championship
Tour Championship logo.png
Tournament information
LocationAtlanta, Georgia
Established1987, 32 years ago
Course(s)East Lake Golf Club
Par70
Length7,346 yards (6,717 m)
Tour(s)PGA Tour
FormatStroke play
Month playedAugust
Tournament record score
Aggregate257 Tiger Woods (2007)
To par−23 Tiger Woods (2007)
Current champion
Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy
Atlanta  is located in the United States
Atlanta 
Atlanta 
Location in the United States

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

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, and still are, a number of additional events between the Tour Championship and Christmas which are recognized by the PGA Tour, but prize money won in them is unofficial. Also, because this tournament's field is not as large as other golf tournaments, there is no 36-hole cut; all players who start the event are credited with making the cut and receive some prize money.

Format: 2007–2018

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.

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

Beginning in 2019, the tournament adopted a new format so that its winner would also be the FedEx Cup champion. Similar to the modern pentathlon's final event (the cross-country run with shooting contest) and Nordic combined skiing's Gundersen method of scoring, the player with the most FedEx Cup points at the start of the tournament will earn the #1 overall seed starting at 10 under par. The second seed will start at −8, the third seed at −7, and so on down to the fifth seed at −5. Seeds 6–10 will begin at −4; seeds 11–15 will begin at −3; and so on, down to seeds 26–30 who will start at even par. The handicap system will ensure the FedEx Cup champion is the player who wins the Tour Championship.[5][6]

For purposes of the Official World Golf Ranking, the seeding format will be ignored. All players start at zero and the gross score of the four rounds, without regards to the seeding adjustment, will determine the winner for purposes of the ranking system. Scores without the seeding adjustment will be used to calculate points allocation.

Calamity Jane trophy

The Calamity Jane is a sterling silver commemorative putter given to the winner of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club. The putter is an exact replica of Bobby Jones' original putter.[7] The putter/trophy has been given to the winner of the Tour Championship since 2005 and each winner before that year was also given one.[8]

Winner's exemption reward

From 1998 to 2018, the Tour Championship winner, if not already exempt by other means, received a 3-year PGA Tour exemption. Starting in 2019, the Tour Championship winner is directly awarded the FedEx Cup and receives a 5-year PGA Tour exemption.[9]

Tournament hosts

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

Year Player Country To par[a] Margin
of victory
Runner-up Lowest gross[b]
Tour Championship
2019 Rory McIlroy (2)  Northern Ireland −18 (−5) 4 strokes United States Xander Schauffele Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy 267
Year Player Country Score To par Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up Purse ($)[c] Winner's
share ($)
Tour Championship
2018 Tiger Woods (3)  United States 269 −11 2 strokes United States Billy Horschel 9,000,000 1,620,000
2017 Xander Schauffele  United States 268 −12 1 stroke United States Justin Thomas 8,750,000 1,575,000
2016 Rory McIlroy  Northern Ireland 268 −12 Playoff United States Kevin Chappell
United States Ryan Moore
8,500,000 1,530,000
Tour Championship by Coca-Cola
2015 Jordan Spieth  United States 271 −9 4 strokes New Zealand Danny Lee
England Justin Rose
Sweden Henrik Stenson
8,250,000 1,485,000
2014 Billy Horschel  United States 269 −11 3 strokes United States Jim Furyk
Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy
8,000,000 1,440,000
2013 Henrik Stenson  Sweden 267 −13 3 strokes United States Jordan Spieth
United States Steve Stricker
8,000,000 1,440,000
2012 Brandt Snedeker  United States 270 −10 3 strokes England Justin Rose 8,000,000 1,440,000
2011 Bill Haas  United States 272 −8 Playoff United States Hunter Mahan 8,000,000 1,440,000
The Tour Championship presented by Coca-Cola
2010 Jim Furyk  United States 272 −8 1 stroke England Luke Donald 7,500,000 1,350,000
2009 Phil Mickelson (2)  United States 271 −9 3 strokes United States Tiger Woods 7,500,000 1,350,000
2008 Camilo Villegas  Colombia 273 −7 Playoff Spain Sergio García 7,000,000 1,260,000
2007 Tiger Woods (2)  United States 257 −23 8 strokes United States Mark Calcavecchia
United States Zach Johnson
7,000,000 1,260,000
2006 Adam Scott  Australia 269 −11 3 strokes United States Jim Furyk 7,000,000 1,170,000
2005 Bart Bryant  United States 263 −17 6 strokes United States Tiger Woods 6,500,000 1,170,000
2004 Retief Goosen  South Africa 269 −11 4 strokes United States Tiger Woods 6,000,000 1,080,000
2003 Chad Campbell  United States 268 −16 3 strokes United States Charles Howell III 6,000,000 1,080,000
2002 Vijay Singh  Fiji 268 −12 2 strokes United States Charles Howell III 5,000,000 900,000
The Tour Championship presented by Dynegy
2001 Mike Weir  Canada 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 Phil Mickelson  United States 267 −13 2 strokes United States Tiger Woods 5,000,000 900,000
1999 Tiger Woods  United States 269 −15 4 strokes United States Davis Love III 5,000,000 900,000
1998 Hal Sutton  United States 274 −6 Playoff Fiji Vijay Singh 4,000,000 720,000
The Tour Championship
1997 David Duval  United States 273 −11 1 stroke United States Jim Furyk 4,000,000 720,000
1996 Tom Lehman  United States 268 −12 6 strokes United States Brad Faxon 3,000,000 540,000
1995 Billy Mayfair  United States 280 E 3 strokes Australia Steve Elkington
United States Corey Pavin
3,000,000 540,000
1994 Mark McCumber  United States 274 −10 Playoff United States Fuzzy Zoeller 3,000,000 540,000
1993 Jim Gallagher, Jr.  United States 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 Paul Azinger  United States 276 −8 3 strokes United States Lee Janzen
United States Corey Pavin
2,000,000 360,000
1991 Craig Stadler  United States 279 −5 Playoff United States Russ Cochran 2,000,000 360,000
Nabisco Championship
1990 Jodie Mudd  United States 273 −11 Playoff United States Billy Mayfair 2,500,000 450,000
1989 Tom Kite  United States 276 −8 Playoff United States Payne Stewart 2,500,000 450,000
1988 Curtis Strange  United States 279 −9 Playoff United States Tom Kite 2,000,000 360,000
1987 Tom Watson  United States 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

  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. ^ "Awards". East Lake Golf Club.
  8. ^ "Calamity Jane Replica". PGA Tour.
  9. ^ "How it works: Tour Championship". PGA Tour. Retrieved August 19, 2019.

External links