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European Tour PGA Tour

DP World Tour, PGA Tour, Japan Golf Tour announce formal pathway

The DP World Tour and PGA TOUR jointly announced today a new landmark partnership with the Japan Golf Tour Organization (JGTO) that will see the top three players on the JGTO Order of Merit earn membership onto the DP World Tour for the ensuing season, beginning with the 2022-23 campaign.

The formal pathway further enhances the existing global pathway system, as the leading 10 players on DP World Tour’s Race To Dubai Rankings [in addition to those already exempt] will earn cards on the PGA TOUR, beginning with the 2024 season, as part of the operational joint venture partnership between the PGA TOUR and DP World Tour announced in June.

“We are delighted to establish this formal pathway” – Keith Pelley (CEO, DP World Tour)

In addition to these new formal pathways, which also includes access to DP World Tour Qualifying School for leading players not otherwise exempt, the JGTO will work alongside the DP World Tour and PGA TOUR on other key business areas, including strategic development and commercial growth, as well as further discussion about future areas of collaboration and support. Among those is a continued commitment to the ISPS HANDA – CHAMPIONSHIP, which is set to make its debut on the DP World Tour schedule next April 20-23, 2023, at PGM Ishioka GC in Omitama, Japan.
 
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive Officer of the DP World Tour, said, “The Japan Golf Tour Organization has produced many incredibly talented players over the years, and we are delighted to establish this formal pathway as part of golf’s meritocratic system, defining clear routes for players from the other international Tours to earn status on the DP World Tour and potentially go on to play on the PGA TOUR.
 
“There are players from 34 different countries exempt on the DP World Tour in 2023 and, alongside our first tournament in Japan next April, today’s announcement further underlines our position as golf’s global Tour.”

Monahan sees the PGA Tour as “game’s highest stage”

Jay Monahan, Commissioner of the PGA TOUR, said: “Japan has a long, storied history of producing world-class golf talent that deserves the opportunity to compete on the game’s highest stage, and today’s announcement is recognition of that. Over the past 30 years, 25 players have claimed at least one victory on both the PGA TOUR and Japan Golf Tour, including current Japan Golf Tour Chairman Isao Aoki, who in 1983 became the first Japanese-born player to win on the PGA TOUR when he holed out for eagle on the 72nd hole to win the Sony Open in Hawaii. His legacy continues today with eight-time JGTO winner Hideki Matsuyama and will now endure for years to come under this new pathway.”
 
Isao Aoki, Chairman of the Japan Golf Tour Organization, said, “We are proud of the rich tradition the Japan men’s golf tour has established over the last 40 years, and this development is the next step in the journey of our organization. Our players have made significant contributions to the global game since our tour’s inception in 1973, and we are excited that the next class of Japanese players will soon be able to reap the rewards that their predecessors helped create for them. We are looking forward to working with both the PGA TOUR and DP World Tour on the next era of professional golf development in Japan.”

(Text: European Tour Group Communications)

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PGA Tour

These golfers are nominated: Election of the “Player of the Year” of the PGA Tour

Today, the PGA Tour announced the contenders for the Jack Nicklaus Award, given to the “Player of the Year,” and the Arnold Palmer Award, given to the “Rookie of the Year.” Three players each were nominated by PGA Tour player directors and Player Advisory Council members. A member vote will be held through Sept. 9: PGA Tour members who have played in at least 15 official FedExCup events during the 2021/22 season are eligible to vote.

Nominated for the PGA Tour’s “Player of the Year” are:

Rory McIlroy

The 33-year-old Northern Irishman competed in 16 tournaments and walked away victorious three times: at The CJ [email protected], the RBC Canadian Open and the TOUR Championship. Rory McIlroy’s victory at the TOUR Championship made him the winner of the FedExCup. He is the first player ever to win the PGA Tour’s season standings three times. He also led the PGA Tour in scoring average (68.670), the lowest on Tour since Tiger Woods in 2009 (68.670). He made 14 cuts and totaled 10 top-10 finishes.

Scottie Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler won a total of four times in 25 tournament appearances, winning the World Cup Phoenix Open, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play and the US Masters. He finished the season ranking of the PGA Tour in second place. Overall, the 25-year-old from Texas posted 11 top-10 finishes with a scoring average of 69.293 on 21 made cuts.

Cameron Smith

The third of the bunch, Cameron Smith, is from Australia and is 29 years old. He participated in a total of 18 tournaments and won the Sentry Tournament of Champions, the Players Championship and the Open Championship. Smith finished 20th in the FedExCup with an average score of 69.203, second best on the tour. He missed the cut only three times, while finishing in the top 10 seven times.

These players are eligible for “Rookie of the Year”:

Tom Kim

Tom Kim is a 20-year-old player from South Korea. In his first season on the PGA Tour, he competed in eleven tournaments. He walked away victorious at the Wyndham Championship and placed in the top 10 at two other tournaments (Genesis Scottish Open (3rd) and Rocket Mortgage Classic (7th)). He capped a total of six top-25 finishes and ten mastered cuts with 35th place in the FedExCup.

Sahith Theegala

The 24-year-old Californian competed in 32 tournaments and posted five top-10 finishes, including a T2 at the Travelers Championship and a T3 at the World Cup Phoenix Open. He qualified for the TOUR Championship and finished 28th in the FedExCup. Overall, he collected 11 top-25 finishes and 26 placings to his credit.

Cameron Young

The last player to be selected as Rookie of the Year is 25-year-old Cameron Young. He competed in 25 tournaments and had seven top-10 finishes, including five second-place finishes: Young finished second at the Sanderson Farms Championship, the Genesis Invitational, the Wells Fargo Championship, the Open Championship and the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He tied for 19th in the FedExCup, earning a total of 12 top-25 finishes with 18 made cuts.

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PGA Tour

PGA Tour: Tricky rules situation – Cam Smith penalized shortly before final round

Just before the final round at TPC Southwind, the bitter news reached Cameron Smith. The reigning Champion Golfer of the Year was within striking distance of the lead after three rounds in the first tournament following his British Open triumph, but lost two strokes before the final round on the PGA Tour. So it came down to the tricky scene:

On Moving Day of the FedEx St. Jude Championship, Cameron Smith had sunk his tee shot in the water on the par-3 4th hole. After the subsequent drop, his chip remained just a few centimeters from the hole and the number 2 in the world recorded a bogey. So far, everything seemed normal. The Australian finished his round with 67 strokes and could have attacked the top on Sunday with only two strokes behind. By the way, with a win in Memphis, he would have taken over the top spot in the FedExCup and the world rankings.

Rule violation: Playing from the wrong place

Instead, however, the rules officials noticed a possible violation of the Rules of Golf. The ball had still touched the red line of the side water hazard after said drop when Smith put the ball back in play. In doing so, he violated Rule 14.7 (“Playing from the Wrong Place”) after dropping under Rule 17.1 (“Ball in Penalty Area”). The problem was that after the drop, the ball had rolled back towards the penalty area and just touched the red line.

That officially put the ball back in the penalty zone and it wasn’t dropped appropriately. So Smith should have dropped again; had the ball rolled back into the penalty area, he would have been allowed to put the ball down. The three-time season winner was unaware of the issue and played the ball from the wrong spot, which is penalized with two strikes.

Disagreement among the referees

But why was the Players Champion sanctioned so late? PGA Tour Chief Referee Gary Young explained that the possible rules violation was noticed as early as Saturday during the television broadcast, but was not investigated further because “the camera angles were awkward and he was dropping in a really tight area. We were confident at that point that he was familiar with the rule.” The official on the lap was too far away to assess the situation, he said, and had not been called in by the player. “It was such a quick look that we had at that point that we decided it wasn’t worth pursuing,” Young added. “It’s something the players do every day”.

PGA Tour’s Cam Smith admits unwitting violation

But after the round, he said, they took a closer look at the scene and wanted to make sure there was no violation of the rules. That’s why Young said he spoke to the player about an hour before his start time on the final day. “I thought it was just a situation where I ask Cameron the question and he tells me he’s sure the ball was outside the penalty area,” Young said. “Unfortunately, when I asked him the question, he told me, ‘No, the ball definitely touched the line.’ So at that point, there’s no turning back.” Smith accepted the penalty very calmly and matter-of-factly, he said. “His response to me was, ‘The rules are the rules,'” Young said.

So just before his tee time, Cameron Smith was penalized two strokes back, his score on hole 4 adjusted to a triple bogey. Instead of being two strokes behind, it was four. Whether burdened by this situation or not, the 28-year-old only played an even-par round and fell back to T13 in the final standings.

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PGA Tour

PGA Tour: BMW Championship 2022 with world-class field

This week, the US state of Delaware will host a tournament on the PGA TOUR for the first time – and Wilmington Country Club welcomes an absolute highlight of the golfing calendar for this premiere: the BMW Championship, the penultimate tournament in the FedExCup Playoffs, and four-time “PGA TOUR Tournament of the Year”. Only the top 70 players in the end-of-season standings are eligible to tee off at the BMW Championship, with just 30 of them progressing to the season finale – the TOUR Championship. Professional golf does not get any higher quality or more intense than this.

BMW Championship 2022 with world-class field

This is underlined by the field. Will Zalatoris (USA) tees off as number one in the FedExCup ranking. Patrick Cantlay (USA), Rory McIlroy (NIR) and Justin Thomas (USA) are three former champions looking to regain their crown. They will be joined by major winners Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG), Cameron Smith (AUS), Jordan Spieth and Collin Morikawa (both USA). The entire top ten in the world rankings will tee off, led by number one Scottie Scheffler (USA).

The tournament week begins on Wednesday 17th August with the traditional BMW Championship Gardner Heidrick Pro-Am, which sees the likes of former basketballer and two-time NBA champion J.R. Smith, former NFL footballer Victor Cruz, and BMW Motorsport works driver Connor De Phillippi (all USA) tee off on the championship course.

All revenues from the sale of Pro-Am places – along with all other proceeds from the BMW Championship – will support the Evans Scholars Foundation, which provides full tuition and housing scholarships for hardworking young caddies. Since the tournament’s inception 16 years ago, The BMW Championship has raised over $40 million for the Evans Scholars Foundation and helped send 3,300 caddies to college. For the upcoming school year, a record 1,100 Evans Scholars will attend 22 leading universities nationwide, including one caddie from Wilmington Country Club.

BMW of North America will contribute a four-year Evans Scholarship, a full tuition and housing grant, in the name of the first PGA TOUR player to record a hole-in-one on any hole during the 2022 BMW Championship. To date, five such Hole-In-One Scholarships have been awarded. It is also worth hitting an ace for the professionals, although it must be on the 15th hole. The first player to hit a hole-in-one on this hole during a tournament round will be rewarded with a fully-electric BMW i7 (combined power consumption, acc. WLTP: 19.6 – 18.4 kWh/100 kM; CO2 emissions: 0 g/km; specifications acc. NEDC: -). As the world’s first thoroughbred luxury limousine with 100% electric drive, the BMW i7 brings innovative driving pleasure to the streets with a range of more than 600 kilometres.

The BMW Group’s transformation towards electromobility will also be visible and perceptible at Wilmington Country Club. At the heart of the BMW exhibition at the course will be the fully-electric BMW iX, BMW i4 and BMW i7 models.

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PGA Tour

PGA Tour: How does the FedExCup work?

In 2007, a new playing system was introduced on the PGA Tour. The so-called FedExCup consists of two components: The more than 40 regular PGA Tour tournaments and the now three additional playoff tournaments at the end of the season, whose field shrinks from tournament to tournament, ending with the Tour Championship and the crowning of the season’s winner. The individual events and the overall victory bring the champions a lot of money – at the end there is even an extra check for 18 million US dollars. Tiger Woods was the first to win the FedExCup in 2007 and, together with Rory McIlroy, is one of the few professionals to have won the series twice.

Points vary depending on the quality of the tournament
A prerequisite for participation in the FedEx Cup is full eligibility to play on the PGA Tour. Players who meet this criterion can accumulate points from the start of the season, earning between 300 and 600 points for the winner, depending on the quality of the tournament in question.

All majors (Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, The Open Championship and PGA Championship) and the Players Championship earn the winner 600 FedEx Cup points. The four tournaments of the World Golf Championship (WGC) are just behind with 550 points. Except for the parallel tournaments to major events, which earn the winner only 300 FedEx Cup points, all other PGA Tour competitions offer 500 FedEx Cup points.

Things get really exciting again in the final playoff tournaments, as the points allocation changes drastically for the season finale. For a victory in one of the three tournaments, the winner will receive a full 2,000 points, i.e. four times the amount of a normal previous tournament.

Points system creates excitement in the finals
The top 125 players after the conclusion of the final regular PGA Tour tournament not only keep their PGA Tour card, but also qualify for the end-of-season playoff tournaments and get to compete in the FedEx St. Jude Championship. As of 2019, there are only three playoff tournaments instead of four. One less event with the same number of points leads to an increase in difficulty, but also less fluctuation in playoff standings. At the St. Jude Championship, 50 players are already eliminated and only the top 70 players are eligible to compete at the BMW Championship.

There is no longer a cut at the BMW Championship, which means that all players finish the 72 holes. This measure adds to the excitement, as the leader is awarded just 2,000 points and is therefore, in theory, catchable by any player in the field. Nevertheless, to be fair, the professionals in the top spots have the best chance of winning overall.

While in the past the points from the FedEx Cup playoffs were set to zero and thus only a strong performance in the finals accounted for a high ranking, there is a point ranking since 2019. This points ranking is generated according to the results from the playoffs. So if you do well in the playoffs, you create a good starting position for the final. The leader of the ranking starts the final with a lead of ten strokes under par, the second place with eight strokes under par. As a result, the third-place finisher starts with a score of -7, the fourth-place finisher at -6 and the fifth-place finisher at -5. Players ranked sixth through tenth start at 4-under par, while 11th through 15th place start at 3-under par. Places 16 to 20 will start at two strokes under par and 21-25 at -1. For places 26-30, the final round will start at even par.

The new Tour Championship mode explained in detail

What does the new rule change?
For ten years, there was a reset of the points scored in the playoffs before the final, after Vijay Singh was already the winner after winning two tournaments. This meant that the following two playoffs no longer had any meaning. Too boring, the officials thought, and introduced the redistribution of points before the final tournament. With the result that hardly anyone still understood the rules. The golf world was not thrilled. Even Tiger Woods once criticized the rule as unfair. After all, consistency over the entire season is no longer rewarded. If a player wins all the tournaments in the season, except for the last playoff, then in case of doubt, someone else collects the Cup.

With the new points system, the FedEx Cup should feel more attainable for all players, especially those in the top 30. Although even this format would have rarely resulted in a different winner in past years from a purely mathematical standpoint, the principle of the final tournament is changing. While some players play better when they are “in the chase” and have to overtake others, many a player plays better when they have to maintain their lead.

“I would feel better about a ten-stroke lead for four days than having to start from 30th place in the FedExCup like everyone else did before,” said Jordan Spieth, the 2015 FedExCup winner.

“The new system still gives a player a chance to finish really high and start a run in a week, but at the same time rewards those who have earned it at the top. I like that every shot counts, but also that some count a little more than others by rewarding a good season,” said 2010 FedEx Champion Jim Furyk.

However, the best performance in the final playoff pays off twice. In each playoff tournament, the lion’s share of the $15 million in total prize money beckons the winner. The overall FedExCup victory earns the champion an additional 18 million US dollars from a total bonus pot of 75 million dollars, the majority of which is paid directly to the players. A smaller portion goes into a “pension fund” that the players cannot dispose of before their 45th birthday.