By Sen Nguyen
The conclusion of the BMW Championship, held at Wilmington Country Club, yielded the final list of 30 players who will compete in the annual PGA Tour Championship that begins on Thursday. Returning to East Lake Golf Course in Atlanta, it will be the 19th consecutive year, and the 22nd in total, that the Championship is held on this site.
Scottie Scheffler, who currently stands atop the World Ranking, finished T3 in the BMW Championship. On the other hand, the eventual winner of the tournament, Patrick Cantlay, will be the No. 2 seed for the PGA Tour Championship, just behind Scheffler. Having won the Tour Championship in 2021, the 30-year-old will look to become the first player to defend the title in history.
The winner of this year’s PGA Tour Championship will bag prize money of $18 million, the largest winner’s prize to date, alongside a five-year PGA Tour exemption. What's more, all thirty players who qualified for the PGA Tour Championship will be entered into next year’s Masters, British Open and U.S. Open and a few other PGA Tour and World Golf Championship events automatically.
Among the 30 finalists, there is a third who will record their first appearance at this stage: Will Zalatoris (No. 3), Sepp Straka (No. 9), Scott Stallings (No. 12), Cameron Young (No. 14), Matt Fitzpatrick (No. 15), Max Homa (No. 16), Tom Hoge (No. 23), K.H. Lee (No. 26), J.T. Poston (No. 27) and Sahith Theegala (Np. 28). And, among these 10, there are two rookies: Young and Theegala.
Stepping into the fourth year since the PGA Tour first adopted a “starting stroke” system. By placing the players on reducing under-par starting, with the No. 1 seed having 10 under, the winner of the PGA Tour Championship is bound to be the winner of the FedEx Cup.
The favourite to win this year’s tournament will be Scheffler, who has already claimed four PGA tour victories in 2022 and nine top 10 finishes.
Among the thirty, one withdrawal came in the case of Will Zalatoris, who cited two herniated discs in his back. The incident came during the third hole of the BMW Championship, leading to his subsequent withdrawal in the fourth. With this news, the PGA Tour Championship will start with 29 players, and Zalatoris will receive a $500,000 bonus.
The starting leaderboard and starting strokes for the TOUR Championship are as follows:
Scottie Scheffler: 10 under par
Patrick Cantlay: 8 under par
Will Zalatoris: 7 under par (Withdrawn)
Xander Schauffele: 6 under par
Sam Burns: 5 under par
Cameron Smith, Rory McIlroy, Tony Finau, Sepp Straka, Sungjae Im: 4 under par
Jon Rahm, Scott Stallings, Justin Thomas, Cameron Young, Matt Fitzpatrick: 3 under par
Max Homa, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth, Joaquin Niemann, Viktor Hovland: 2 under par
Collin Morikawa, Billy Horschel, Tom Hoge, Corey Conners, Brian Harman: 1 under par
K.H. Lee, J.T. Poston, Sahith Theegala, Adam Scott, Aaron Wise: Even par
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