Winners-only field taking shape as 2018-19 PGA TOUR Season ends
Rory McIlroy wins the FedExCup; Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed qualify for the 2020 Sentry Tournament of Champions
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii – Win and you’re in. It’s the only way to qualify for the 2020 Sentry Tournament of Champions. With the conclusion of the FedExCup Playoffs, past champions Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed became the latest players to qualify for the winners-only event, while Rory McIlroy picked up his third win of the calendar year at the TOUR Championship. The champions-only event returns to Maui and The Plantation Course at Kapalua from January 1-5, 2020.
Rory McIlroy captured his second FedExCup title and third PGA TOUR victory this season at the TOUR Championship when he surged past Brooks Koepka with a 4-under 66 and finished four shots ahead of Xander Schauffele. McIlroy overcame back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 14 and 15 with back-to-back birdies on his final two holes to secure his 17th career TOUR victory. With the win, the Northern Ireland native joins Tigers Woods as the only players to win the FedExCup more than once and became the first player to win THE PLAYERS Championship and FedExCup in the same season. McIlroy qualified for his second appearance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions by virtue of his THE PLAYERS Championship victory in March.
Justin Thomas collected his 10th PGA TOUR victory and second career FedExCup Playoffs win at the BMW Championship when he closed with a 4-under 68 to defeat Patrick Cantlay by three strokes at Medinah Country Club (Course No. 3). The 2017 Sentry Tournament of Champions winner held the six-shot, 54-hole lead heading into the final round. Hideki Matsuyama carded eight birdies in his first 14 holes to get within four shots of Thomas, and Cantlay posted 5-under through 13 to get within three shots. The 26-year-old birdied four of his final eight shots to hang onto the lead. The win qualified Thomas for his fifth trip to Maui and the Sentry Tournament of Champions. In the 2017 edition, the Kentucky native led Matsuyama by two shots entering the final round and became the fourth player in the previous seven editions of the event to parlay a 54-hole lead into a victory.
THE NORTHERN TRUST
The 2015 Sentry Tournament of Champions winner Patrick Reed earned his seventh PGA TOUR victory at THE NORTHERN TRUST when he closed with a two-under 69 and defeat Abraham Ancer by one stroke at Liberty National Golf Club. When the 29-year-old made the turn, he was tied for the lead with Jon Rahm at 14 under. Rahm made birdies on holes 12 and 13 to get to 16 under and lead by two but bogeyed the next two while Reed birdied No. 14 to jump in front by one with four holes left to play. Reed never faltered down the stretch, even when playing partner Ancer cut the lead to one with one to play. Ancer was unable to birdie 18, and Reed sunk a three-footer for par to win by one. The victory qualified Reed for his sixth trip to Maui and The Plantation Course. In his third start in 2015, Reed defeated Jimmy Walker on the first playoff hole, after a brilliant final-round 67 that saw him hole out for eagle on the par-4 16th.
Eleven opportunities remain for players to qualify for the 2020 Sentry Tournament of Champions. Here is a list of the tournaments: A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, Sanderson Farms Championship, Safeway Open, Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Houston Open, THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES, the ZOZO Championship, Bermuda Championship, World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, Mayakoba Golf Classic and The RSM Classic.
Currently, 36 players have qualified for the Sentry Tournament of Champions courtesy of their PGA TOUR victories this calendar year, including 12 first timers
Kapalua Plantation Course Update
Grow-in continues on Kapalua Golf’s Plantation Course ahead of the award-winning course’s scheduled reopening in November 2019. Greens, tees, fairways and roughs are being mown daily, and greens have been verticut and top-dressed on a weekly basis for the last three weeks. With all on-course projects complete and grow-in in full swing, crews are now working on interior and exterior enhancements to The Plantation Course clubhouse. The Plantation Course and clubhouse, including the golf shop and restaurant, will all reopen this November – approximately a month-and-a-half before the Sentry Tournament of Champions. For more information on The Plantation Course Refinement project, visit golfatkapalua.com.
Ticket and Volunteer Information
A variety of ticket packages are now on sale, including daily tickets and weekly tickets. New this year is the Banyan Club located on the par-3 8th hole which will be a hub of activity on the front nine. Weekly ticket packages for the Aloha Club Skybox, located on the iconic finishing hole of The Plantation Course at Kapalua are also available. To purchase tickets to the 2020 event, visit sentrytournamentofchampions.com. Fans are reminded that each year, youth 18 and younger are admitted free of charge to the tournament when accompanied by a ticketed adult.
The champions-only tournament offers a variety of opportunities to get involved and up close with some of the game’s biggest starts that have qualified for the vent, such as defending champion Xander Schauffele, FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy and current World No. 1 Brooks Koepka. For those interested in volunteer opportunities, please visit http://events.trustevent.com/index.cfm?eid=3476 to register.
For more information about the Sentry Tournament of Champions, please visit sentrytournamentofchampions.com. Fans are encouraged to follow Sentry Tournament of Champions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.