Field set for Tour Championship at Atlantic Beach Country Club

Field set for Tour Championship at
Atlantic Beach Country Club

Season-ending event to feature two-time major champion, PGA TOUR winners and Tour stars

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The season-ending Tour Championship – the fourth and final event in the annual Tour Finals – gets underway at Atlantic Beach (Fla.) Country Club this week as one of the year’s strongest fields will compete for a $1 million purse and one of 25 PGA TOUR cards on the line.

Since 2013, the Tour has awarded 50 PGA TOUR cards annually, with the top 25 players on the Regular-Season-ending money list earning theirs following the conclusion of the WinCo Foods Portland Open in August, and the additional 25 coming via the Tour Finals – which combine Nos. 1-75 on the Tour money list and Nos. 126-200 on the TOUR’s FedExCup points list.

The field at Atlantic Beach is littered with a number of familiar PGA TOUR names, including two-time major championship winner Angel Cabrera, nine-time TOUR winner Stuart Appleby, five-time TOUR winner Jonathan Byrd and four-time TOUR winner Camilo Villegas.

Cabrera, 47, famously won the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club and the 2009 Masters Tournament in a three-way playoff over Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell. The Argentina native won the 2014 Greenbrier Classic and notched three wins on the European Tour. Cabrera nearly added a second Green Jacket at the 2011 Masters Tournament, where he birdied the 72nd hole to force a playoff with Adam Scott before eventually losing to the Australian on the first extra hole.

Villegas, who ranked as high as No. 7 in the Official World Golf Ranking, entered the Tour Finals in hopes of improving on his current Past Champion status on the PGA TOUR.

The Colombian, who put together one of the best four-year careers in University of Florida golf history, won the BMW Championship and THE TOUR Championship during the 2008 FedExCup Playoffs before eventually adding victories at The Honda Classic in 2010 and the Wyndham Championship in 2014 to solidify his status as one of golf’s rising stars.

While the field is headlined by notable names with PGA TOUR resumes, the Tour Championship provides a glimpse into the next generation of golf standouts whose breakthrough year is set to culminate in Atlantic Beach.

Headlining that group is former trick-shot sensation Wesley Bryan, who won three times during the Tour’s Regular Season to earn the prestigious Three-Victory Promotion to the PGA TOUR in August. While Bryan has secured his exempt status for the 2016-17 season, he is still looking to secure the season-long money title, which encompasses earnings during both the Regular Season and the Finals.

Bryan’s $449,392 in earnings put him $41,429 ahead of Grayson Murray, who won the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship to move into the No. 2 slot after securing his PGA TOUR card during the Regular Season. The season-long money winner is not only exempt from the TOUR’s periodic reshuffles, but is exempt into THE PLAYERS Championship.

Following the conclusion of the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz in August, 25 Tour players were awarded with their 2016-17 PGA TOUR cards – with 19 of the 25 being rookies on TOUR this upcoming season. Of those 25 players, 24 are in the field at Atlantic Beach C.C., with six having the opportunity to overtake Bryan for the money title with a win or a top finish at the season-ending event.

Some of golf’s biggest newcomers are in the field at the Tour Championship as well, including former U.S. Amateur champion Bryson DeChambeau, former Alabama Crimson Tide star Bobby Wyatt, Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Sam Saunders, the grandson of golf legend Arnold Palmer, who passed away on Sunday, September 25.

DeChambeau, whose unique use of physics and single-length clubs generated headlines throughout his illustrious amateur career, won the DAP Championship in early September to secure full PGA TOUR status via the Tour Finals.

The former Southern Methodist University golfer, who won the 2015 NCAA Championship, finished T4 in his professional debut at The RBC Heritage in April, and used the bulk of those earnings to qualify for the Finals through his non-member standing on the FedExCup points list.

Saunders, who grew up under the watchful eye of his grandfather, will be making just his second start in the Tour Finals after missing the cut at the DAP Championship. The 29-year-old, who spent the last two years on the PGA TOUR, finished No. 148 on the 2015-16 FedExCup points list, posting two top-10 finishes – including a season-best T8 at the Barbasol Championship in July.

The tournament proper and the $180,000 winner’s share won’t be the only focus of the season-ending week on the Tour, as an additional 25 PGA TOUR cards for the 2016-17 season will be awarded on Sunday night to the top players on the Finals-only money list. The 25th and final card is often decided by the narrowest of margins, including $101 in 2015, when Rob Oppenheim passed Eric Axley to earn his TOUR card.

Tim Wilkinson, a New Zealand native who currently lives in nearby Jacksonville Beach, Fla., is at No. 25 on the Tour Finals money list entering the week.

23. Tag Ridings $28,493 University of Arkansas
24. Cameron Percy $27,560 N/A
25. Tim Wilkinson $27,425 N/A
26. Rob Oppenheim $27,033 Rollins College
27. Austin Cook $27,000 University of Arkansas
28. Henrik Norlander $26,637 Augusta State University
29. Andrew Putnam $24,565 Pepperdine University
30. Josh Teater $24,253 Morehead State University

Players who have already secured their PGA TOUR cards through the Regular Season and the Finals are vying for positioning and status for the 2016-17 season, which will be used to fill fields accordingly.

Other Jacksonville-area players of note in this week’s field include Chris Baker, Ryan Blaum, Cam Smith, Steve Wheatcroft, Luke Guthrie and Sebastian Cappellen.

Past winners of the Tour Championship include major champions David Duval (1993) and Stewart Cink (1996), as well as PGA TOUR winners Matt Every (2009), Chesson Hadley (2013) and Emiliano Grillo (2015).

Tickets are still available for the Tour Championship, where proceeds will benefit Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

For more information on the Tour Championship, or to purchase tickets, please visit

Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, is a part of Baptist Health, Northeast Florida’s most comprehensive health system serving every stage of life. Not-for-profit Wolfson Children’s is the only hospital just for kids in Northeast Florida and serves as the region’s pediatric referral center. Staffed 24/7 by pediatric nurses and other healthcare professionals specially trained to work with children, the 216-bed, patient- and family-centered hospital features the latest pediatric medical technology in a welcoming, child-friendly environment. At Wolfson Children’s, nationally recognized pediatric specialists representing nearly every medical and surgical specialty work with pediatricians to provide care for children of all ages with congenital heart conditions, cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and endocrinology disorders, orthopedic conditions, behavioral health conditions, and more. For additional information, please visit

Founded (1990), owned and operated by the PGA TOUR, the Tour continues to identify those players who are ready to compete and win on golf’s biggest stage. In 2013, the Tour became The Path to the PGA TOUR with all 50 available PGA TOUR cards coming through the Tour and the season culminating at the four-event Tour Finals. became the Tour’s umbrella sponsor on June 27, 2012, with a 10-year agreement in place through 2021. This season marks the 27th year of competition on the Tour. Three out of four PGA TOUR members are Tour alumni. Tour alumni have won more than 425 PGA TOUR titles, including 21 majors and five PLAYERS Championships. The PGA TOUR, through the efforts of its Tours and their tournaments, sponsors, players and volunteers, has surpassed $2 billion in charitable giving. To learn more about the PGA TOUR, the Tour and to follow the season-long quest for a PGA TOUR card, visit PGATOUR.COM, or follow the Tour on social media via Twitter (@WebDotComTour), Facebook ( and Instagram (

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