The Tour Championship has been a limited field event since its inception and has served as the finale of the PGA Tour season. It has also served as the conclusion of the FedEx Cup since 2007.
There’s plenty at stake this week in Atlanta. Here are five nuggets to know about the Tour Championship.
1. FIRST TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
The Tour Championship dates back to 1987 when it was known as the Nabisco Championship and was played at the Oak Hills Country Club, in San Antonio, Texas.
The inaugural edition was won by Tom Watson, where he finished his four rounds at 12-under par, edging Chip Beck by two strokes. Watson earned $360,000 for the title.
2. EAST LAKE GOLF CLUB
The East Lake Golf Club first served as the host of the Tour Championship in 1998, and since 2004 has served as the permanent host for the season-ending tournament.
The East Lake Golf Club is the oldest golf club in Atlanta and was established in 1904. East Lake served as the home course for the legendary golfer Bobby Jones and much of its clubhouse serves as a tribute to his accomplishments.
In 2016, after criticism from fans, the PGA Tour reversed the nines to provide a finish on the more exciting par-5 9th hole, instead of the par-3 18th.
3. COCA-COLA SPONSORSHIP
Coca-Cola has been the title holder of the Tour Championship since 2002 and played an instrumental part in making the East Lake Golf Club the permanent home for the event.
Coca Cola was started in Atlanta in 1886, and it’s no surprise that they would want the event to be played in their backyard. Earlier this year, FedEx Cup defending champion signed a multi-year partnership deal with Coca Cola.
4. MILLIONS AT STAKE
It’s always been a little confusing to track exactly how much money is up for grabs at East Lake, but let’s just say it’s a ton of money.
The purse for the tournament is $9,000,000, while the FedExCup annuity distribution is $35,000,000, adding up to $44,000,000.
The biggest payday would be if a player were to win both the tournament ($1.65m) and the FedExCup ($10m), which is the norm. Further, even the last-place (30th) finisher will walk away with $150,000 for the tournament, and another $175,000 annuity bonus, totaling $325,000. For coming in dead last.
5. TIGER’S RECORDS
Tiger Woods makes his return to East Lake for the first time since 2013 (T22), and while he hasn’t owned East Lake like he has other tracks, such as Bay Hill, Doral, or Firestone, he is the most accomplished golfer at the season-ending venue.
Woods holds a bunch of records here, including the Lowest Scoring Average, Lowest Winning Total and the Highest Earnings.