The Tour Championship
The Tour Championship is the final event in the PGA Tour's FedExCup tournament schedule and one of the last big-money events on the Tour's fall schedule. The Tour became part of the FedExCup in 2007, when it was named the four-event playoff's finale. The Fed Ex champion now is crowned after the Tour. The FedExCup tournament is limited to only the top 30 golfers on the points list. The Tour has been hosted by East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta since 2004. It is one of the richest events on the PGA Tour.
The first Tour Championship was held in November 1987 at Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio. The field included the top 30 money winners on the PGA Tour at that point in the season. At the time, it was the finale of the PGA Tour and finalized the official money list at the end of the championship (there were a few events held after the Tour, but the money won was unofficial). Tom Watson won the first tournament, then called the Nabisco Championships of Golf.
For the first 20 years of its existence, the Tour rotated among Oak Hills Country Club, Pebble Beach, Pinehurst No. 2 and several other clubs as hosts of the event. It became known as the Tour Championship for the first time in 1991, when Craig Stadler won in a playoff. It moved to its current home, Atlanta's East Lake Golf Club, permanently in 2004.
In 2007, some big changes were made to the Tour's format, including the PGA creating the FedExCup and naming the Tour its finale event. The tournament was moved from early November to late September to coincide with golf's four-event "postseason." The qualifications for the tournament also changed. Instead of the top 30 money winners, the top 30 players in points in the FedEx standings now qualify for the event. The field usually changes often until the first three FedEx events in August and September are concluded.
Because there are only 30 participants, there is no second-round cut, and all players that begin the event play all four rounds. The points system guarantees that if the winner of the Tour is in the top five in the FedEx standings, he will win the FedEx title, but it is possible to win the Tour and not the FedExCup (it happened in 2008 and 2009).
The tournament record was set in 2007 by Tiger Woods, who shot a 13-under 257. The same year, Zach Johnson set the round record with a 10-under 70. Woods and Phil Mickelson each have won the Tour twice, and they are the only two golfers that have repeated at the tournament.
ESPN.com Tour Championship Coverage
2009: Mickelson wins event, Tiger the Cup
2008: Villegas edges Garcia in playoff for Tour Championship crown
2007: Tiger secures $10 million prize with seventh win of '07
2006: Scott wins Tour Championship after final-round 66
2005: Bryant blows away field at Tour Championship/a>
2004: Tiger ends season without a stroke-play win
2003: Campbell makes first win a runaway
2002: Singh Fends Off Field
2001: Playoff birdie gives title to Weir
2000: Mickelson Overtakes Woods to Complete Atlanta Double
East Lake Golf Club has been the home of the Tour Championship since 2004, though it hosted the tournament several times before that. It has hosted tournaments such as the Ryder Cup and the U.S. Men's Amateur in the 100-plus years since its opening.
In 2010, East Lake's course is a par-70 at 7,154 yards. Its signature hole is the 168-yard, par-3 sixth. The hole has existed from its first design in 1907 and was then one of the only island greens in the country. The course record was set by Zach Johnson in 2007, when he shot a 10-under 60 at the Tour.
East Lake grew in renown in the 1920s as the home course of Bobby Jones, who later served as the club's president in 1946-47. Jones played his final game of golf at East Lake in 1948. East Lake coincided the opening of its second course with Jones's Grand Slam of Golf in 1930, celebrating one of its own.
The club was built in 1906 and opened a year later. It was the brainchild of the Atlanta Athletic Club, and its director, John Heisman. It was designed by architect Tom Bendelow, who later designed a second course on the site. The course hosted the Southern Amateur championship in 1907, its first year of operation.
The recognized establishment date for the club is six years later, in 1913. In that year, Donald Ross completely redesigned the course, called in by the AAC to design what could become a championship course. He also redesigned Bendelow's No. 2 course in 1928, and that course opened two years later.
The club hosted several tournaments throughout the 1950s and '60s, buoyed by the reputation of Jones, who grew up on the course. But the AAC sold the No. 2 course to developers and moved to Duluth in the mid-1960s, becaue of deterioration of the surrounding East Lake. Several members of the club were able to buy the club and original course in 1968 and opened the newly-formed East Lake Country Club, though the course's surroundings continued to detriment its reputation. In 1993, a local foundation bought the course and sought to reinvent it to honor Jones and the course's history. Rees Jones was brought in in 1994 to restore Ross' original course layout, and the clubhouse also was restored to its original architecture and purpose.
Since then, East Lake has become a popular tournament spot, and has hosted the Tour each year since 2004. It also has hosted such tournaments as the Southern Amateur, the U.S. Men's Amateur and the Western Junior since its renovation.
2013 FEDEXCUP SCHEDULE
THE TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP PAST WINNERS
|2012||Brandt Snedeker||270 (-10)|
|2011||Bill Haas||272 (-8)|
|2010||Jim Furyk||272 (-8)|
|2009||Phil Mickelson||271 (-9)|
|2008||Camilo Villegas||273 (-7)|
|2007||Tiger Woods||257 (-23)|
|2006||Adam Scott||269 (-11)|
|2005||Bart Bryant||263 (-17)|
|2004||Retief Goosen||269 (-11)|
|2003||Chad Campbell||268 (-16)|
|2002||Vijay Singh||268 (-12)|
|2001||Mike Weir||270 (-14)|
|2000||Phil Mickelson||267 (-13)|
|1999||Tiger Woods||269 (-15)|
|1998||Hal Sutton||274 (-6)|
|1997||David Duval||273 (-11)|
|1996||Tom Lehman||268 (-12)|
|1995||Billy Mayfair||280 (E)|
|1994||Mark McCumber||274 (-10)|
|1993||Jim Gallagher Jr.||277 (-7)|
|1992||Paul Azinger||276 (-8)|
|1991||Craig Stadler||277 (-7)|
|1990||Jodie Mudd||273 (-11)|
|1989||Tom Kite||276 (-8)|
|1988||Curtis Strange||279 (-9)|
|1987||Tom Watson||268 (-12)|