The starting sheet for the CJ Cup shines next week in South Carolina as 15 players ranked in the world’s top 20 enter the PGA Tour Championships at Congaree Golf Club in the Jasper County countryside.
No. 1 Scotty Scheffler and No. 3 Rory McIlroy, whose commitments were previously announced, headline the field that became official on Friday afternoon.
“The strength isn’t just in the top ten,” said Bruce Davidson, Congaree’s golf manager. “Just look at the depth of the quality. The field has the shape of a major tournament.”
The only top ten players missing were second seed Cam Smith, who left the PGA Tour to compete on the LIV Tour; No. 4 Patrick Cantlay; No. 6 Xander Shaveli; And No. 7 Will Zalatores, who missed out on a back injury.
The highly-rated players joining Schaeffler and McIlroy will be No. 5 John Ram, No. 8 Justin Thomas, No. 9 Colin Morikawa, and No. 10 Matt Fitzpatrick. Among the household names ranked from 11 to 20 who will compete are Victor Hovland, Jordan Spieth, Tom Kim, Hideki Matsuyama and Songjae M.
“You don’t see that kind of quality every week,” Davidson said.
Qualifications for field limited to 78 include finishing in the top 60 in the 2021-22 FedEx Cup standings. In addition to sponsor exemptions, five Korean PGA-designed players will compete.
The CJ Cup in South Carolina is the second PGA Tour event to move to Palmetto State at the last minute due to the challenges caused by the coronavirus outbreak. She played the tournament in Korea for the first three years (2017-19), and moved to Las Vegas for 2020 and 21.
Officials had hoped to return to Korea this fall, but lingering fears of the coronavirus forced the change, finalizing a move to Congaree in June.
After the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2021 RBC Canadian Open, the tour established the Palmetto Championships in Congaree in June.
The June tournament came a week before the US Open and only a few top players competed – currently LIV contender Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka. Jaric Hugo, a South African national who played on his second PGA Tour, won with a score of 11 under par 273.
The Tom Fazio-designed design, which can extend out to 7,800 yards, will perform differently in cold weather. Additionally, early week rain softened the palmetto championship trajectory.
“If nothing changes, the trajectory will be what we want it to be – firm and fast,” Davidson said. “Congaree will be a challenge.”
McIlroy defends the champion. He beat Morikawa by one stroke to the title a year ago.
+ Exempting the guarantor; * KPGA
Byung Hun An; Young Joon Bae *; Christian Bezuidenhout; Keegan Bradley; Sam Burns; Wyndham Clark; Corey Connors; Cam Davis; Jason Day +; Harris English +; Matt Fitzpatrick; Tommy Fleetwood; Ricky Fowler +; Lucas Glover Emiliano Grillo
Adam Hadwin, Brian Harman, Terrell Hatton, Russell Henley, Lee Hodges, Tom Hogg, Max Homma, Billy Hurschel, Victor Hovland; Chanmin Jung + Pyo Kim *; u Kim Se Woo Kim Tom Kim Youngsoo Kim *; Chris Kirk Kevin Kissner Kurt Kitayama Matt Kochar
KH Lee Luke List Shane Laurie Hideki Matsuyama Denny McCarthy Rory McIlroy Maverick McNeely Troy Merritt Keith Mitchell Taylor Montgomery +; Taylor Moore; Colin Morikawa; Tree Moulinex; Sebastian Muñoz; Alex Noreen; Ryan Palmer +; Sangheon Mito Pereira Park JT Boston The Power of Seamus Andrew Putnam
John Ram Shea Reeve Davis Riley Scottie Scheffler Usopp Seo*; sangon shin*; Web Simpson +; Alex Smalley; JJ Spawn; Jordan Spieth; Scott Stallings, Brendan Steele, Sepp Straca, Justin Soh +; True Thigala, Justin Thomas Brendon Todd +; Danny Willett + Aaron Wise; Gary Woodland +; Cameron Young
CJ Cup dates
Thursday to Sunday, 20-23 October
Where is Congaree National Golf Club located?
The The Congaree Trail is located off Interstate 95 in rural Jasper County in Ridgeland, South Carolina. It is located more than 90 minutes west of Charleston and about an hour north of Savannah, Georgia, and about two hours from Columbia.
CJ . Cup tickets
Daily stadium tickets are available online at www.CJCUPSouthCarolina.com. A maximum of 2 children aged 15 years and under are allowed free admission per adult ticket.
This story was originally published October 14, 2022 5:49 pm.