Less than three weeks after the 2018-19 PGA Tour season ended, the 2019-20 season begins Sept. 12 with one of two tournaments that has moved to the newly expanded Fall schedule.
The Greenbrier, which will be the season opener for 2019-20, and the Houston Open, which is set for mid-October, are the new additions to the Fall, along with an event in Japan, which replaces one in Malaysia on a three-week Asia swing.
The tournament in Jackson, Miss., which has been played opposite the World Golf Championship event in China, has its own date (Sept. 19-22), with a new opposite field tournament on Bermuda taking its place the same week as the WGC HSBC Champions.
The RSM Classic at Sea Island GC will again be the calendar year finale Nov. 21-24 as the 11thand final event of 2019 on the wraparound schedule. The last big event of 2019 will be the Presidents Cup, which will be played Dec. 12-15 in Australia.
The 2020 portion of the schedule begins Jan. 2 in Hawaii with the Tournament of Champions, and there will be a few changes to it, in part to accommodate golf’s inclusion in the Summer Olympics in Japan. The Olympic golf tournament is scheduled for July 30-Aug. 2, the week before the regular season finale in Greensboro, N.C.
The second-year tour stop in Detroit will be played one month earlier in late May, with the WGC event in Memphis moving from late July to early July, swapping places with the second-year tournament in Minnesota. The move could cause a conflict for top European Tour players unless that tour adjusts its pre-British Open schedule.
The sites for this year’s rotating majors are Harding Park in San Francisco (PGA), Winged Foot (U.S. Open) and St. George’s (British). The first of the Playoffs events moves to TPC Boston, with the Chicago stop at Olympia Fields. The Tour Championship will be played August 27-30 at East Lake.
The Georgia contingent on the PGA Tour will again consist of approximately 30 players, with four young pros losing their status and several others beginning the year with short term medical extensions. Two Georgia residents earned PGA Tour status via top-25 finishes on the KF (formerly Web.com Tour) with a former PGA Tour winner regaining his status in the KF Finals.
Here’s a look at the Georgians who will be competing on the 2019-20 PGA Tour:
Matt Kuchar, Georgia Tech/St. Simons Island resident: Led the FedExCup standings for most of the 2018-19 season after early wins in Mexico and Hawaii, and remained steady until a somewhat disappointing Playoffs showing. Finished third on the regular season points list after dropping to 64thlast season, the only time in the last 10 years he has failed to qualify for the Tour Championship. Missed only two of 22 cuts, had finishes of 16thor better in all three U.S. majors and recorded six finishes of fourth or better. Was third in earnings with $6.3 million.
Charles Howell, Augusta native: Was No. 1 in the FedExCup after closing out 2018 with his third career win in the RSM Classic, and never dropped below 15th, which is where he finished the regular season, earning $3 million for the first time in his 20-year career. Qualified for East Lake to earn a 2020 Masters invitation, taking his annual path of a fast start in the Fall and on the West Coast, followed by a slow Summer before grinding to a halt in the Playoffs.
Kevin Kisner, UGA: Title in the Match Play Championship, where he defeated Kuchar in the finals, was his third win in four seasons, and he made it to East Lake for the fourth time in five years, placing 12-9-9 in the three Playoffs events. Was 22ndin the regular season in points and earned $3.5 million with five top 10s, but no runner-up finishes after eight the previous four seasons.
Patrick Reed, Augusta State: Needed a strong regular season finish to end up 50thin points before scoring his seventh win in seven years in the Playoffs event in New Jersey. Wound up 19thon the money list with $3.6 million, qualifying for the Tour Championship for the sixth straight time.
J.T. Poston, St. Simons: Won the regular season finale in Greensboro to finish 27th, but fell to 32ndin the Playoffs. Finished outside the top 100 in his first two seasons, and moved up from 75thwith his victory. Will make his Masters debut in 2020.
Vaughn Taylor, Augusta/Augusta State: Was 63rdin the regular season, just his second top-100 finish since 2010. At the age of 43, notched four top 10s and had two solid Playoffs showings to move up to 49thin the final standings.
Keith Mitchell, UGA/St. Simons: Scored his first win in his second season in the Honda Classic, one of three big weeks that propelled him to 37thin the regular season. Faded a little late, but the long-hitting ex-Bulldog looks to be a player on the rise.
Chesson Hadley, Georgia Tech: Followed an outstanding 2017-18 season with a fast start, tying for second in Malaysia, but other than an out-of-nowhere ninth place finish in the U.S. Open, did not do much in 2019. Finished 80thin his sixth season on tour.
Bubba Watson, UGA: Has 12 PGA Tour titles since 2010, but went winless for the second time in three seasons after three victories in 2018. Other than a tie for ninth in the Memphis WGC, was not heard from after a T12 in Augusta, ending up 81ston the points list following a missed cut in the Playoffs opener.
Russell Henley, Macon native/UGA: Was 165thin the FedExCup late in the season before a final round 61 resulted in a runner-up finish in the John Deere. Has three wins since his rookie season in 2013, but has been outside the top 80 for three of the last four years, placing 81stin the regular season.
Brian Harman, Savannah native/UGA/St. Simons: Finished strong with top 10s in three of his last six starts in the regular season, adding to a T8 in the Players. In eight seasons on tour, has had three very good ones with a pair of wins and five so-so showings, with his final finish of 88thfalling into the latter category.
Michael Thompson, St. Simons: Finished with a career-best four top10s, three of them in California, in a solid ninth season on tour that including four results of 16thor better. Ended up 89thin the FedExCup.
Luke List, Augusta: Took a step back after a strong season in 2017-18, dropping from 29 in the regular season to 87. Had a pair of ties for fourth in the Fall, one at Sea Island, but had only two more top 10s in ’19, including a sixth in the PGA at Bethpage Black. Missed his last six cuts in the regular season.
Cameron Tringale, Georgia Tech: After his least successful season on the PGA Tour in 2071-18 (195 in the FedExCup), he was 190 early this season before finishing with eight top-25s in his last 14 starts to move up to 101, the seventh time in 10 years he has finished among the top 125.
Scott Brown, Augusta native: Was 109 on the regular season points list, his seventh straight finish inside the top 125. Collected four top 10s, including a T5 in the team event in New Orleans with Aiken, S.C. neighbor Kisner. Finished about $500 short of earning $1 million on the season.
Sepp Straka, Valdosta/UGA: Was outside the top 160 before a strong finish to his rookie season that began with a final round 67 in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Had several other top finishes late in the season, including a third in the opposite field event in Kentucky. Played his way onto the tour with a Web.com win in 2018.
Patton Kizzire, St. Simons: Won twice and earned a Tour Championship berth in 2017-18, but struggled for much of this season following a successful start. After a T18 in the Masters, missed seven straight cuts including the three other majors and was 118 on the regular season points list.
Richy Werenski, Georgia Tech: Finished 126 in the FedExCup in his third season, and improved his status a bit by tying for 24thin the KF Finals. Tied for third in Mayakoba in the Fall of 2017, relying on one high finish for a sizeable chunk of his points for the third straight season.
Roberto Castro, Alpharetta/Georgia Tech: Made 16 of 22 cuts, but did not have enough top finishes to crack the top 125, ending the season 142 in the FedExCup. Elected not to play in the KF Finals, and will either play a limited PGA Tour schedule or split his time on the KF Tour. Has twice qualified for the Tour Championship in seven seasons, but has been outside the top 125 in four of his last five.
Harris English, Valdosta native/UGA/St. Simons: Finished outside the top 100 for the third straight year, falling to 149 to barely secure limited status for 2019-20. Made 21 of 28 cuts, but T12 in the Honda was only finish better than 20th, and he needed a final round 64 in Greensboro to crack the top 150. Was 42ndor better from 2013 to ’16, but has dropped precipitously since.
Zach Johnson, St. Simons: Will need the fifth year of his five-year British Open exemption after plummeting to 154 this past season, by far the worst showing of his 16-year career, which includes 12 wins and two majors. Played well at Sea Island GC and Sea Pines, but that was about it.
Stewart Cink, Georgia Tech/Duluth: Was 179 on the points list, but will qualify for a medical extension after missing two months with a bad back following five straight missed cuts. Ended the year with a T20 in the British Open, where he scored the last of his six victories in 2009.
Hudson Swafford, UGA/St. Simons: Will also start the season on a medical extension after missing the last two months of the season. Made nine of his first 11 cuts including a third place finish in Hawaii, but then missed eight of his last nine before playing his final event of the season in early June. Finished 162 on the points list and could regain his status with a few good tournaments. Has not some much since his Desert Classic win in early 2017.
Trey Mullinax, St. Simons: Third year pro as unable to play the last two events of the season after standing 150 in the FedExCup, finishing 157, and also missed the KF Finals. Was inside the top 125 before missing the cut in his last six starts. May have only one or two starts, but doesn’t need many points to at least move into the top 150.
Chris Kirk, Woodstock/UGA/Athens: Has four wins in his nine seasons but was experiencing his least successful season when he dropped off the tour in early May to deal with alcohol and depression issues. Has applied for a special medical extension for the 2019-20 season.
Davis Love, St. Simons: Has a lifetime exemption, but made just nine starts in an injury-shortened season, and turns 56 next year. He played several recent Champions events after the PGA Tour season ended.
Jonathan Byrd, St. Simons: Finished just outside the top 150 at 151, and will return to past champions status this season.
Brendon Todd, UGA/Atlanta: Regained his status in the KF Finals after some decent showings on the PGA Tour in 2018-19. In 11 starts, had four top-25 finishes and placed 183 in points. Won the Byron Nelson Classic in 2014, but lost his status after the 2016 season.
Recent Georgia Tech golfers and Atlanta area residents Ollie Schniederjans, Anders Albertson andSeth Reeves and recent UGA golfer Joey Garber finished outside the top 150 and will be back on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2020.
Henrik Norlander, Augusta State, and Vince Whaley, Georgia Tech, finished in the top 25 on the KF Tour this season to qualify for the 2019-20 PGA Tour. Norlander has played two seasons on the tour, while Whaley will be a rookie.