Ten days after the 2017-18 PGA Tour season ended, the 2018-19 season begins this week in Napa, Calif., with the first of eight Fall tournaments played over the next seven weeks.
Three of the events will be played in Asia, including a WGC tournament in China. There will also be a tournament that week in Jackson, Miss., with the 2018 portion of the schedule wrapping up with the RSM Classic at Sea Island GC Nov. 15-18.
The 2019 schedule begins with the annual Tournament of Champions in Hawaii Jan. 3-6. The West Coast swing remains unchanged, but the remainder of the season will be considerably different, with two new tournaments added, the Players and PGA Championship having new, earlier dates, and the FedExCup Playoffs pushed up almost a month, with one of the three events prior to the Tour Championship at East Lake eliminated.
With the addition of several players from the Web.com Tour, there will be 31 golfers with Georgia ties who will be fully exempt members of the PGA Tour, plus a handful with limited status as past tournament winners.
Here is a look at the golfers with Georgia ties on the 2018-19 PGA Tour. with their final FedExCup rank from 2018-19 in parentheses:
Bubba Watson (10), UGA: Won three times to finish fifth in regular season points, but after a T5 in the Masters, did not do much the rest of the season other than his third career win in Hartford before a few strong showings in the Playoffs. Ranked fifth on tour in strokes gained off the tee, bur struggled around the greens.
Patrick Reed (22), Augusta State: After his Masters victory, was mostly invisible the rest of the season with the exception of a fourth place finish in the U.S. Open. Was 10th in points prior to Playoffs. Ranked second on the tour in scrambling and was 26th in scoring despite finishing near the bottom in both fairways and greens hit.
Patton Kizzire (30), St. Simons Island resident: After almost winning in Las Vegas, scored early season victories in Mexico and Hawaii to lead the FedExCup standings. Did nothing after that to finish 15th in points before dropping 15 spots in the Playoffs to barely make it to East Lake. Stats reflected his poor season-long quality of play after fast start.
Chesson Hadley (44), Georgia Tech: In return from Web.com Tour, enjoyed an outstanding season until late fade, recording 13 top 25s and seven top 10s. Among the tour leaders in approach shots, leading to a high rank in birdies.
Luke List (45), grew up in north Georgia, recently moved to Augusta: Produced a breakthrough season, placing 29th in points before poor showing in Playoffs. Placed in top 5 three times including playoff loss to Justin Thomas in Honda. Among the longest hitters on tour and excellent around the greens, but ranked 180th of 193 in putting.
Kevin Kisner (47), UGA: Lost to Watson in finals of Match Play and tied for second in British Open to highlight otherwise so-so season. Other than putting (13th), stats were pretty dismal across the board.
Brian Harman (48): Savannah native/UGA/St. Simons resident: Cooled off after torrid start and was a non-factor in majors and Playoffs, dropping from 32nd in regular season. Ranked 27th in fairways hit and putting, but lagged in other stats.
Charles Howell (53), Augusta native: As usual, played consistently for most of season before gradually sliding down points list once Summer arrived. Had 14 top-25 finishes, but only three top 10s, and excellent ball-striking stats did not pay off as reflected by low rank in birdies.
Zach Johnson (58), St. Simons resident: Other than driving distance had very strong season statistically, but managed just two tops among 14 top 25s, three of the latter coming in majors. Finished in top 20 for the season in scoring.
Chris Kirk (66), Woodstock native/UGA/Athens resident: Tie for fourth at Sea Island GC, where he is a past champion, was best finish of overall solid season. One of the better iron players on tour, but driving stats not so great.
Keith Mitchell (67), UGA/St. Simons resident: Played well as a rookie, including a T3 in the Byron Nelson. Ranked in top 10 in both driving distance and strokes gained off the tee, and was 35th in greens in regulation and 13th in birdies, but was among the bottom 10 in putting. Was the only player with Georgia ties to improve his position in the Playoffs, gaining one spot from the regular season.
Stewart Cink (73), Georgia Tech/Duluth resident: Had three top-4 finishes in strong Summer stretch, including a T4 in PGA Championship, which earned him a spot in 2019 Masters. Ranked in top 10 in approach shots, but missed too many fairways and did not have a good season on the greens.
Matt Kuchar (76), Georgia Tech/St. Simons resident: Suffered through his poorest season in almost a decade, as quality putting stats did not produce enough birdies. Tie for ninth in British Open was one of a modest four top 10s for the entire season.
Russell Henley (96), Macon native/UGA: One of the more accurate drivers on tour (11th) and among top 30 in approach stats, but short game suffered, leading to sub-par season. Tie for sixth in Hartford best finish and one of only three top 10s.
Ollie Schniederjans (98), Powder Springs/Georgia Tech: Disappointing sophomore season largely due to inaccurate driving (bottom 5 on tour), which resulted in too many missed greens. Top 25 in birdies and scrambling, but will need to hit more fairways to reach potential.
Trey Mullinax (102), St. Simons resident: Placed second on tour in driving distance (318.7), but ranked well down the list in fairways hit, approaches and scrambling. Member of two Alabama national championship teams showed improvement in second season, highlighted by tie for second in San Antonio.
Richy Werenski (110), Georgia Tech: Tied for fourth in Memphis and almost won an opposite field event, but only one other top-20 finish. Kept card for second straight season with finish around 100 on points list.
J.T. Poston (117), St. Simons resident: Missed top 125 as rookie in 2016-17, but moved up enough as sophomore to regain exempt status. Tie for fourth last Fall in Las Vegas was best finish. Driving stats good, iron play not so much.
Vaughn Taylor (118), Augusta native and resident/Augusta State: One of the straighter drivers on tour, had solid year tee to green and placed among the top 30 in birdies, but did not have a good year on or around the greens. Tied for eighth last fall in RSM Classic for best finish of season.
Scott Brown (122), Augusta native: Barely retained his exempt status despite some terrible stats, notching a pair of finishes of sixth or better in the Fall and hanging on the rest of the season.
Harris English (125), Valdosta native/UGA/St. Simons resident: After four straight excellent seasons from 2013-16, struggled for second straight year and needed a T11 finish in final event of regular season in Greensboro to slip into top 125. Other than his short game, did not fare well statistically, but will attempt to regain his past form in new season.
Michael Thompson (142), St. Simons resident: Finished in the top 140 in FedExCup standings for fourth straight year, but again regained his exempt status with top 25 finish in Web.com Finals series. Hit a lot of greens and was 14th in putting, but overall tee to green game was not great. Best finish was a T11 in Greensboro.
Hudson Swafford (156), UGA/St. Simons resident: After a win in the California desert in 2017, little went right for him this season. Drove the ball reasonably well and had solid GIR numbers, but did not hit it close that often and struggled with short game. Best showing was a T12 in Canada. Still exempt thanks to 2017 victory.
Wesley Bryan (163), Augusta resident: After earning Web.com Player of the Year honors in 2016 and winning as a PGA Tour rookie in ’17, suffered though season-long sophomore slump. Was 29th in putting and sixth in scrambling, but finished dead last in driving and was in the bottom 10 in GIR. A T12 in Memphis was his only top 25. Like Swafford, remains fully exempt.
Jonathan Byrd (181), St. Simons resident: Returned to PGA Tour last year full time after two seasons on Web.com, but lost status after difficult season. Best showing was a T24 in final event of regular season in Greensboro, and did not finish in top 25 in Web.com Finals. Will play a limited PGA Tour schedule off past champion status.
Cameron Tringale (195), Georgia Tech: After a number of solid seasons, finished outside top 125 in 2017 and almost fell out of top 200 this past season. Missed 19 of 26 cuts, but for second straight year regained exempt status in Web.com Finals, tying for third in Tour Championship a few weeks ago.
Davis Love (210), St. Simons resident: Has lifetime exemption, but at the age of 54 may be looking more at the Champions Tour, where he has made just 13 starts since turning 50 in 2014. In 12 PGA starts this season, made six cuts with only one finish better than T44.
Five golfers with Georgia ties are moving up from the Web.com to PGA Tour. Among them is Roberto Castro (Alpharetta/Georgia Tech), who played on the PGA Tour the previous six seasons and twice qualified for the Tour Championship. He finished 24th on the Web.com regular season money list.
The other four Web.com graduates will be rookies on the PGA Tour for the 2018-19 season. Anders Albertson (Woodstock/Georgia Tech) and Joey Garber (UGA/St. Simons resident) both finished among the top 25 during the regular season with one victory apiece. Sepp Straka (Valdosta/UGA), also a tournament winner this season and Seth Reeves (Gwinnett native and resident/Georgia Tech), both finished in the top 25 in the Web.com Finals series.
The trio of Troy Matteson (Georgia Tech), Jason Bohn (Acworth resident) and Heath Slocum (Milton resident), all multiple PGA Tour winners, finished between 221 and 225 in the FedExCup standings and will get a handful of starts from their past champion status.
Kris Blanks (Warner Robins native) and Will Claxton (Swainsboro native) returned to the PGA Tour in 2018 after lengthy absences, and made a combined 11 starts. Blanks, who made one cut in six attempts, has three starts left on his medical extension and Claxton, who missed the cut in all five of his appearances, has seven starts remaining.