Korn Ferry Tour Championship Pre-Tournament Notes

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Korn Ferry Tour Championship
presented by United Leasing & Finance

Victoria National Golf Club | Newburgh, Indiana | August 27 – 30, 2020

Quick Facts
Golf Course: Victoria National Golf Club (Par 72, 7,242 yards)

Course Designer: Tom Fazio (1998)

Purse: $1,000,000 (Winner: $180,000 / 750 points)

Field Overview (as of August 25)

TELEVISION TIMES: All listed times are local time zone (CDT).

Thursday 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.   Friday 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Saturday 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.      Sunday 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Korn Ferry Tour Championship Series

The Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance has traditionally served as the culminating event of the Korn Ferry Tour season that awards the top-25 players within the Finals their PGA TOUR cards. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 season has been combined with the 2021 season, postponing PGA TOUR promotion until the end of the 2021 season. In 2020, the three-event Korn Ferry Tour Finals has been replaced by the Korn Ferry Tour Championship Series.

Similar to the traditional Korn Ferry Tour Finals, the Korn Ferry Tour Championship Series will continue to have elevated purses and points. But instead of competing for PGA TOUR cards, the Korn Ferry Tour Championship Series centers around two main incentives:

  • The top-10 players in the Korn Ferry Tour points standings at the conclusion of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship will earn entry into the PGA TOUR’s additional events (also known as opposite-field events) during the 2020-21 season. The top-10 players on the current points list are:
    • Will Zalatoris (1566 pts.)
    • Davis Riley (1445)
    • Lee Hodges (1232)
    • Taylor Pendrith (1121)
    • Paul Barjon (968)
    • Mito Pereira (948)
    • Stephan Jaeger (909)
    • Dylan Wu (905)
    • Chad Ramey (889)
    • David Lipsky (875)
  • The top-five players (not otherwise exempt) on a three-tournament points list encompassing the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco, last week’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and Korn Ferry Tour Championship will receive exemptions into the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot.
    • The top-five players in the U.S. Open exemption standings through last week’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship are Stephan Jaeger (702 pts.), Curtis Luck (600), Cameron Young (328), Brandon Wu (275) and Dan McCarthy (273).

With U.S. Open exemptions and entry into the PGA TOUR’s additional events on the line, the Korn Ferry Tour Championship will continue to provide dramatic storylines down the stretch at Victoria National.

Tournament History

This week will mark the 27th playing of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship. In 1993, David Duval took home the inaugural title. To this day, Duval remains the youngest player to win the Korn Ferry Tour Championship at 21-years-old. Duval went on to win 13 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, including The Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in 2001 and the 1999 PLAYERS Championship. Other notable past champions include Stewart Cink, Steve Flesch, Nick Watney, Matt Every and Chesson Hadley. Like Duval, Cink went on to win The Open Championship in 2009.

Many PGA TOUR stars played in the Korn Ferry Tour Championship prior to achieving success on TOUR. Players such as Jim Furyk, Bubba Watson, Jimmy Walker, Jason Dufner, Webb Simpson, Tony Finau and Justin Thomas all competed in the Korn Ferry Tour Championship throughout the tournament’s history.

Last season, Tom Lewis carded a final-round 65 en route to a five-stroke victory at Victoria National. The event marked Lewis’ Korn Ferry Tour debut as he became the first player to win his first Korn Ferry Tour start since Sungjae Im in 2018. On the PGA TOUR this season, Lewis has made five cuts in 12 starts and earned a T2 finish at the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. The 29-year-old played well enough to finish the Regular Season ranked 123rd in the FedExCup standings, earning him a spot in the FedExCup Playoffs.  

Past Champions

YearChampionScoresTo ParMargin
2019Tom Lewis68-66-66-65 – 265-235
2018Denny McCarthy64-65-67-65 – 261-234
2017Jonathan Byrd64-65-64-67 – 260-244
2015Emiliano Grillo66-64-67-69 – 266-141
2014Derek Fathauer65-66-67-68 – 266-141
2013Chesson Hadley65-66-70-69 – 270-102
2012Justin Bolli65-71-67-65 – 268-162
2011Ken Duke72-68-70-68 – 278-102
2010Brendan Steele*66-71-65-73 – 275-13Playoff
2009Matt Every70-63-67-67 – 267-213
2008Matt Bettencourt68-67-63-69 – 267-171
2007Richard Johnson66-64-67-67 – 264-201
2006Craig Kanada73-64-72-66 – 275-131
2005David Branshaw71-65-69-71 – 276-122
2004Nick Watney69-64-71-69 – 273-153
2003Chris Couch66-67-65-72 – 270-183
2002Patrick Moore71-69-66 – 206-102
2001Pat Bates71-72-72-69 – 284-43
2000Spike McRoy74-64-65-69 – 272-165
1999Bob Heintz*68-68-75-72 – 283-5Playoff
1998Bob Burns73-69-67-74 – 283-53
1997Steve Flesch69-68-68-73 – 278-104
1996Stewart Cink66-71-71-73 – 281-74
1995Allen Doyle*72-68-72-71 – 283-5Playoff
1994Mike Schuchart69-67-68-73 – 277-71
1993David Duval69-68-72-68 – 277-71

   *Playoff Victory

Local Players in the Field

Chase Wright leads the local contingent of players in the field this week. Wright grew up a few hours away from Victoria National in Muncie, Indiana, and played his college golf at Indiana University. After a year on the PGA TOUR, Wright returned to the Korn Ferry Tour this season. In 16 starts this year, he has made eight cuts and recorded two top-25s.

In 2018, Wright made 16 cuts in 25 starts on the Korn Ferry Tour and earned his first Korn Ferry Tour win at the Rust-Oleum Championship. He went on to finish the season ranked ninth in The 25 and secured his first PGA TOUR card.

Also in the field this week is Indianapolis University alum Justin Hueber. The 32-year-old was a standout for the Greyhounds before turning professional in 2009. Hueber owns three of the 10 lowest single-season scoring averages in school history, including a 72.3 scoring average in 2007-08, good for best all-time. This season on the Korn Ferry Tour, Hueber has made five cuts in 12 starts with three top-25s.

Course History

For the second time in tournament history, the Korn Ferry Tour Championship will be played at Victoria National Golf Club. The course previously hosted the Korn Ferry Tour’s United Leasing & Finance Championship from 2012-2018.

The 7,242-yard layout at Victoria National has proven to provide players a stern test. Last season, heavy rain in the area softened the course providing players more birdie opportunities than usual. In 2019, Victoria National played as the 14th most difficult course on Tour with a scoring average of 71.363. In 2018, 2016 and 2015, Victoria National Golf Club ranked as the most difficult course on Tour.

In 1999, the course was named the ‘Best New Private Course’ and has been ranked in Golf Digest’s ‘Top 100 United States Golf Courses’ every year since 2001. Last year, Golf Digest ranked Victoria National as the 43rd best course in the country.

By the Numbers: Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance

Tournament Record (18 holes): 59 (-12), Sam Saunders (Rd. 1, 2017)

Tournament Record (72 holes): 260 (-24), Jonathan Byrd (2018)

By the Numbers: Victoria National Golf Club

Hardest hole (2019): No. 14 (par 4, 471 yards) – 4.276 average, 111 bogeys, 14 double bogeys or worse

Easiest hole (2019): No. 15 (par 5, 548 yards) – 4.565 average, 12 eagles, 197 birdies

Tournament Record (18 holes): 63 (-9), Sebastián Vázquez (Rd. 2, 2016), Chris Baker (Rd. 1, 2019)

Tournament Record (72 holes): 265 (-23), Tom Lewis (2019)

Top Five to Watch

  • Will Zalatoris – Zalatoris continued his strong play with a T5 finish last week in Columbus. The 24-year-old enters the week atop the points list and in search of his second victory this season.
  • Taylor Montgomery – The UNLV product earned his best Korn Ferry Tour finish with a T2 last week in Ohio. He enters the week 6th on the Korn Ferry Tour Championship Series points list with a U.S. Open spot possibly in his sights.  
  • Nick Hardy – The rookie held the first-round lead at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and finished the week T5. The 24-year-old heads to Victoria National ranked 15th on the points list.
  • Cameron Young – Young has made the cut in each of his four Korn Ferry Tour starts this season and continued his strong play with a T2 finish in Columbus. Despite having to Monday qualify into the field in Omaha last month, the Wake Forest University product is now on the brink of a U.S. Open spot.  
  • Stephan Jaeger – The five-time Korn Ferry Tour winner continued his strong play with a T5 finish at last week’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and has locked up his spot in the U.S. Open. Jaeger was the first player in PGA TOUR history to record a round of 58, doing so at the 2016 Ellie Mae Classic.

Season Recap

  1. The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay – Tommy Gainey birdied his final three holes to pull away from the field and earn the first title of the 2019 season. It was the 44-year-old’s first win since the 2012 RSM Classic on the PGA TOUR.
  2. The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at Baha Mar – Jared Wolfe ran away from the field with birdies on three of his final four holes at The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at Baha Mar. Wolfe battled windy conditions in the final round to clinch the first Korn Ferry Tour title of his career.
  3. Panamá Championship – After an eagle on the back nine during his final round, Davis Riley held on to win the Panama Championship by one stroke over Roberto Díaz. The victory was Riley’s first on the Korn Ferry Tour and came in just his 21st Tour start.
  4. Country Club de Bogota Championship – Mito Pereira carded a final-round 64 to claim his first Korn Ferry Tour victory at the Country Club de Bogota Championship. Entering the 72nd hole tied at the top, Pereira sunk a long eagle putt to clinch the two-stroke victory.
  5. LECOM Suncoast Classic – Andrew Novak birdied each of his last two holes, including a 10-foot putt at the last, to win the LECOM Suncoast Classic last week by one shot over John Chin. He finished at 23-under 265 at Lakewood National Golf Club in his first career Korn Ferry Tour victory.
  6. El Bosque Mexico Championship by INNOVA – David Kocher survived a three-man playoff to claim his first Korn Ferry Tour victory. The 23-year-old defeated Paul Barjon and Chad Ramey on the first playoff hole to capture the title at El Bosque Country Club.
  7. Korn Ferry Challenge at TPC Sawgrass – Three months after beginning competition at THE PLAYERS Championship before the cancellation, Luke List returned to TPC Sawgrass and eventually edged a tight leaderboard at 12-under to win the Korn Ferry Challenge at TPC Sawgrass.
  8. The King & Bear Classic at World Golf Village – Chris Kirk erased a final-round four-stroke deficit to win The King & Bear Classic at World Golf Village. After taking six months off from golf as he worked through alcohol abuse and depression, Kirk returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since 2015.
  9. Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank – Kyle Jones held off local favorite Daniel Summerhays and Paul Haley II to win the Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank. Jones clinched the win with a birdie on the second playoff hole at Oakridge Country Club.
  10. TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes – Will Zalatoris broke through with his first professional win with a one-stroke victory at the TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes. A final-round 3-under 69 was enough to hold off Chase Johnson by one stroke and springboard Zalatoris to the top spot on the Korn Ferry Tour points list for the first time in his career.
  11. TPC San Antonio Challenge at the Canyons – A day after matching Fred Couples’ competitive course record (62) on moving day, David Lipsky capped off an incredible week with a final-round 66 to finish four strokes clear of the field at 25-under 263 at the TPC San Antonio Challenge at the Canyons.
  12. TPC San Antonio Championship at the Oaks – Davis Riley became the first player this season to win twice on Tour with a two-stroke win at the TPC San Antonio Championship at the Oaks. Riley posted a final-round 5-under 67 on Saturday and finished at 16-under for the week to top Paul Barjon and Taylor Pendrith.
  13. Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper – Max McGreevy carded a bogey-free, 8-under 64 on Sunday to win the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper by one stroke at 21-under 267. McGreevy held off José de Jesús Rodríguez, who finished the week in solo-second at 20-under 268.
  14. Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna – Seth Reeves carded a final-round 7-under 64 to rise from T27 to begin the day to his first Korn Ferry Tour victory at 11-under 273, edging five players by a stroke at the Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna.
  15. WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by KraftHeinz – Entering the final round tied for the lead, Lee Hodges carded an even-par 71 to hang on for a two-stroke victory at the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by KraftHeinz. The win was Hodges’ first as a professional and earned him a U.S. Open exemption by virtue of moving inside the top five of the points standings.
  16. Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco – Stephan Jaeger carded a final-round 68 to take home his fifth Korn Ferry Tour title at the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco. With the victory, Jaeger became one of 13 players to win five or more times on the Korn Ferry Tour.
  17. Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship – Australian Curtis Luck, who won the 2016 U.S. Amateur, got up-and-down on the 72nd hole at Ohio State’s famed Scarlet Course to claim his first Tour title at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. The victory enabled Luck to earn one of the Tour’s exemptions into the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club.

Revised 2020 Korn Ferry Tour Season schedule:

  • June 8-14: Korn Ferry Challenge at TPC Sawgrass, TPC Sawgrass (Dye’s Valley), Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
  • June 15-20: The King & Bear Classic at World Golf Village, The King & Bear GC at World Golf Village, St. Augustine, Florida (Saturday finish)
  • June 22-28: Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank, Oakridge CC, Farmington, Utah
  • June 29-July 5: TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes, TPC Colorado, Berthoud, Colorado
  • July 6-12: TPC San Antonio Challenge at the Canyons, TPC San Antonio (Canyons Course), San Antonio, Texas
  • July 13-18: TPC San Antonio Championship at the Oaks, TPC San Antonio (Oaks Course), San Antonio, Texas (Saturday finish)
  • July 20-26: Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper, Highland Springs CC, Springfield, Missouri
  • July 27-August 2: Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna, The Club at Indian Creek, Omaha, Nebraska
  • August 3-9: WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by KraftHeinz, Pumpkin Ridge GC (Witch Hollow), North Plains, Oregon
  • August 10-16: Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco, Hillcrest CC, Boise, Idaho
  • August 17-23: Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, Ohio State University GC (Scarlet Course), Columbus, Ohio
  • August 24-30: Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance, Victoria National GC, Newburgh, Indiana
  • August 31-September 6: Lincoln Land Championship presented by LRS, Panther Creek CC, Springfield, Illinois
  • September 7-13 : Evans Scholars Invitational, Chicago Highlands Club, Westchester, Illinois
  • September 21-27: Wichita Open Supporting Wichita’s Youth, Crestview CC, Wichita, Kansas
  • September 28-October 4: Savannah Golf Championship, The Landings Club (Deer Creek), Savannah, Georgia
  • October 5-11: Orange County National Championship presented by Knight 39, Orange County Golf Center & Lodge (Panther Lake), Winter Garden, Florida

About Korn Ferry Tour

Founded (1990), owned and operated by the PGA TOUR, the Korn Ferry Tour identifies and develops those players who are ready to compete and win on golf’s biggest stage. In 2013, the Korn Ferry Tour became The Path to the PGA TOUR with all 50 available PGA TOUR cards coming through the Tour and the season culminating at the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. This season marks the 30th year of competition on the Korn Ferry Tour. Three out of four PGA TOUR members are Korn Ferry Tour alumni. Tour alumni have won more than 500 PGA TOUR titles, including 24 major championships and eight PLAYERS Championships. To learn more about the PGA TOUR, the Korn Ferry Tour and to follow the season-long quest for a PGA TOUR card, visit PGATOUR.COM, or follow the Tour on social media via Instagram (@KornFerryTour), Twitter (@KornFerryTour) and Facebook (facebook.com/KornFerryTour).

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