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Why the PGA Tour’s fall season is crucial to success of golf going forward

Why the PGA Tour’s fall season is crucial to success of golf going forward

Contrary to popular belief, the PGA Tour’s offseason is over.

Just two weeks ago, Viktor Hovland decimated East Lake Golf Club to win the FedEx Cup and cement himself as one of the best players in the world.

But this week, the PGA Tour heads to Northern California, where the Fortinet Championship kicks off the fall schedule.

Hovland will not be there, as he and the entire European Ryder Cup team are playing in the DP World Tour’s BMW PGA Championship outside of London.

But Justin Thomas and Max Homa, who will represent Team USA in Rome, will be. They are the only two Ryder Cuppers playing in Napa this week. Funny enough, Captain Zach Johnson is in the field, too.

Max Homa, PGA Tour, Fortinet Championship

Max Homa at the 2022 Fortinet Championship.
Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

PGA Tour Fall Schedule & It’s Importance

The Fortinet Championship is the first of seven events this fall, which are listed in its entirety below:

  1. Fortinet Championship – Sept. 14-17 – Napa, California
  2. Sanderson Farms Championship – Oct. 5-8 – Jackson, Mississippi
  3. Shriners Children’s Open – Oct. 12-15 – Las Vegas, Nevada
  4. ZOZO Championship – Oct. 19-22 – Chiba, Japan
  5. Worldwide Technology Championship – Nov. 2-5 – Los Cabos, Mexico
  6. Butterfield Bermuda Championship – Nov. 9-12 – Southampton, Bermuda
  7. The RSM Classic – Nov. 16-19 – St. Simons Island, Georgia

Many of the top 30 players who teed it up at the Tour Championship in Atlanta will likely skip out on most of—if not all—these events.

So, too, will the top 50, as those who qualified for the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields automatically qualify for the first two PGA Tour’s Signature Events in 2024, The Sentry and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

But those players outside of that threshold, like Thomas, will compete for FedEx Cup points at each Fall event, with 500 points going to the winner.

Plus, winners earn a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour. Players ranked within the top 10 over these seven tournaments will also qualify for The Sentry and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Of course, that means the top 10 not previously eligible.

Peter Malnati, PGA Tour, Wyndham Championship

Peter Malnati at the 2023 Wyndham Championship.
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

But if someone like Peter Malnati, currently ranked 115th, plays well this fall, he would qualify for the Signature Events. Considering the large purses and increased visibility of those tournaments, that could be a career-changing moment for Malnati and others like him.

That is why the next two months on the PGA Tour calendar are so important and crucial to the success of golf going forward.

Although not the biggest events, these seven tournaments are where dreams are made and hopes are crushed. Several touring professionals need to play well, or else they will have to try and earn their 2024 PGA Tour card through Q-School in December or try to rebound on the Korn Ferry.

Essentially, the PGA Tour fall makes or breaks, and determines the field for some of the most significant events in 2024. The pressure is ramped up, even though, on the surface, it may not appear that way.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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