The PGA TOUR today announced commitments to two star-studded fields at this October’s THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK and ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP @ SHERWOOD.
Joining defending champion, Justin Thomas at THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK will be 2020 FedExCup champion Dustin Johnson, World No. 2 Jon Rahm, newly crowned U.S. Open winner Bryson DeChambeau and 18-time PGA TOUR winner, Rory McIlroy.
The five will be joined by Tommy Fleetwood, Rickie Fowler, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth who have each accepted sponsor exemptions for the October 15-18 tournament, which will be played at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Johnson, Rahm and McIlroy will also headline the field at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP @ SHERWOOD from October 22-25, along with Phil Mickelson, Fleetwood, Fowler, Rose and Spieth who have accepted sponsor exemptions to the event.
Other notable players already committed to the event at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California include defending champion and 82-time PGA TOUR winner, Tiger Woods and Japanese superstar Hideki Matsuyama.
“Adding this elite group of players to these fields alongside Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas and Hideki Matsuyama lends a strong hand in showcasing a powerful lineup of PGA TOUR stars at both THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK and ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP @ SHERWOOD. We are thrilled to offer world-class competition this October to our fans in Korea, Japan, the United States and across the globe. I would like to express our appreciation again to our title sponsors, CJ Group and ZOZO Inc., for their commitment in moving their tournaments from Korea and Japan respectively to the U.S. for this year only. This ensures a strong and robust schedule for the month of October that also features the Sanderson Farms Championship, Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and Bermuda Championship,” said Ty Votaw, Executive Vice President, International, PGA TOUR.
Johnson, a 23-time PGA TOUR winner, produced an amazing run of form over a five-week stretch to claim his first FedExCup title earlier this month. The big-hitting American won THE NORTHERN TRUST and TOUR Championship and finished runner-up at the PGA Championship and BMW Championship to claim the TOUR’s Ultimate Prize, the FedExCup. Johnson, who was voted 2020 PGA TOUR Player of the Year, also won the Travelers Championship in June and finished tied sixth at the recent U.S. Open. 2020 will mark his tournament debut at both THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK and ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP @ SHERWOOD.
Johnson said: “I’m looking forward to playing in THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK and the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP @ SHERWOOD in October, which should be two great weeks of golf. My game has been really good recently, so I am excited to play both tournaments.
“I was excited to hear that THE CJ CUP will be played at Shadow Creek, where I have played some good golf in the past with family and friends. It’s a really good golf course and should be a great venue for the tournament. As a proud member at Sherwood Country Club, I am thrilled the club will be hosting the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP. I have played countless rounds there and love the golf course, so I’m really looking forward to the tournament.”
McIlroy enjoyed one victory and seven top-10s to finish tied eighth in the FedExCup in the recently concluded 2019-20 season. As the defending FedExCup champion in 2019-20, he claimed his 18th career victory at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China last November where he defeated Xander Schauffele in a playoff. It will be his first appearance in THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK. He finished equal third at the inaugural ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP in Japan last year and will arrive at Sherwood where he has made two previous starts, finishing fourth and 11th in the 2010 and 2013 Hero World Challenge, respectively.
McIlroy said: I’m looking forward to playing in THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK in October. I’ve watched how the tournament has become a success over the past few years and it’ll be exciting to have the opportunity to compete in it for the first time. I had a great time at the inaugural ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP and will be hoping to build on last year’s success when we play at Sherwood. I’ll miss playing in Japan this year but hopefully, we’ll get to return soon.”
Rahm won twice at The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide in June and the BMW Championship in August to finish fourth on the final 2019-20 FedExCup standings. The five-time PGA TOUR winner also enjoyed four other top-10s, which saw him reach World No. 1 for the first time in June. Currently ranked second in the world, his victory at the BMW Championship was courtesy of an amazing 66-foot birdie putt in a playoff against Johnson. This will be his first appearance in THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK.
Upon the Return to Golf in June following a three-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DeChambeau powered his way to victories at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in July and the U.S. Open two weeks ago, which marked his first major victory. He also notched four other top-10s as he continues to reap the rewards of adding more muscle and distance to his unique approach to golf. DeChambeau will be making his debut at THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK.
Fowler is a five-time PGA TOUR winner, highlighted by a popular victory in the TOUR’s flagship tournament, THE PLAYERS Championship in 2015. He has also won three times internationally, including his first professional win at the Kolon Korea Open in 2011 where he won by six shots over Rory McIlroy. In 14 starts during the 2019-20 PGA TOUR Season, Fowler secured two top-10 finishes and was a member of the winning U.S. Team at the 2019 Presidents Cup hosted at Royal Melbourne.
Mickelson, a 44-time PGA TOUR winner, will make his tournament debut stateside at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP @ SHERWOOD. The World Golf Hall of Fame member returns to Sherwood having competed in the Hero World Challenge twice, where his best performance was a 10th-place finish in 2002. Mickelson is coming off the 2019-20 PGA TOUR Season having earned two top-10 finishes and ultimately went on to rank 75th in the final FedExCup standings. The 50-year-old secured a wire-to-wire triumph and became the 20th player to win in his PGA TOUR Champions debut at the Charles Schwab Series at Ozarks National last month.
Mickelson said: “I heard wonderful things about the debut of the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP last year and have had it circled on my schedule for some time. While we’ll miss the opportunity to compete in front of fans in Japan, we look forward to putting on a show for them and golf fans around the world from my home state of California. With a great field, it should be a fantastic week for all involved.“
A winner of three PGA TOUR titles, Poulter recorded one top-10 and five top-25s last season, which included a T16 finish at THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES. He also finished T10 and T15 in 2018 and 2017, respectively. The Englishman also has 12 European Tour wins and is renowned for his Ryder Cup heroics where he has been on five winning European Teams since making his debut in 2004.
Rose is one of the leading international players on the PGA TOUR, highlighted by a standout triumph in 2018 that led to him lifting the FedExCup. He also holds 10 PGA TOUR career wins, 12 international titles, five appearances for Europe in the Ryder Cup and was the winner of the Olympic Games Gold Medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. He finished 91st in the final FedExCup standings last season.
Spieth finished T8 in his debut at THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES last season, which was one of three top-10 finishes during the 2019-20 season. A winner of 11 PGA TOUR titles, he holds three major victories at the Masters and U.S. Open in 2015, followed by The Open Championship in 2017.
THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK will once again feature a 78-man field comprising of the highest ranked player of Korean nationality from the Asian Tour Order of Merit, up to five players designated by the Korean PGA and the top-3 available players of Korean nationality from the Official World Golf Ranking as part of CJ Group’s vision to support the development of professional golf in Korea. The remainder of the field will be made up of the leading players from the 2019-20 FedExCup points list and sponsor exemptions.
With a prize fund of US$9.75 million, THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK will be broadcast on Golf Channel October 15-18 from 5pm to 8pm (ET) and on both JTBC Golf and JTBC Golf & Sports channels in Korea October 16-19 from 3am to 9am KST.
The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP @ SHERWOOD will feature 78 professionals, including the leading players from the 2019-20 FedExCup points list, players designated by the Japan Golf Tour Organization and sponsor exemptions. In addition to the US$8 million purse, ZOZO, Inc. is planning a variety of charitable activities in Japan, the proceeds from which will be donated to fund programs and measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus among other initiatives.
The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP @ SHERWOOD will be broadcast on the Golf Channel from Oct. 22-25 at 5pm to 8pm (ET) and on Golf Network, NHK BS and GOLFTV powered by PGA TOUR from Oct 23-26, 6am to 9am JST.