With an eye on creating even more excitement around the finishing stretch of not only the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, but the entire 2015-16 PGA TOUR season, officials today announced that the front and back nine holes at East Lake Golf Club will be reversed, providing a more dramatic finishing stretch with more risk/reward opportunities as the 10th year of the FedExCup culminates on September 21-25, 2016.
With the new routing, the final five holes now have more potential for lead changes. The finishing stretch on the back nine begins with the par-4, 500-plus-yard 14th hole that has statistically been the most difficult hole on the course dating back to 2007. From there, players will be faced with a peninsula green at the par-3 15th that has traditionally resulted in a wide range of scores from birdie to double bogey.
With slight tweaks to the 16th, 17th and 18th holes, the final three holes will reward players for solid play with potential birdie opportunities while also penalizing players for mistakes off the tee and on their approach shots.
This potential swing in scores with the FedExCup on the line will provide an even more exciting finish for fans and players alike.
“East Lake Golf Club has served as a fitting venue for the finale of our FedExCup season,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “Now in its 10th year, the FedExCup structure has given the TOUR a true season-ending finale and has performed to our expectations in every way. We will always strive to find ways to enhance our events for our fans, players and sponsors. By flipping the nines at East Lake, we believe the final stretch of the FedExCup will become even more dramatic and exciting as our season-long competition comes to a close.”
“Many of the world’s historic courses go through transitions as the game of golf changes with time. I’m confident this transition will respect and highlight the rich tradition and history of East Lake Golf Club,” said Tom Cousins, Chairman. “We look forward to a fantastic conclusion of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola as the leaders compete on a new finishing stretch of challenging holes and conclude with the spectacular view of our iconic clubhouse from the new par-5 18th hole.”
As part of reversing the nines, a few modifications are being made to the course. These include:
1) Repositioning of a fairway bunker on new No. 12;
2) Slight hole modifications on holes 16 and 17;
3) On 18, a tee extension of the members tee, the first landing area will be recontoured and bunkers will be added to the second landing area and greenside.
“I have been working with the PGA TOUR and East Lake Golf Club in reversing the nines to create more interest and volatility over the finishing stretch,” said course architect Rees Jones. “Players will be challenged by the difficult 14th hole and a demanding tee shot at No. 15. And the final three holes should not be viewed as an easier finish. With some tweaks that we are making, it is a stretch where par is not necessarily the standard and expected score. There will be birdies, bogeys on all three holes and potentially eagles on the final hole, which will ultimately result in more lead changes and excitement for all involved.”
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About the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola
The top 30 players in FedExCup points after the BMW Championship qualify for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, the finale of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. FedExCup points are reset prior to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, ensuring a real shootout as all 30 players in the field will have a mathematical chance of winning the FedExCup with a victory at the event. The TOUR Championship is annually contested at Atlanta’s renowned East Lake Golf Club, the formative home of the legendary Bobby Jones. In 2014, the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola made contributions totaling more than $2.2 million to charities and proudly supports the East Lake Foundation and The First Tee of East Lake. The tournament is the number one annual fundraiser for the East Lake Foundation. Over the times that the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola has been played in Atlanta, the event has raised more the $20 million. In total, since 1997 the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola has generated more than $24 million to charity, both locally and nationwide.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company’s portfolio features 17 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.9 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world’s top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo, visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at www.coca-colablog.com or find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-coca-cola-company.