winners from first three events of new season qualify
Five opportunities remain on PGA TOUR schedule for a spot in the field in Maui
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - OCTOBER 14: Marc Leishman of Australia poses for photos with the winner's trophy after winning the CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur on October 14, 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii – The rules are simple to get into the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions: Win and you’re in. Thirty-three PGA TOUR winners have already qualified courtesy of victories in the 2018 calendar year, and with only five events remaining for players to qualify, the race to tee it up in paradise is heating up.
The Sentry Tournament of Champions returns to The Plantation Course at Kapalua from January 2-6, 2019. Through three events in the 2018-19 PGA TOUR Season, two new players have qualified for the winners-only field, including first-timer Kevin Tway.
Kevin Tway kicked off his 2018-19 PGA TOUR season in dramatic fashion, winning the Safeway Open in a playoff and collecting his first career PGA TOUR title since joining the PGA TOUR in 2014. Tway defeated Ryan Moore with a 10-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole after Brandt Snedeker was eliminated on the first playoff hole. The 30-year-old former Oklahoma State All-American birdied his final five holes for the win. Tway will be making his debut at the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Making his sixth appearance at the CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur, Australian Marc Leishman captured his first PGA TOUR victory since the 2017 BMW Championship, winning by five shots over Bronson Burgoon, Emiliano Grillo and Chesson Hadley. The 34-year-old finished the 2017-18 season at No. 29 in the final FedExCup standings and earned a spot in the TOUR Championship for the second time. With his fourth career victory, Leishman secured the opportunity to return to the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he finished T7 in 2018. Following his win, Leishman made these remarks about returning to Maui:
“I was actually talking to my wife about that two weeks ago,” said Leishman. “We booked flights to go back to Australia and we had to book return ones [flights] back to America, so I just booked them for Maui. Thinking I would either be playing the tournament, or we’ll go for a vacation there. Now we’re playing a golf tournament, so Audrey will be very excited as my kids will be. Hawaii is an awesome spot, that’s one of my favorite places in the whole world. So, to be able to spend two weeks there at two of my favorite golf tournaments is certainly something to look forward to.”
THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES
2018 PGA TOUR Player of the Year Brooks Koepka didn’t have to wait long for his first win of the 2018-19 season, winning in his first start at THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES, as well as his first start of the season, for his fifth career victory. The 28-year-old finished birdie-birdie-par-eagle to close out a four-shot victory over Gary Woodland and climb into the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career. Koepka secured the opportunity to make his third appearance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and looks to improve upon a career-best finish of T3 in 2016.
The five remaining opportunities on the PGA TOUR schedule for players to earn a spot in the field at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January include the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, Sanderson Farms Championship, Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Mayakoba Golf Classic and The RSM Classic.
A full list of qualifiers can be found here: https://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/sentry-tournament-of-champions/news/2018/qualifiers.html