By Dave Shedloski, GolfDigest
Korn Ferry Tour Finals expanding, adding elimination format in 2023
Columbus, OH (August 3, 2022) — The Korn Ferry Tour Finals is expanding to four events in 2023 and will feature an elimination format similar to the current FedEx Cup Playoffs.
Officials of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, the Finals event held annually at Ohio State University Golf Club, confirmed on Tuesday the change in format as well as a purse increase from $1 million to $1.5 million for each post-season tournament. Regular-season events on the Korn Ferry Tour will increase from $750,000 to $1 million each.
It was previously announced that the 2023 season would culminate in 30 PGA Tour cards being awarded at the end of the finals, which would consist of fields comprised only of Korn Ferry players. The first of the four finals events will feature 156 KFT players, the second 144 and the third, the Nationwide Children’s, will have 120 players. Seventy-five players will advance to the finale slated for a late September date at Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Ind.
Under the current format, 25 PGA Tour cards are awarded during the KFT regular season and another 25 are awarded in a series of three finals events featuring a blended field of the top 75 players on the Korn Ferry Tour points list and players who finished Nos. 126-200 on the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings. The Nationwide Children’s traditionally has been the second of the three Finals events.
“We are looking forward to the evolution of the Korn Ferry Tour coming in 2023 and our inclusion as one of the four Finals events,” tournament director Kip McBride said. “It will be the start of a new chapter for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, and the event’s elevated status will provide added excitement for the players and our fans.”
The process for awarding PGA Tour cards from the Korn Ferry Tour is changing due to the PGA Tour ending its split-calendar schedule in 2023 and reverting to a calendar-year schedule that begins in January 2024. The PGA Tour last held its entire season in a calendar year in 2013.
Additional PGA Tour cards are being made available to the top 10 players on the DP World Tour as part of the expansion of their strategic alliance in the wake of the creation of the upstart LIV Golf Invitational Series. The PGA Tour also is reinstituting its qualifying tournament, where the top five finishers and ties will earn membership.
The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship is expected to surpass $20 million in charitable donations during this year’s event, Aug. 25-28, the highest on the developmental tour.