SEOUL, Korea (October 24, 2017) – The PGA TOUR and the CJ Corporation announced today a new official 2017-18 PGA TOUR event, THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES, scheduled for October 16-22, 2017, in Korea. The announcement was made during a media event featuring PGA TOUR Deputy Commissioner & Chief Operating Officer Jay Monahan and the Chairman of CJ Group Kyung-Shik Sohn.
The tournament, THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES will offer 500 FedExCup points to the winner and feature a purse of $9.25 million (USD) in 2017. THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES will feature a field of 78 players, with 60 coming from the PGA TOUR FedExCup points list. The remaining players, with many of the best Korean players represented, will come from a number of different exemptions to be named at a later date.
“This announcement is a historic landmark for the PGA TOUR as we add another tournament in Asia. We had such a phenomenal experience in Korea last year at the Presidents Cup, and we hoped an official, permanent event in this great country would be the result of that success,” said Monahan. “Partnering with a respected business leader like the CJ Corporation means this tournament will be on the Korean sports landscape for years to come. We have a tremendous population of Korean golfers on the PGA TOUR, and we anticipate that will continue as THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES inspires a new generation of players, not only in Korea, but also around the world.”
In 2015, the PGA TOUR held the Presidents Cup in Asia for the first time in front of record crowds, with the U.S. Team defeating the International Team by one point at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Songdo IBD, Incheon City. Dae Gu’s Sangmoon Bae played for the International Team, and he compiled a 2-1-1 record in his four matches. K.J. Choi, K.T. Kim and Y.E. Yang are other Koreans who have played in the Presidents Cup in previous years.
In 2016, 20 players from Korea had membership on either the PGA TOUR or Web.com Tour. On the PGA TOUR’s international-player roster, the 12 Korean members for the 2016-17 season is exceeded only by the 15 from Australia.
“Over the last 16 years, the CJ Group has been committed to and continues to develop the exciting sport of golf in Korea, not to mention, providing entertainment for the global golf community through the PGA and LPGA,” said the CJ Corporation Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President Wookho Kyeong. “The contributions made by the CJ Group to this exciting game are twofold: one, hosting world-class golf events such as the first LPGA tournament in Korea, the CJ Nine Bridges Classic from 2002-2005, and the One Asian Tour Tournament CJ Invitational hosted by Korea’s legendary player KJ Choi from 2011-2013; secondly, discovering and investing in new upcoming golf talent in Korea and preparing them for the global stage. Since 2001, the CJ Group has sponsored 19 Korean golf talents, including the legendary Seri Park.
“Moving forward, the CJ Group has high hopes in our next generation of players and will continue to scout and recruit new talent, especially in men’s golf. Promising prospects like Siwoo Kim, the youngest Korean PGA TOUR winner at the Wyndham Championship, and Byeonghun An, our Korean representative at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, are clear indicators of our next generation’s strength and promise. We believe that the new partnership with the PGA TOUR for THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES will establish itself as a key milestone for the golf industry in Korea and across the globe.”
The 72-hole tournament will feature competition Thursday through Sunday, with a pro-am on the Wednesday of tournament week. The host site of the tournament will be announced at a later date.
“The addition of THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES to our schedule gives us three strong tournaments in consecutive weeks in Asia, and they will play a significant role in shaping the early part of the FedExCup season and the FedExCup chase overall,” Monahan continued. “The CJ Group is well-trusted and highly valued in the global marketplace. We couldn’t be happier to partner with such a strong, vibrant company that taps into the lives of consumers worldwide through food and food service, bio pharmaceuticals, homeshopping and logistics, entertainment and media, and now golf.
“South Korea is a beautiful country with a rich golf tradition,” Monahan added. “Many of our players who have been to the country already know that, and those who haven’t are in for a treat. The fact that valuable FedExCup points will be offered only enhances this tournament’s position on our schedule.”
THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES will be broadcast globally via the PGA TOUR’s international broadcast partners, reaching a potential audience of over 1 billion homes. This will an audience as significant as the one exposed to the Presidents Cup when it was held in Korea in 2015. SBS, the PGA TOUR’s partner in Korea for over 10 years, will be the host broadcaster of the event.
The PGA TOUR’s Championship Management division will operate the tournament with Travis Steiner serving as the tournament’s executive director. Steiner has more than 10 years of experience in the golf industry starting at The First Tee before moving to the PGA TOUR in 2007. He led the operational aspects of myriad PGA TOUR events including the first event of the FedExCup Playoffs in the New York/New Jersey, as well as the 2011 Presidents Cup in Australia and the CIMB Classic in Malaysia.
This will mark the third official PGA TOUR tournament that makes its home in Asia, with THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES, the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions (Shanghai, China) and the CIMB Classic (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia).