Colin Montgomerie

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The Charles Schwab Cup Championship – the third and final event in the inaugural Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs – gets underway on Friday morning at Desert Mountain Club’s Cochise Course, with all 36 players in the season-ending field afforded a mathematical chance of winning the Charles Schwab Cup.

With the first year of the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, the season-long race for the Charles Schwab Cup came down to the top 72 players entering the PowerShares QQQ Championship, the top 54 entering last week’s Dominion Charity Classic, and now the top 36 players left in the standings, with the Charles Schwab Cup Championship set for this weekend in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Players accumulated money through the 23-event Regular Season, then had those tallies converted to points for the first two Playoff events, where money earned equated to double points ($100,000 = 200,000 points).

Beginning with this week’s event, there is a points reset for all 36 players in the field, as well as a new set of event points used to determine the winner of the most prestigious award on PGA TOUR Champions. The reset lists the top five players in the standings with the following point totals: Bernhard Langer (2,000), Scott McCarron (1,800), Colin Montgomerie (1,600), Joe Durant (1,440) and Miguel Angel Jimenez (1,280). The points reset extends from Langer’s 2,000 points down to 144 points for Esteban Toledo, who enters the week at No. 36 in the standings.

With event points ranging from 2,000 points for the winner down to 140 points for the 36th-place finisher, the top five players in the standings control their own destinies with a win, while all 36 players mathematically have a chance to win the Charles Schwab Cup, albeit with some help at the top.

“We are thrilled about the excitement created by the inaugural Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs,” said PGA TOUR Champions President Greg McLaughlin. “The final event allows the top 36 players a shot at capturing our most prestigious award. The goal was to create end-of-year drama and a Playoff-type atmosphere over a three-week stretch, and we’ve been successful in accomplishing that.”

The top 10 players, their points and 2016 highlights are below:

1. Bernhard Langer 2,000 Four wins; three runner-ups
2. Scott McCarron 1,800 Two wins; eight top-10 finishes
3. Colin Montgomerie 1,600 One win; nine top-10 finishes
4. Joe Durant 1,440 One win; 13 top-10 finishes
5. M.A. Jimenez 1,280 One win; eight top-5 finishes
6. Kevin Sutherland 1,120 Two runner-ups; 11 top-10 finishes
7. Woody Austin 960 Three wins
8. Tom Pernice, Jr. 800 One win; four top-10 finishes
9. Gene Sauers 640 One win; three top-10 finishes
10. Duffy Waldorf 480 One win; nine top-10 finishes

Langer, a 29-time PGA TOUR Champions winner, won a record third Charles Schwab Cup in 2015, and will be vying for his fourth this weekend. The two-time Masters Tournament champion, who missed the PowerShares QQQ Championship with a knee injury, has notched four wins and three runner-up finishes this year, and has sat atop the Charles Schwab Cup standings each week since winning the Regions Tradition in May.

“I’ve had a great year but there’s no guarantees whatsoever that I’m going to win the Schwab Cup, not at all. I’m going to have to most likely win the tournament to win the Schwab Cup. And if I’m fortunate where nobody wins in the top five or the top 10, then I have a better chance just placing maybe third or fourth or fifth and maybe still win it,” said Langer. “But that’s a big gamble when you have 36 guys and you’re hoping that none of the top 10 guys win the championship. You don’t want to go there, so I need to try to win it myself.”

For all of his PGA TOUR Champions success, Langer has yet to win the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, posting six top-10 finishes in eight career starts. The tournament is one of just 11 events on the current schedule that the 59-year-old has never won.

The Charles Schwab Cup will award an annuity to players finishing inside the top five, with the champion receiving $1 million. Players finishing Nos. 2 through 5 will receive $500,000, $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000.

The week will mark the fourth playing of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at Desert Mountain Club, with the tournament set to move to nearby Phoenix Country Club in 2017. The three prior tournament winners at Desert Mountain are all in the field this week – Tom Lehman (2012), Tom Pernice, Jr. (2014) and Billy Andrade (2015).

Opening-round play on Friday will begin at 10:10 a.m., with players competing in twosomes (according to Charles Schwab Cup standings) off of No. 1 tee. The final twosome of Bernhard Langer and Scott McCarron is set for 1:00 p.m.

The Charles Schwab Cup Championship will be broadcast on Golf Channel, the exclusive cable provider of PGA TOUR Champions, reaching in excess of 205 countries and territories and more than 145 million households.