Top Prospects Battle for Coveted Title and Korn Ferry Tour Entry
Calgary, Alberta – This week, the spotlight in the world of professional golf falls on the Fortinet Cup Championship, the culmination of the 10-event PGA TOUR Canada season. Here, the top-60 players of the season face off in a no-cut format, spanning four days at the esteemed Country Hills Golf Club. This competition is not just about glory; it’s the last chance for these aspiring golfers to amass points in the Fortinet Cup standings, which will ultimately determine the Player of the Year.
The Fortinet Cup’s Lucrative Prize
The stakes couldn’t be higher. The Fortinet Cup victor will not only earn a $25,000 bonus but, more significantly, will gain full exemption for the 2024 Korn Ferry Tour. For these players, this is the final frontier before reaching their ultimate goal: competing on the prestigious PGA TOUR.
Motivated Points Leader
Leading the charge is points leader Sam Choi, whose journey from South Korea to professional golf has been an inspiring one. Choi, who secured his PGA TOUR Canada qualification via the PGA TOUR University rankings, has been a picture of consistency in his rookie season. With nine cuts made, seven top-10 finishes, and one victory, Choi is on the verge of fulfilling his dreams.
Lamb Aims for the Top
Davis Lamb, currently second in the points list, brings his remarkable season into this championship. Lamb, who started the season with limited status, clinched two victories, one of which came after a Monday qualifier entry. Determined and driven, Lamb is ready to make his move.
Canada’s own Etienne Papineau, Hayden Springer, and Stuart Macdonald occupy spots in the top five. Their mission is to safeguard their standing in the Fortinet Cup standings as they contend for top honors.
A Level Playing Field
In a twist of fate, a win in this championship awards a substantial 600 points, theoretically propelling any of the 60 players in contention into the top five. Even the 60th player, Cooper Dossey, who recently qualified at the CMRC Championship, clings to hopes of a breakthrough.
The Big Advantage of Victory
Winning on the PGA TOUR Canada carries distinct advantages. Seven of the top players in the points list have at least one victory under their belts, further emphasizing the importance of triumph in this league. Recent winner Yi Cao, who claimed victory at the CRMC Championship presented by Gertens, enters the championship with tremendous momentum.
The Determination of Dossey
Dossey, reflecting on his position, expressed, “I just want to have fun and continue to get better on the attitude side of golf. Attitude out here is hard. All of us want it so bad, and this game eats you up.”
A Course with History
While this is the inaugural year of the Fortinet Cup Championship at Country Hills Golf Club in Calgary, this course is no stranger to PGA TOUR Canada. It previously hosted the ATB Classic in 2013 and from 2016 to 2019. The Talons Course, the tournament’s stage, boasts a distinct bunkering style, thanks to a renovation by Thomas McBroom in 2006.
- Dates: September 7-10, 2023
- Tournament Name: Fortinet Cup Championship, the 10th of 10 official Fortinet Cup events
- Host Course: Country Hills Golf Club (Talons Course)
- Par/Yardage: 71 (36-35), 7,179 Yards
- Field: 60 players from 5 countries
- Purse: $225,000, with the winner earning $40,500
- Benefiting Charity: Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids
The Future of PGA TOUR Canada
After the 2023 PGA TOUR Canada season concludes, the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and PGA TOUR Canada will unite to form PGA TOUR Americas. This combined tour will commence in February 2024, featuring 16 events across Latin America, Canada, and the United States. The top-10 finishers in the season-long points list will secure Korn Ferry Tour membership for the following season.
Fortinet Cup Points List
Here’s the current Fortinet Cup Points list:
- Sam Choi (United States) – 1,228 points.
- Davis Lamb (United States) – 1,134 points.
- Étienne Papineau (Canada) – 944 points.
- Hayden Springer (United States) – 711 points.
- Stuart Macdonald (Canada) – 707 points.
- John Pak (United States) – 700 points.
- Davis Shore (United States) – 647 points.
- Devon Bling (United States) – 639 points.
- Yi Cao (China) – 633 points.
- Chris Korte (United States) – 593 points.
Notable University Graduates
This championship features six players who earned their PGA TOUR Canada spots via the 2023 PGA TOUR University rankings. Their college backgrounds add an extra layer of excitement to the competition:
- Sam Choi (University New Mexico/Pepperdine)
- Derek Hitchner (Pepperdine)
- Tommy Kuhl (University of Illinois)
- Ben Carr (Georgia Southern University)
- Connor Howe (Georgia Tech)
- Chase Sienkiewicz (University of Arizona)
Stuart Macdonald’s Heartwarming Return
Stuart Macdonald, currently fifth on the Fortinet Cup points list, returns to the course after a brief off-week. His son, Graham Alexander, was born on August 23, making his return all the more special. Macdonald shared, “I’m excited to get back. I don’t think I’ll have to put too much pressure on myself this week. But there’s still a lot on the line and obviously still want to play well.”
Remembering Last Year
In 2022, Wil Bateman emerged as the Fortinet Cup Championship victor when it was held at Deer Ridge. He also claimed the Player of the Year title. Bateman, an Edmonton native, has had a strong Korn Ferry Tour season this year.
The Final Showdown
The Fortinet Cup Championship promises a thrilling culmination to the PGA TOUR Canada season. With fortunes and futures hanging in the balance, these golfers will leave no stone unturned as they vie for their shot at glory.