Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii – Winning on the PGA TOUR is the only way to qualify for the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions. Courtesy of their recent victories, Phil Mickelson, K.H. Lee, Rory McIlroy, Sam Burns, Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith and Stewart Cink became the latest players to qualify for the champions-only event and join 16 other TOUR winners this calendar year on Maui when the 2022 event returns to The Plantation Course at Kapalua in January.
Phil Mickelson earned his sixth major championship title, and 45th PGA TOUR victory, at the PGA Championship with a two-shot victory over Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen. With the win, Mickelson became the oldest major winner in TOUR history and first player to win a major after age 50. The California native became the fourth player to win TOUR events in four different decades and moved to T8 on the all-time TOUR wins list. The two-time Sentry Tournament of Champions winner qualified for a return trip to The Plantation Course at Kapalua with the victory, though both of his wins came prior to the tournament moving to Maui in 1999.
AT&T Bryon Nelson
In his second start at the AT&T Byron Nelson, K.H. Lee captured his first PGA TOUR victory with a three-shot win over Sam Burns to finish 25-under 263. The South Korea native birdied four of his first six holes in the final round, and 71st and 72nd holes to claim his first win on TOUR in his 80th start. With the victory, Lee became the third Korean-born player to win the AT&T Byron Nelson and second consecutive (Sung Kang/2019, Sangmoon Bae/2013). The 29-year-old secured the opportunity to make his first trip to the Sentry Tournament of Champions on Maui.
Wells Fargo Championship
Rory McIlroy notched his 19th career PGA TOUR title and first in more than a year (2019 WGC-HSBC Champions) at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club. The three-time Wells Fargo Championship winner (2010, 2015) entered the final round trailing Keith Mitchell by two strokes, marking his 10th come-from-behind win. With 19 wins, the 32-year-old moves to T39 on the all-time PGA TOUR wins list tied with Ben Crenshaw, Ernie Els, Doug Ford, Hubert Green, Tom Kite and Bill Mehlhorn. The victory qualified the Northern Irishman for a return trip to the Sentry Tournament of Champions where he finished T4 in 2019.
Sam Burns became the fifth player to pick up his maiden PGA TOUR victory at the Valspar Championship, winning in his 76th career TOUR start. In his third start at the event, the 24-year-old defeated Keegan Bradley by three strokes to become the second youngest winner of the Valspar Championship (Jordan Spieth/2015/21 years) and just the second player (Paul Casey/2019) to play the par-5s at 15-under at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort. The victory qualified the Louisiana native for his first trip to The Plantation Course at Kapalua in January.
Zurich Classic of New Orleans
In Marc Leishman’s fourth start at the event, Cameron Smith’s fifth start and their first as teammates at the event, Leishman and Smith captured the victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on the first hole of sudden death. Leishman picked up his sixth career PGA TOUR victory and Smith notched his third, respectively, when the duo defeated 54-hole leaders Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel with a par on the first playoff hole. The Australian natives overcame a 1-shot deficit beginning the final round to close with a 2-under 70 and then a win with a par on the first extra hole at TPC Louisiana. With the win, both Aussies qualified for return trips to Maui and the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
In his 22nd career start at the RBC Heritage, Stewart Cink collected his eighth career PGA TOUR win, and third at the event, with a four-stroke victory over Harold Varner III to finish 19-under 265. The 47-year-old became the 10th different player to win on TOUR after making 600+ starts in official events (Mark Calcavecchia achieved the feat twice) and became the third player with three or more victories at the RBC Heritage (Davis Love III/5, Hale Irwin/3). The victory qualifies the Alabama native for a seventh trip to the Sentry Tournament of Champions where he looks to improve on a career best T5 finish in 2005.
Currently, 23 players have qualified for the Sentry Tournament of Champions courtesy of their PGA TOUR victories this calendar year, including three first timers. Seven of the top-10 in the FedExCup standings – Sam Burns, Stewart Cink, Bryson DeChambeau, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth, Cameron Smith and Justin Thomas – are qualified after recording victories on TOUR this calendar year.
The Sentry Tournament of Champions, the first TOUR event of the calendar year, is the only event on the schedule that features all winners from the previous calendar year. Volunteer opportunities and ticket information will be released in the coming months.
For more information about the Sentry Tournament of Champions, please visit SentryTournamentOfChampions.com. Fans are encouraged to follow Sentry Tournament of Champions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.