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McFeely: By qualifying for the Tour Championship, golfer Fargo Hoge cashes in – InForum

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FARGO – As he wraps up one season, Tom Hoge is almost ready for the next. Welcome to life among the elite of the PGA Tour.

The Fargo South grad will play this week in the Limited Field Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. Hoge qualified as a top 30 PGA Tour golfer in the final FedEx Cup standings. He finished 23rd after finishing tied for 48th in last weekend’s BMW Championship.

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In the short term, that means big payday, no matter how Hoge finishes in the Tour Championship. The PGA Tour bumped the tournament purse to $75 million, split among the 30 golfers. First place is worth $18 million. Last place isn’t bad either. Finish 30th and you’ll still win $500,000.

The FedEx Cup is a season-long points race that leads to the Tour Championship. It rewards success and consistency throughout the PGA Tour season. Hoge is therefore rewarded for having had the best season of his eight-year career on the PGA Tour.

He won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February for his first PGA Tour victory. But he also finished fourth at the RSM Classic and earned his first top 10 at a major championship by finishing ninth at the PGA Championship.

After struggling for much of the summer, Hoge took fourth place at the 3M Open in the suburban Twin Cities.

All of those high finishes and other cuts made guaranteed that Hoge would make big money in 2022. Even without the money he earns for the Tour Championship, he made $4,310,046 this year.

It’s the added benefits of being one of the last 30 to play this week that will lead to more rewards and more cash next season.

As Golf Digest said, qualifying for the Tour Championship means each of those players will be guaranteed a spot in tournaments with total prize money of $196.5 million.

It’s breathtaking.

First, a place in the Tour Championship guarantees a place in all four major tournaments in 2023. Hoge is therefore guaranteed to play in the Masters, the PGA Championship, the US Open and the Open Championship next year.

Hoge is also guaranteed to be invited to three prestigious PGA Tour events (all by invitation only): the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Genesis Invitational and the Memorial.

Hoge has been in all of those tournaments this year because of his good play and high FedEx Cup placement, but that basically means his 2023 schedule is set.

According to Golf Digest, the four major tournament purses are worth a total of $61.5 million ($17.5 million for the US Open, $15 million for the Masters and PGA Championship, and $14 million for the Open Championship). The magazine said they all had the potential to rise.

The trio of invitations will all include $20 million scholarships for a total of $60 million.

So if you take the $75 million Tour Championship purse and add it to the $61.5 million majors purse and the $60 million invitational purse, you get 196.5 million in in-play cash in just those eight tournaments.

Winning the $18 million prize for winning the FedEx Cup title will be tough for Hoge. The Tour Championship has a staggered start, again rewarding play throughout the season. Scottie Scheffler, in first place in the FedEx rankings, will start the tournament at 10 under par. Hoge, 23rd in the standings, will start the week at 1 under par.

It is essentially a handicap event.

Caesar’s Sports Book lists Hoge’s odds of winning the FedEx Cup at +250,000. He is the longest shooter in the field, equal to the ratings given to KH Lee and JT Poston

TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP GROUND
(Starting position in brackets)

  • 1st: Scottie Scheffler (Starts the Tour Championship at -10)
  • 2nd: Patrick Cantlay (-8)
  • 3rd: Will Zalatoris (-7)
  • 4th: Xander Schauele (-6)
  • 5th: Sam Burns (-5)
  • 6th-10th: Cameron Smith, Rory McIlroy, Tony Finau, Sepp Straka, Sungjae Im (-4)
  • 11th-15th: Jon Rahm, Scott Stallings, Justin Thomas, Cameron Young, Matt Fitzpatrick (-3)
  • 16-20: Max Homa, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth, Joaquin Niemann, Viktor Hovland (-2)
  • 21-25: Collin Morikawa, Billy Horschel, Tom Hoge, Corey Conners, Brian Harman (-1)
  • 26-30: KH Lee, JT Poston, Sahith Theegala, Adam Scott, Aaron Wise (A)

TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP PAYMENT
(Based on final FedEx Cup standings)

1. $18,000,000
2. $6,500,000
3. $5,000,000
4. $4,000,000
5. $3,000,000
6. $2,500,000
7. $2,000,000
8. $1,500,000
9. $1,250,000
10. $1,000,000
11. $950,000
12. $900,000
13. $850,000
14. $800,000
15. $760,000
16. $720,000
17. $700,000
18. $680,000
19. $660,000
20. $640,000
21. $620,000
22. $600,000
23. $580,000
24. $565,000
25. $550,000
26. $540,000
27. $530,000
28. $520,000
29. $510,000
30. $500,000

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