PGA Tour Champions 2016 Schedule and Playoff Format

 PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The PGA TOUR’s Champions Tour announced the tournament schedule for the 2016 season, which includes the inaugural Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, a three-tournament, season-ending competition to determine the Charles Schwab Cup Champion. The 2016 schedule features 26 tournaments in 19 different states and three countries outside the United States with total prize money exceeding $55 million and an average purse of $2.1 million.

Two of three Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs events are new tournaments. The PowerShares QQQ Championship, to be held in the Los Angeles area on Oct. 24-30, will be the first Playoffs event. The Dominion Charity Classic, set for Richmond’s Country Club of Virginia James River Course on Oct. 31-Nov. 6, will be the second Playoffs event.

The Charles Schwab Cup Championship, the traditional season-ending event at Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. on Nov. 7-13, will be the third and final Playoffs tournament. The Charles Schwab Cup winner will earn a $1 million bonus and the top five finishers will also receive bonus payouts.

A third new event, the American Family Insurance Championship, in Madison, Wis. on June 20-26, features a $2 million tournament to be played at University Ridge Golf Course. The tournament will be hosted by Steve Stricker, a Wisconsin native who will become eligible to compete on the Champions Tour in 2017.

Champions Tour President Greg McLaughlin, 2015 Charles Schwab Cup champion Bernhard Langer and Stricker, a 12-time PGA TOUR winner, made the announcements during Golf Channel’s Morning Drive on Wednesday. Also unveiled at that time were the new Charles Schwab Cup trophy, as well as new logos for both the Champions Tour and the Charles Schwab Cup, and additional details on the format of the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs.

“We are excited about the upcoming 2016 Champions Tour season and the launch of the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs. We welcome our new title sponsors to the tremendous group of dedicated partners that support the Champions Tour,” McLaughlin said. “Next year’s Playoffs are an important component to further develop the Champions Tour brand and highlight where the legends of our game compete. Our players are looking forward to next year’s schedule and this new Playoffs format for the premier prize of the season.”

“We’re excited to bring playoffs to the Champions Tour starting in 2016. We’re taking what is already a great Champions Tour and making it better, with a more interesting format, increased competition, higher stakes, better for fans,” said Chuck Schwab, Founder of the Charles Schwab Corporation. “And with playoffs, in order to win the Charles Schwab Cup, not only do you have to have a successful season, but now you have to perform in the clutch during the Playoffs, when it counts the most, and against the best competition.”

At the completion of the 2016 SAS Championship (Oct. 10-16), the leading 72 players on the money list will advance to the first Playoffs event, the PowerShares QQQ Championship. The introduction of ‘Wildcard Weekend’ at the SAS Championship allows for one player who finishes in the top 10 on the week, but finishes outside the top 72 on the season-long money list, to advance to the Playoffs.

“Wildcard Weekend is another unique and exciting element of the Champions Tour season,” said McLaughlin. “It allows any player competing at the SAS Championship to qualify for the Playoffs and have a chance to win the Schwab Cup.”

The second Playoffs event, the Dominion Charity Classic, will feature the top 54 players who advanced from the PowerShares QQQ Championship. The Charles Schwab Cup Championship will then feature the leading 36 players who will compete for a new Charles Schwab Cup trophy, designed by Tiffany & Co.

2016 Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs Schedule

Order Event Location Date Field Purse
First PowerShares QQQ Championship TBA (Greater Los Angeles area) Oct. 24-30 72 $2,000,000
Second Dominion Charity Classic Country Club of Virginia (James River Course) Oct. 31-Nov. 6 54 $2,000,000
Final Charles Schwab Cup Championship Desert Mountain Club (Cochise Course) Nov. 7-13 36 $2,500,000

A points system will commence starting with the PowerShares QQQ Championship. Each player’s current money total before the start of the Playoffs will become the equivalent number of points ($330,000 equals 330,000 points). Double points will be earned by each player competing in each of the first two Playoffs events and added to the existing points earned through the SAS Championship (if a player has earned $250,000 through the SAS Championship, then earns $132,000 – or 264,000 points - at the first Playoffs event, his total points will be 514,000 points). This points total is cumulative through the second Playoffs event before a reset of the points takes place in advance of the third and final Playoffs event.

The reset will be similar to the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup which allows the leading five players the opportunity to claim the Charles Schwab Cup if they win the season-finale, but also mathematically allows for the 36th-ranked player to win, depending on his performance at the final Playoffs event and the results of the remainder of the field. Previously, the leading 30 players on the money list had advanced to the season’s final event.

“The Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs next year will create an exciting climax to the Champions Tour season. Every tournament we have throughout the year will be significant in determining the outcome of the Playoffs and the eventual winner,” said Langer. “It would be great to keep this year’s Charles Schwab Cup and then win the new trophy to usher in the Playoffs era.”

Notable changes to the 2016 schedule include the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open moving from late August to early July to accommodate Olympic Games scheduling, and the return of the Pacific Links China Championship in Tianjin after this year’s postponement. Additional to the three new tournaments in 2016, the existing Gwinnett County (Atlanta) event has been renamed the Mitsubishi Electric Classic to reflect its new title sponsor.

Of the five major championships, only the Regions Tradition and Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship will utilize new venues. The Regions Tradition will have Greystone Golf & Country Club in Birmingham, Ala. as a new venue, while the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS will be hosted by the Philadelphia Cricket Club. The Senior PGA Championship returns to The Golf Club at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich., which previously hosted the tournament in 2012 and 2014. The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex heads back to Carnoustie Golf Club in Scotland where, in 2010, Bernhard Langer defeated Corey Pavin by one stroke. The U.S. Senior Open Championship will be played at Scioto Country Club 30 years after Dale Douglass defeated Gary Player by one stroke at the prestigious Columbus, Ohio club to claim the national championship.

The first event of the 2016 season is the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai which begins January 18 and will have a unique Saturday finish on January 23. The defending champion is Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez.

The new Charles Schwab Cup trophy, introduced to coincide with the Playoffs format in 2016, was designed and created by Tiffany & Co. The three modern and sophisticated silver elements of the trophy symbolize the three Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs events and the design features strong lines flowing from the base to the top of the Cup.

The PGA TOUR and Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. collaborated on a refresh of the Charles Schwab Cup logo system to incorporate the Playoffs logo and an updated season-long Charles Schwab Cup and Charles Schwab Cup Championship logo in conjunction with the release of the new Champions Tour logo.

The new Champions Tour logo replaces the logo that dates back to 2003 when the Senior PGA TOUR was renamed the Champions Tour. The logo revealed today is even more streamlined, featuring ‘Champions’ beneath the existing PGA TOUR logo.

Each event in 2016 will be televised nationally in the United States, with most receiving coverage on Golf Channel, the Champions Tour’s exclusive cable-television partner that reaches some 80 million homes in the United States. Four events will have network coverage on the weekend (NBC: Senior PGA Championship, Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex, PNC Father Son Challenge; FOX: U.S. Senior Open). Champions Tour telecasts are also distributed internationally through various partners with events airing in excess of 205 countries and territories, reaching more than 145 million households.

For more information please visit championstour.com. Follow the Champions Tour at facebook.com/ChampionsTour and on Twitter @ChampionsTour.