Things to know: 2021 Korn Ferry Tour schedule
November 17, 2020
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Jared Wolfe won twice in the 2020 portion of the Korn Ferry Tour's 2020-21 combined season. (Ben Jared/PGA TOUR)
It has been a season unlike any other on the Korn Ferry Tour – and it’s not done yet.
Twenty-three tournaments will be played on the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour, making up the second portion of the unique wraparound schedule as players chase PGA TOUR cards via The 25 and The Finals 25.
The 23 events contested in 2021 (20 Regular Season; three Finals) will result in 46 events being played in the combined 2020-21 season.
The 25 PGA TOUR cards will be awarded upon the conclusion of the Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna in mid-August.
The three-event Korn Ferry Tour Finals will feature Nos. 26-75 on the Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Points List, and Nos. 126-200 from the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Standings, vying for The Finals 25 PGA TOUR cards. (Nos. 1-25 on the Regular Season Points List will strive to better their position on the TOUR Priority Ranking.)
“With a supersized 2020-21 schedule that bridges two years, we’re extremely confident the Korn Ferry Tour will once again deliver an exceptional class of graduates to the PGA TOUR in the upcoming year,” PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan said when the schedule was released.
From Lakewood Ranch, Florida; to Falmouth, Maine; to Las Vegas, Nevada; to Omaha, Nebraska; it’s going to be a special, United States-based only schedule for Korn Ferry Tour pros in 2021.
As holiday season approaches, here are four key takeaways from the 2021 portion of the Korn Ferry Tour season as the race for The 25 continues.
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL
The Korn Ferry Tour will not play any tournaments outside the United States in 2021. Tournaments, however, will be contested in 16 different states.
Ten tournaments on the original schedule were canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but three of the four tournaments that were to be debuted in 2020 will instead be played for the first time in 2021. Those events include the Veritex Bank Championship (Texas), Huntsville Championship (Alabama), and Live and Work in Maine Open (Maine).
The Chitimacha Louisiana Open presented by MISTRAS, Simmons Bank Open for the Snedeker Foundation, Visit Knoxville Open, KC Golf Classic, and REX Hospital Open will all return to the schedule after being postponed due to COVID-19.
The four original events on the Korn Ferry Tour schedule (debuted in 1990) will once again be back for 2021, including the aforementioned Visit Knoxville Open, Price Cutter Charity Championship, Wichita Open Supporting Wichita’s Youth, and Albertsons Boise Open (played as part of the Korn Ferry Tour Finals).
While the 2021 schedule won’t have its usual international flair, it lends itself to efficient travel concentrated in the U.S. as the world continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Paiute Las Vegas Championship is one of two new events added to the schedule for 2021, the other being the Emerald Coast Classic at Sandestin.
Las Vegas, a longtime home to the PGA TOUR, will host its Korn Ferry Tour event at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort’s Sun Mountain Course (about 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip), April 12-18. One of three courses on-site at Paiute Golf Resort, the Sun Mountain layout measures 7,112 yards and features rolling terrain set to a massive mountain backdrop.
The other new addition to the schedule, the Emerald Coast Classic at Sandestin, will be played at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort’s Raven Golf Club, March 29-April 4. The Raven Golf Club played host to a PGA TOUR Champions event in 2006 and 2007 and is located near Panama City, Florida. Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed the 6,900-yard, par-71 layout.
RIGHT TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Omaha is known worldwide as a song on the Counting Crows’ Grammy-nominated debut album – and it’s now also the home of the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season finale.
The Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna will now play host to The 25 ceremony and will be the event that puts a bow on the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour wraparound Regular Season campaign.
The event has been held at The Club at Indian Creek in Omaha, Nebraska, since 2017. It will be broadcast as part of 80-plus hours of televised 2021 Korn Ferry Tour coverage on Golf Channel.
“The Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna has been one of our Tour’s premier events over the last four years, and we are looking forward to continuing that tradition leading into 2021 and beyond,” said Korn Ferry Tour President Alex Baldwin when the schedule was released.
Players will proceed from the Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank to Omaha after back-to-back weeks in Springfield (Illinois) and Springfield (Missouri).
Winners of the Pinnacle Bank Championship include Sam Ryder, David Skinns, Kristoffer Ventura and Seth Reeves. This past summer, Reeves topped five players by one shot to capture the title.
CHASING THE 25
Once the 2021 portion of the Korn Ferry Tour schedule gets moving, one barely has time to take his foot off the gas.
From the Paiute Las Vegas Championship to the Live and Work in Maine Open, there are no weeks off. The Tour will have a break during the July 4 holiday and one more break prior to the final two events of the Regular Season and the Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
While there are no international events taking place in January, the season will begin in the middle of February – and the chase for 25 PGA TOUR cards restarts then.
For the first time in Korn Ferry Tour history, select players will have the chance to win the same event twice in the same season, and The 25 will take better shape come early 2021.
The top five on the Points List – Will Zalatoris (who had a fabulous fall on the PGA TOUR and earned Special Temporary Membership), Taylor Pendrith, Davis Riley, Brandon Wu and Jared Wolfe – are already well positioned to earn PGA TOUR cards, all for the first time.
Wolfe and Riley, who each notched two victories in 2020, are also looking to earn Three-Victory Promotions, and they’ll have a full slate of Korn Ferry Tour events to try and do just that.
So while the schedule may be unique to 2021 – with new events, different locations, and a wraparound effort not seen in the history of the Tour – the goal remains the same: earn a spot in The 25.