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The Tour Report
  • First Look: The McGladrey Classic

  • Chris Kirk won last year after Briny Baird bogeyed the 72nd hole at Sea Island. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)Chris Kirk won last year after Briny Baird bogeyed the 72nd hole at Sea Island. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

FIELD LIST: See who is playing at Sea Island

• COURSE: Sea Island GC (Seaside), 7,005 yards, par 70. A true oceanside layout at the southern tip of St. Simons Island, the course dates back to a nine-hole track built in 1929 by English architects Harry Colt and Charles Alison. Bobby Jones once described Seaside as among the best nine holes he’d ever encountered. Joe Lee designed the “Marshside Nine” in 1973, and Tom Fazio was commissioned to bring the two together in 1999. Framed against tidal creeks, dunes and salt marshes, Seaside places a premium on shot selection and sound course management.

FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.

CHARITY: Special Olympics and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Georgia, highlighting the host Davis Love Foundation’s mission of supporting programs that focus on children and families. Some three dozen other charities receive funding through the tournament’s “Birdies Fore Love” pledge program.

• FIELD WATCH: Defending champion Chris Kirk, second in last season’s FedExCup race, joins U.S. Ryder Cup players Matt Kuchar and Zach Johnson atop the lineup. Kuchar and Johnson are neighbors on nearby St. Simons Island ... Webb Simpson also returns to give the field four of the top 35 players in the current Official World Golf Ranking ... The Sea Island delegation also includes tournament host Davis Love III, John Deere Classic titleholder Brian Harman, former U.S. Open champ Lucas Glover and five-time PGA TOUR winner Jonathan Byrd ... Fully 87 entrants are set to make their third start in as many events of the new season, including newly crowned PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Chesson Hadley and veterans Stuart Appleby, Aaron Baddeley, D.A. Points and Charles Howell III.

• 72-HOLE RECORD: 264, Tommy Gainey (2012).

• 18-HOLE RECORD: 60, Tommy Gainey (4th round, 2012).

• LAST YEAR: Kirk became the first Sea Island member to finish atop the McGladrey, taking the conservative route as Briny Baird stunningly faltered on the final hole. Kirk shared the lead as they came down No. 18, then watched as Baird topped a 4-iron out of a fairway bunker that rolled into a hazard. Kirk wound up playing for par, finishing off a 4-under-par 66 that ended in his second PGA TOUR win. Baird appeared ready to end a 365-start wait for his first victory, moving from two shots back to one ahead on the back nine. He could have seized control on the par-5 15th when Kirk hit into the water, but three-putted an eagle chance while Kirk holed a 20-foot par putt. Kirk then birdied No. 17 to pull even and set up the final drama.

• STORYLINES: Kirk, who lived on St. Simons Island for six years before moving back to Atlanta, starts his new season’s quest amid familiar surroundings. He’s three starts removed from a victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship, which had him atop the FedExCup chart until Billy Horschel won the final two stops ... The McGladrey Classic is the last full-points event on U.S. soil in 2014, though the Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi is available for those not playing the HSBC Champions that week.

• SHORT CHIPS: All four tournaments in the McGladrey’s short history have been decided by no more than one shot. One went to a playoff, as Ben Crane outlasted Simpson for the 2011 title ... Tommy Gainey’s Sunday 60 in 2012 was just the third to be posted in the final round of a PGA TOUR event. Grant Waite did it at the 1996 Phoenix Open, duplicated by Steve Lowery at the Buick Challenge a year later ... Love’s four starts as tournament host have resulted in a fourth-place tie (2012), a share of 33rd (2010) and two missed cuts.

• TELEVISION: Thursday-Sunday, 2-5 p.m. ET (Golf Channel).

• RADIO: Thursday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.COM).

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