With the PGA Tour season truncated by two-and-a-half months, there are 13 fewer tournaments available for players to win. That means there are fewer potential spots available for the 2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions, whose field is traditionally reserved for winners of all PGA Tour events since the last Tournament of Champions.
That's why the PGA Tour is making a one-time change to the Sentry Tournament of Champions qualification criteria to ensure a sizable, strong field at Kapalua Resort in January 2021.
For just the 2021 edition of the event, there will be two ways to qualify: either winning a PGA Tour event before the next Tournament of Champions or qualifying for the 2020 Tour Championship.
The top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings after the BMW Championship earn a spot at East Lake in Atlanta. Those players already get a variety of benefits for the next season, including berths into three of four major championships, as well spots in invitationals and some World Golf Championships events.
In 2020, there were 34 players in the field. With the adjustment of also allowing Tour Championship qualifiers, that could have meant another dozen players in the field. That would about level out the loss of 13 PGA Tour events from this season.
For an event to offer Official World Golf Ranking points, a field must have at least 30 players -- unless it has been grandfathered into offering points. Taking this step will make sure the Sentry Tournament of Champions has at least 30 players and allow it to offer the significant OWGR points that come from having a field of winners and top-rated players.