Charlottesville, VA - Former Virginia golfer Steve Marino will tee off at 12:05 p.m. today at The TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, the final stop in the 2009 PGA Tour Playoffs. Marino is one of 30 golfers who have advanced through the first three rounds of the Playoffs to compete in the final event and vie for the FedEx Cup Trophy and a winner's purse of $10 million, the largest single-event payout in sports.
Marino will be paired with Stewart Cink during Thursday's opening round of play. He enters the event seeded No. 25 in the 30-player field based on his finishes at the previous three FedEx Cup events. He was 15th at The Barclays, 27th at the Deutsche Bank Championship and 18th at the BMW Championships. For Marino to capture the Cup, he will need to place first at East Lake and the following things must happen with the rest of the field:
Tiger Woods (currently No. 1 in the point stands) must finish 20th or worse; Steve Stricker (currently second) must finish sixth or worse; Jim Furyk (currently third) must finish fourth or worse; Zach Johnson (currently fourth) must finish fourth or worse; Heath Slocum (currently fifth) must finish third or worse; Padraig Harrington (currently sixth) must finish third or worse. Marino will be tied for first: If Tiger Woods finishes 19th
Just being one of the 30 players to advance to The TOUR Championship has earned Marino considerable benefits. He is fully exempt for all PGA Tour events in 2010, including all four Majors. He also automatically qualifies for next year's PGA Tour Playoffs.
Marino figures to have a big payday thanks this is performance during the Playoffs. The player with the most points after The Tour Championship will win the FedEx Cup itself and $10 million of a $35 million bonus fund. The runner-up gets $3 million, third place $2 million, fourth place $1.5 million, fifth place $1 million, and so on down to $32,000 for 144th place.
The Golf Channel will carry coverage of The TOUR Championship Thursday and Friday starting at 1 p.m. with a replay at 8:30 p.m. Thursday and 10:30 p.m. Friday. NBC Sports will start its live coverage Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
PGATour.com also provides a daily video link.
The live leaderboard for the event is available at PGATour.com.