DULUTH, Georgia—Due to health concerns and COVID-19 travel-restriction issues surrounding COVID-19, the LOCALiQ Series made the decision Thursday to move its season-ending tournament from the Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas, to TPC Sugarloaf in metro Atlanta for the available players who will qualify for the 72-hole tournament. The LOCALiQ Series Championship is scheduled for November 17-20, three weeks later than the original late-October date. The top-78 available points earners from the previous seven LOCALiQ Series tournaments receive invitations to the tournament.
TPC Sugarloaf is a premier golf property in the PGA TOUR’s TPC Network and is currently the host site of the PGA TOUR Champions’ Mitsubishi Electric Classic, traditionally held in the spring but canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides the PGA TOUR Champions’ annual visit to TPC Sugarloaf, the Greg Norman-designed course features 27 holes and was the home of the PGA TOUR’s AT&T Classic, from 1997 to 2008.
“We certainly were looking forward to culminating our season in the Bahamas and anticipated a great week there. This global pandemic has required so many changes in the sports world, and we are pleased that we’ll still be able to contest the LOCALiQ Series’ final event of the 2020 season,” said Rob Ohno, the PGA TOUR’s Senior Vice President, International Tours. “TPC Sugarloaf has proven to be a great TOUR partner, offering an outstanding golf course that we know our players will enjoy.
“We genuinely appreciate all associated with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation and The Ocean Club Golf Course. Everybody was so enthusiastic and supportive of us holding our final LOCALiQ Series tournament there, so it is disappointing,” Ohno continued. “At the same time, we can’t say enough about the staff at TPC Sugarloaf, which acknowledged our need and accommodated us, making the golf course and its amenities available to us.”
TPC Sugarloaf first hosted a PGA TOUR tournament in 1997 when the then-named BellSouth Classic moved there from Atlanta Country Club. In the 12 tournaments held at TPC Sugarloaf, ending in 2008, winners included three-time champion Phil Mickelson (2000, 2005-06), Tiger Woods (1998) and two-time winner Zach Johnson (2004 and 2007). The Mitsubishi Electric Classic has had a home at TPC Sugarloaf since 2013. Winners include World Golf Hall of Famer Bernhard Langer (2013), former PLAYERS Championship winner Stephen Ames (2017) and Scott McCarron (2019), who also won the first PGA TOUR tournament contested at TPC Sugarloaf, in 1997, repeating that feat in 2001.
“We are pleased to welcome the LOCALiQ Series to TPC Sugarloaf,” said General Manager Mike Maloney. “We have a strong tradition of being a part of PGA TOUR-affiliated golf, with both PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions tournaments taking place here. It will be exciting to see these talented players testing their abilities on our course, and we look forward to these up-and-coming players, young in their careers, adding to our rich history.”
The LOCALiQ Series Championship will be the fourth event of the LOCALiQ Series held in Georgia and the third in metro Atlanta, with Alpharetta hosting the season’s first two tournaments—the Alpharetta Classic at The Golf Club of Georgia and The Championship at Echelon Golf Club. Pine Mountain’s Callaway Gardens Resort was the site of The Classic at Callaway Gardens.
The LOCALiQ Series is in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this week for the Classic at The Club at Weston Hills, the final full-field event of the campaign. Two-time tournament winner Bryson Nimmer is the overall current points leader, holding a 671.33-point advantage over No. 2 Carson Young. Finland’s Toni Hakula is third and looks to make it two victories in a row after capturing last week’s Challenge at Harbor Hills in Central Florida. Hayden Shieh and Stoney Crouch round out the top five. The Classic at The Club at Weston Hills is also the culminating tournament of the Arcis Golf Florida Swing that rewards $7,500 and $2,500 bonuses, respectively, to the two highest points-earners in the three Sunshine State tournaments held in Jacksonville, Lady Lake and Fort Lauderdale.