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History of The CJ Cup: The PGA TOUR’s most well-traveled event

The CJ Cup has traveled from South Korea to Las Vegas, and will end up at one of America’s most fascinating courses this weekend.

Palmetto Championship at Congaree - Final Round Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The sixth iteration of the PGA TOUR’s CJ Cup tees off this week at the Congaree Golf Club in Gillisonville, South Carolina, which will be the fourth course and third city that has hosted the tournament. The CJ Cup began in 2017 on Jeju Island in South Korea, where it remained for the first three years it was played. In that time, Brooks Koepka won once and Justin Thomas took home the trophy twice.

But in 2020, the CJ Cup moved to Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, Nevada due to COVID-19 restrictions. While the tournament was initially slated to move back to South Korea, they ended up simply moving across town in 2021, playing at the Summit Club in Summerlin, Nevada. Rory McIlroy, who is favored to win the 2022 CJ Cup, beat Collin Morikawa by a single stroke to win last year.

Now in 2022, they’ve traveled across the country to the Congaree Golf Club in South Carolina, where the tournament will run from Thursday, October 20 to Sunday, October 23. Congaree was opened in 2017 and has hosted just one PGA TOUR event: The 2021 Palmetto Championship, a one-off tournament meant to replace the RBC Canadian Open which had been canceled in the pandemic.

Gillisonville could be considered middle-of-nowhere in the Lowcountry. It’s actually not even a city — it’s listed as a census-designated place, and wasn’t even listed as such until the 2020 census, which found a population of 183 people. It’s located in Jasper County, which has long been one of the poorest counties in South Carolina, though the poverty rate decreased from 25% to 18% between 2011 and 2020.

Congaree was built — in part by deceased Houston Texans owner Bob McNair — as an outreach program for underserved high school students who were interested in golf but may not have had the resources necessary to apply to and get into college. Rather than members, Congaree has ambassadors who raise money for and donate to the club’s mission.

The PGA TOUR has not announced whether the CJ Club has found a permanent home at Congaree, but the national stage will be an enormous boost to their philanthropic venture.