What does CJ Cup stand for?

The CJ Cup - Round One
The CJ Cup in South Korea (Image via Getty)

The CJ Cup is an official PGA Tour 78-man invitational event held every year since 2017. The first three editions (2017, 2018, and 2019) were held at the Nine Bridges Golf Club on Jeju Island, South Korea. However, the tournament was shifted to the United States due to safety concerns because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ever since, the event has been held in the US at different locations. In 2020, it was played at Shadow Creek Golf Course in North Las Vegas, Nevada followed by the Summit Club in Summerlin in 2021. The most recent edition of the tournament is being held at the Congaree Golf Club in South Carolina.

Some first round action from the CJ Cup in South Carolina.Photos for @gettysport & @CJCupSC

Why is the tournament called CJ Cup?

The CJ Cup is a PGA Tour event that is sponsored by a global enterprise called CJ Group and that's why the tournament is named after its sponsor. This is Korea's first and most prestigious golf tournament, which aims to assist in the development of the sport in the country.

CJ Group is a global enterprise that promotes Korean culture across the world through its different products and services. Its four core businesses include Food & Food Services, Bio & Pharma, Home Shopping, Logistics, Entertainment & Media.

CJ comes from 'Cheil Jedang', which almost means 'first sugar manufacturer', the industry with which it originally started. Sponsoring the PGA event gave the Korean enterprise the opportunity to market its products in the US, which is the key global market.

While the event was originally only planned to be held only in South Korea, it had to shift to the US for overall safety. Vice President of CJ Corporation Wookho Kyeong spoke on those lines and said,

"While it is unfortunate that we will not be able to host the tournament together with our fans at home in Korea, we had to make a difficult decision for the health and safety of the players and fans. Considering the circumstances, we believed it was a logical decision to host the event in the U.S. and continue the global expansion of our global food brand, Bibigo."

He added:

"CJ will also continue to serve as a bridge for golf in Korea, providing Korean players with the opportunity to realize their dreams on the PGA TOUR."

CJ Group is the official sponsor of the tournament for 10 years from 2017 to 2026. In five editions so far, the CJ Cup has become a global sports and cultural platform.


CJ Group sponsors the PGA event with a vision to spread Bibigo, their Korean cuisine brand, across the world. Wookho Kyeong also shared the positive response they got for the brand through their sponsorship.

“Our vision is to make Bibigo a global brand and for every consumer on the globe to have our products in their pantry or freezer. We want to be a part of their everyday life. To do that, we need global marketing tools to expose our brand to increase awareness among global consumers and the CJ Cup in that respect contributes a lot and is televised across the whole world,” said Wookho Kyeong, chief marketing officer of CJ CheilJedang to Forbes.

CJ Cup format and past winners

The CJ Cup follows a different format in which the 78-player field includes:

  • 60 players from the previous season's FedEx Cup standings,
  • top 3 Korean players from the Official World Golf ranking,
  • top 5 KPGA (Korea Professional Golfers Association) players, and
  • 10 sponsor exemptions. (5 restricted to PGA Tour members and 5 unrestricted to PGA Tour members)

Justin Thomas won two CJ Cup events in 2017 and 2019 in South Korea. Brooks Koepka won the event in 2018. Jason Kokrak and Rory McIlroy won the following two events in 2020 and 2021. Unfortunately, no Korean has won the CJ Cup till now.

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Edited by Sabine Algur
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