It gives the Tour Championship a chance to build the drama on the final holes, which is expected to intensify now that organizers have flipped the nines. Instead of finishing on a long, difficult par-3, players will complete play on a par-5 hole that offers a chance to make a birdie.
"The fan knows this is a hole that something can happen," Finchem said. "It lifts the entire excitement there at the end. It creates more volatility and fans recognize this."
Finchem said his dream scenario on Sunday afternoon would be a close finish that results in a playoff. The Tour Championship has been decided by a playoff three times at East Lake — 1998 with Hal Sutton, 2008 with Camilo Villegas and 2011 with Bill Haas.
"You always want to see a good bunching on the leaderboard on Sunday and have guys coming down with a chance to win," Finchem said. "Fundamentally, you always want to have a playoff. Everybody loves to watch a playoff."
The limited commercial arrangement was made possible by Coke and the Southern Company agreeing to share the branding on promotions and marketing, as well as the broadcast leaderboards and vignettes.
"The cool thing about this is the companies are terrific and want to make it special," Finchem said.
Coca-Cola was the presenting sponsor of the Tour Championship from 2001-10 and has been the title sponsor since 2011. Southern Company joins with Coke as a "proud sponsor," similar to the model used at the Players Championship.