PGA Tour announces changes to FedEx Cup Playoffs, Tour Championship

Mark Konezny/USA TODAY Sports

PGA Tour announces changes to FedEx Cup Playoffs, Tour Championship

PGA Tour

PGA Tour announces changes to FedEx Cup Playoffs, Tour Championship

ATLANTA – To make the FedEx Cup Playoffs easier for players and fans to understand, and to bring more clarity to the Tour Championship, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced significant changes to the system that will go into effect next season.

The PGA Tour’s 2018-19 schedule was made available several weeks ago, revealing that the FedEx Cup Playoffs are being trimmed from four events to three. Now we know that after the top 125 players on the FedEx Cup point list compete at the Northern Trust, only the top 70 will move on to the Dell Technologies Championship. At the conclusion of that event, the field will be cut down again to 30 players for the Tour Championship.

Monahan also revealed in his press conference at East Lake Country Club that the format for the Tour Championship is being radically altered. Starting next season, a strokes-based bonus system will go into effect.

The player who has the most FedEx Cup points after next season’s BMW Championship will start the first round of the 2019 Tour Championship with a score of 10 under par and a two-shot lead over the second-highest FedEx Cup point earner who will begin at 8 under. The player ranked third will start at 7 under, while the golfers who arrive at East Lake in fourth and fifth will start at 6 under and 5 under, respectively.

The next five players on the list will begin at 4 under par, with scores regressing by one shot for every five golfers until the players who enter the Tour Championship ranked between 26th and 30th start the events at even par on the first day.

The player who finishes the Tour Championship with the lowest score will win the tournament and the FedEx Cup. The total prize money pool is increasing to $70 million and the FedEx Cup champion’s share is rising from $10 million to $15 million next season.

According to Monahan, this restructuring will give an edge to the player who leads the FedEx Cup point race heading into the final event, the Tour Championship, while making it much easier for even the most casual sports fans to understand what players need to do to win the FedEx Cup.

“Compared to the current system, the beauty here is in the simplicity,” Monahan said. “Fans are very familiar with golf leaderboards in relation to par, so they will have a clear understanding of the impact every shot makes during the final run for the FedEx Cup, ultimately leading to a singular champion without conflicting storylines.”

If next season’s system had been implemented before the start of this week’s Tour Championship, instead of all the players starting at even par this is how the top of the leaderboard would look on Thursday morning:

  • 1. Bryson DeChambeau, -10
  • 2. Justin Rose, -8
  • 3. Tony Finau, -7
  • 4. Dustin Johnson, -6
  • 5. Justin Thomas, -5
  • T-6. Keegan Bradley, -4
  • T-6. Brooks Koepka, -4
  • T-6. Bubba Watson, -4
  • T-6. Billy Horschel, -4
  • T-6. Cameron Smith, -4

Tiger Woods, who enters this year’s Tour Championship ranked 20th in FedEx Cup points, would start at 2 under, tied for 16th and eight shots behind DeChambeau.

Monahan also announced a new incentive program designed to reward the players who have the best regular seasons, the $10 million Wyndham Rewards Top 10.

After the Wyndham Championship, the last tournament before the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs, the regular-season points leader will receive $2 million. Players who finish in the top 10 will also earn prize money, ranging from $1.5 million for second place to $500,000 for 10th.

“Season-long success is tantamount to qualifying for and advancing through the FedExCup Playoffs, and this is an exciting way to reward the best of the best and provide an added layer of drama for our fans in each market and around the world,” said Andy Pazder, chief tournament and competitions officer for the PGA Tour.

Monahan also announced that the total prize money that players on the PGA Tour will be competing for is rising next season, to over $500 million, an increase of 12 percent.

According to Pazder, the PGA Tour estimates that the golfer who finishes No. 1 player in the FedEx Cup next year will earn about $27 million. He said the players who finish ranked in the top 10 on the FedEx Cup point list will average more $12 million in earnings for the season.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home