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FedExCup 101: How does the PGA Tour’s postseason work?


With the PGA Tour having dramatically overhauled the FedExCup Playoffs in 2019 and more changes for this year here’s a helpful primer on the postseason:

You may ask yourself, “These are not my usual playoffs. This is not my normal Tour Championship. How did I get here?”

The PGA Tour first staged the FedExCup Playoffs in 2007. The postseason has undergone a series of tweaks in the intervening years. This is the 16th edition of the playoffs and the fourth in which there will can only be one champion crowned at East Lake. We’ll get to that in a moment.

How many events are there and where are they played?

There are currently three playoff events:

  • Aug. 11-14: FedEx St. Jude Championship, TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee
  • Aug. 18-21: BMW Championship, Wilmington Country Club, Wilmington, Delaware
  • Aug. 25-28: Tour Championship, East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Georgia

The FedEx St. Jude event takes over for The Northern Trust as the playoff opener. The top 125 finishers on the Tour’s season-long eligibility points list are able to compete. The top 70 in FedExCup points after St. Jude will move on to the BMW, and the top 30 thereafter will qualify for the Tour Championship.

OK, so how does the Tour Championship work now?

Where prior to 2019 you could have separate Tour Championship and FedExCup winners, there is now only one. Whoever wins at East Lake, with its weighted scoring system, is also crowned FedExCup champion.

What do you mean weighted?

Right, this might sound a little odd, but the Tour Championship doesn’t work like any other PGA Tour event. Players are going to start with an advantage (or disadvantage) based on their season-long performance. This will be reflected in the number of strokes they are spotted prior to the tournament.

How does that work?

The No. 1 player on the FedExCup points list after the BMW Championship is going to start the Tour Championship at 10 under par. Nos. 2-5 will start at 8 under, 7 under, 6 under and 5 under, respectively. From there, Nos. 6-10 will start a 4 under, Nos. 11-15 at 3 under, Nos. 16-20 at 2 under, Nos. 21-25 at 1 under and Nos. 26-30 at even par.

So what would that look like?

Just like this:

10 under: Scottie Scheffler

8 under: Cam Smith

7 under: Sam Burns

6 under: Xander Schauffele

5 under: Patrick Cantlay

4 under: Rory McIlroy, Tony Finau, Justin Thomas, Cameron Young, Sungjae Im

3 under: Hideki Matsuyama, Will Zalatoris, Max Homa, Matt Fitzpatrick, Jordan Spieth

2 under: Jon Rahm, Tom Hoge, Billy Horschel, Viktor Hovland, Joaquin Niemann

1 under: J.T. Poston, Collin Morikawa, Davis Riley, Seamus Power, J.J. Spaun

Even par: Cameron Tringale, Aaron Wise, Shane Lowry, Luke List, Corey Conners

Alrighty, then. They still playing for a lot of money?

They are. The FedExCup payout pool has been raised from a total of $60 million to $75 million, with the winner now in line for a $18 million windfall. Here’s how the money will be doled out to those who make the Tour Championship:

1. $18,000,000
2. $6,500,000
3. $5,000,000
4. $4,000,000
5. $3,000,000
6. $2,500,000
7. $2,000,000
8. $1,500,000
9. $1,250,000
10. $1,000,000
11. $950,000
12. $900,000
13. $850,000
14. $800,000
15. $760,000
16. $720,000
17. $700,000
18. $680,000
19. $660,000
20. $640,000
21. $620,000
22. $600,000
23. $580,000
24. $565,000
25. $550,000
26. $540,000
27. $530,000
28. $520,000
29. $510,000
30. $500,000