Understanding the New FedEx Cup Format

by Maura Hutchinson

Understanding the New FedEx Cup Format

The last tournament of the FedEx Cup playoffs tees off today from East Lake. But a new format means when the action ends on Sunday there will only be one golfer in the winner’s circle. Read on to find out what exactly has changed since 2018 and what that means for the 30 players left in the 2019 field.

Starting the Tournament at -10

In previous years the FedEx Cup playoffs boasted four tournaments, with a reset of points going into the final event. The new format shaves it down to three tournaments, ending this weekend with the TOUR Championship. Instead of starting over, the PGA has integrated a strokes-based points system to help eliminate the guessing game and scenarios of previous playoffs.

Last week’s winner of the BMW Championship, and current leader in the points system, Justin Thomas, begins the first round in Atlanta at 10-under. Second starts at 8-under, third at 7-under, fourth at 6-under and so on until T-26 starts on even par.

While some have welcomed the change that means you won’t have one player winning at East Lake, while another player wins the FedEx Cup on the same day, there are a few who still aren’t sold on the new format.

Rory McIlroy told reporters earlier this week, “It seems very different that you’re starting at a different position than the rest of the field.” Adding, “If the FedEx Cup really wants to have this legacy in the game, like some of these other championships do, is people starting the tournament on different numbers the best way to do it?”

However, when the new format was announced last year, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monaghan explained, “Fans are very familiar with golf leader boards in relation to par, so they will have a clear understanding of the impact every shot makes during the final run for the FedExCup — ultimately leading to a singular champion without conflicting story lines.”

An already Massive Prize grows even more…

Winning the FedEx Cup has always brought a pretty hefty payday, but this year the prize for being crowned the FedEx Cup champion has swelled from $10 to $15 million. Don’t feel too bad for the guy who comes in second, he’s assured $5 million. Last place 30th will walk away with $395,000. Not a bad way to end a season.