FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS
The FedEx Cup is a championship trophy for the PGA Tour. Its introduction marked the first time that men’s professional golf had a playoff system. Announced in November 2005, it was first awarded in 2007. Patrick Cantlay is the 2021 champion. This competition is sponsored by FedEx.
The PGA Tour adjusted the rules around the FedEx Cup in each of the two years after its introduction in 2007. Each set of changes was introduced to address issues that arose the previous year, particularly with the playoffs portion of the FedEx Cup:
- In February 2008, the changes were designed to allow more golfers a chance to improve their positions on the points list as the playoffs progress. The changes involve a tightening of the playoff reset points and awarding more points to playoff participants. This is effectively a penalty on those players who skip a playoff event.
- In November 2008, the changes were designed to help ensure that the championship would not be won until every golfer who qualified finished playing the final playoff event. This resulted from the fact that Vijay Singh had accumulated enough points through the first three playoff events in 2008 to guarantee that he would win the Cup without finishing the final event.
- In 2013, FedEx Cup points began to determine the 125 golfers who would retain their PGA Tour playing privileges (popularly known as “tour cards”) for the following season. Previously, this was determined by position on the tour’s money list at the end of the year.
In 2019, the total bonus pool was increased by $25 million to $70 million, with the FedEx Cup champion earning $15 million. Among that $70 million was a $10 million Regular Season bonus pool, sponsored by Wyndham, tied to the final Regular Season FedEx Cup standings. This recognized the 10 players who earn the most FedEx Cup points through the Wyndham Championship, with the Regular Season champion earning $2 million. Also in 2019, the FedEx Cup Playoffs finale, the Tour Championship, instituted a strokes-based system, FedEx Cup Starting Strokes.
Since 2019, at the conclusion of the regular season (after the Wyndham Championship), the top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings become eligible to play in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, a series of three events over the month of August (from 2007 to 2018, the FedEx Cup Playoffs included four events). Points earned during the PGA Tour Regular Season carry over to the Playoffs. The FedEx Cup Playoffs events feature a progressive cut, with fields of 125 for The Northern Trust (Liberty National Golf Club, Jersey City, New Jersey), 70 for the BMW Championship (Medinah Country Club, Medinah, Illinois) and 30 for the Tour Championship (East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Georgia), where the FedEx Cup Champion is determined. In the event an eligible player is unable or chooses not to play, the field is shortened and no alternates are added. Points from the missing positions are not awarded. The Northern Trust cuts the field to low 70 and ties after 36 holes, while the BMW Championship and Tour Championship are no-cut events. The first two Playoffs events award 2,000 points to the winner (quadruple points of Regular Season events).
The Tour Championship features a strokes-based system (FedEx Cup Starting Strokes) instituted for the first time in 2019. The FedEx Cup points leader after the first two Playoffs events begins the Tour Championship at 10-under par. The No. 2 player will start at 8 under. The No. 3 player starts at 7 under; the No. 4 player starts at 6 under; the No. 5 player starts at 5 under. Players 6–10 start at 4 under; players 11–15 start at 3 under; players 16–20 start at 2 under; players 21–25 start at 1 under; and players 26–30 start at even par. At the Tour Championship, the player with the lowest aggregate score over 72 holes when combined with his FedEx Cup Starting Strokes wins the Tour Championship and is also crowned FedEx Cup champion. The Tour Championship win is considered an official victory and the FedEx Cup champion also earns a bonus of $15 million and a five-year PGA Tour exemption.
COURTESY PGA TOUR & WIKIPEDIA COMMONS