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FedEx Cup Playoffs: Everything You Need to Know

Stars Kick Off FedEx Cup Playoffs at The Barclays
The biggest names in golf head to Bethpage to kick off the FedEx Cup playoffs, including The Barclays defending champ, Jason Day.

In an annual tradition, golf fans everywhere gather around to host FedEx Cup watch parties and eagerly await the crowning of a new champion. 

But first, we have to relearn how the actual playoffs work. Here are the three things to know about the structure, participants and points for the 10-year old system that is ever-changing.

1) Players earn FedEx Cup points in every official event they play with a tiered system similar to the prize money payouts. On the back of three wins and nine top-10s, Jason Day has a narrow lead atop the standings with 2,735 points, just 34 points ahead of Dustin Johnson. But at the beginning of the playoffs, the point system changes. Instead of 500 points awarded for winning a regular Tour event, winners of any playoff event are awarded 2,000 points. Players can gain ground quickly.

2) The four events that comprise the FedEx Cup are The Barclays, Deutsche Bank Championship, BMW Championship and Tour Championship. The Barclays kicks off with 125 players according to their FedEx Cup points ranking. It is whittled down to 100 at the Deutsche Bank and 70 at the BMW. The final event will be comprised of 30 players. Before the finale, point totals are reset, so the points leader will tee off with 2,000 points, second place with 1,800 and on down the list. This setup allows for more players to be in contention in the season finale. In 2014, Billy Horschel won the BMW and Tour Championships en route to the title after beginning the playoffs ranked 69th. He was the lowest-ranked player entering the playoffs to win.

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The FedEx Cup playoffs kick off this week with The Barclays.

3) Money is the big draw of the event. The bonus for winning the FedEx Cup is $10 million. Tiger Woods is the career earnings leading in the playoffs with $25.28 million won on the back of a 2007 and 2009 victory that netted him $10 million each. Last year, Jordan Spieth won the FedEx Cup adding the $10 million prize to his PGA Tour-record $12,030,465 in winnings for a total of more than $22 million for 2015. Not a bad year at all. 

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