Everything you need to know about the 2019 FedEx Cup Playoffs

August 5, 2019

The 2018-19 PGA Tour regular season is in the books, and the three-week-long FedEx Cup Playoffs are here and set to begin this week. Here’s everything you need to know about the final three events of the season.

The events

The Northern Trust: Aug. 8-11
Liberty National Golf Club
Jersey City, N.J.
Defending champion: Bryson DeChambeau
TV: Golf Channel/CBS

BMW Championship: Aug. 15-18
Medinah Country Club
Medinah, Ill.
Defending champion: Keegan Bradley
TV: Golf Channel/NBC

Tour Championship: Aug. 22-25
East Lake Golf Club
Atlanta, Ga.
Defending champion: Tiger Woods
TV: Golf Channel/NBC

How it works

The FedEx Cup is a season-long competition where players on the PGA Tour compete for points in order to qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs. It began in 2007 and is now in its 13th year. Justin Rose is the defending champion, while Tiger Woods is the only player to have won it multiple times.

Players can earn points based on their finishes at each of the events on the tournament schedule. The more wins and better finishes you have, the more points you rack up. While alternate events will offer as much as 300 points to the winner, major tournaments and the Players Championship award 600 points to the winner. Regular PGA Tour events offer 500 points, while World Golf Championships award 550 points to the victor.

Format

The top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings after the conclusion of the regular season on Sunday at the Wyndham Championship advance to the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Points carry over to the final three events of the year, and the field is slimmed down accordingly over the course of the three tournaments. This is the first year the FedEx Cup Playoffs will not be competed within four tournaments.

The players who rank in the top 70 in the FedEx Cup standings following the Northern Trust will move on to the BMW Championship the following week. Then the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings following Medinah will travel to East Lake for the Tour Championship. The FedEx Cup champion will be determined after the Tour Championship.

While the Northern Trust has a 36-hole cut for the top 70 and ties in the field, the BMW Championship and Tour Championship do not have cuts. The first two events will award 2,000 points to the winners, but the PGA Tour instituted a new system this year for the Tour Championship.

For the first time, the Tour Championship will be a strokes-based system where the player with the lowest score will win both the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup. Therefore, in order to win the FedEx Cup, you must win the Tour Championship.

After the Northern Trust and BMW Championship, the FedEx Cup points leader will begin the Tour Championship at 10 under par. The other 29 participants in the event will begin at varying strokes behind the leader, based upon their positioning in the standings.

Brooks Koepka is the man to beat in the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
Getty Images

Everything the FedEx Cup champion receives

The FedEx Cup champion of course gets a nice-looking trophy, but more importantly, the winner receives $15 million and a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour. The FedEx Cup champion previously earned $10 million for capturing the title.

This year, there’s now $60 million in prize money up for grabs in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. That’s an increase by $25 million from last season. The top eight in the FedEx Cup standings all earn a seven-figure check after the completion of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Players to watch

Brooks Koepka

The FedEx Cup points leader and No. 1 player in the world appears well on his way to another Player of the Year award after notching the most wins on Tour this season: the CJ Cup, PGA Championship and WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. The four-time major champion also has eight top-10 finishes this season and didn’t finish worse than T4 in a major.

Tiger Woods

Woods’ chances of actually winning the FedEx Cup are slim, but if he can take care of business at The Northern Trust and BMW Championship, we should be seeing the 15-time major champion back at East Lake where he won the Tour Championship last September. Woods’ lone win on Tour this year and last major title came at Augusta this past April, and he earned three other top-10 finishes this season.

Rory McIlroy

If it wasn’t for Koepka’s dominance or Tiger’s monumental Masters victory, it’s fair to say we might be talking more about how strong Rory McIlroy has been this year. Despite his disappointing showings at the Open Championship and Masters, the four-time major champ won the Players Championship and RBC Canadian Open. He has the most top-10 finishes on Tour this season, including two at the PGA Championship and U.S. Open.

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