16 things to know about the FedEx Cup Playoffs

August 20, 2018

It’s that time of year again — time to watch the top players on Tour battle it out to see who can go home with the FedEx Cup $10 million bonus prize in September.

The action begins this week at the Northern Trust at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey.

But we get it. The points, the standings, the projections — it can be a little difficult to understand. Read on for everything you need to know about the next month of events.

1. The FedEx Cup began in 2007, making this year the event’s 12th iteration.

2. Beginning with the Safeway Open in October, players earn FedEx Cup points for their finishes in each Tour event throughout the season, ending with the Wyndham Championship.

3. Point values vary by tournament. A winner of most regular-season Tour events will bank 500 FedEx Cup points. Major wins are worth 600, and WGC events are worth 550. Events with weaker fields or opposite-field events, like the Barbasol Championship, are worth 300.

4. In order to qualify for the playoff events, players must be in the top 125 on the FedEx Cup points list at the conclusion of the Wyndham Championship.

5. The margin is paper thin. This year, the difference between No. 125 (Seamus Power) and No. 126 (Martin Piller) was six points.

6. In 2013, a player’s FedEx Cup points ranking replaced a player’s money list standing as a qualifier for the following year’s Tour card. Players ranked from Nos. 126-200 compete in the Web.com Tour finals for a chance to keep their PGA Tour cards for the 2018-19 season.

7. The FedEx Cup Playoffs are comprised of four events, although that’s changing to only three next year. This year’s schedule is the Northern Trust at Ridgewood in Paramus, N.J. (Aug. 23-26), Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston (Aug. 31-Sept. 3), BMW Championship at Aronimink in Newton Square, Pa. (Sept. 6-9) and Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta (Sept. 20-23).

8. Now that it’s the postseason, each event counts in a big way. Playoff wins are worth 2,000 points — four times the usual number.

Justin Thomas clinched the 2017 FedEx Cup with birdies on two of his last three holes.
Justin Thomas clinched the 2017 FedEx Cup with birdies on two of his last three holes.
Getty Images

9. Each week the size of the playoff field is cut. The top 125 players on the FedEx rankings compete in the Northern Trust, and the top 100 move on to the Dell Technologies. The top 70 advance to the BMW and top 30 to the Tour Championship.

10. Only the Northern Trust and Dell Technologies have 36-hole cuts. There is no cut at the BMW and Tour Championship.

11. Once the field is cut to the top 30 at the Tour Championship, points are re-set to make it more competitive. The top-ranked player receives 2,000 points, the second-ranked player receives 1,800 points, and so on. The point values are structured so any player in the top five who manages to win the event will automatically win the FedEx Cup. But, technically, every player in the field has a chance.

12. Not only does each playoff tournament have an individual purse of over $8 million, but after the Tour Championship, the top 30 players are awarded with $35 million in bonus money — with $10 million going to the winner of the FedEx Cup. The 30th finisher receives a bonus of $140,000.

13. The FedEx Cup trophy is made by Tiffany & Co.

14. The handles of the trophy are designed to trace the arc of a golf swing.

15. Only one player has won the FedEx Cup twice: Tiger Woods, in 2007 and 2009.

16. Last year’s FedEx cup champion, Justin Thomas, is currently second in the FedEx Cup rankings behind Dustin Johnson. Thomas is hoping to become the first back-to-back FedEx Cup champion in playoff history.