New format for 2019 FedExCup Playoffs
When Justin Rose captured the FedExCup in 2018, he became the first champion without a victory in the same Playoffs. That possibility no longer exists with the revised format of the TOUR Championship.
The winner of this week’s TOUR Championship is the FedExCup champion. It’s that simple. What requires a moment to understand is why all 30 in the field aren’t starting the tournament at even par like usual. So, scroll past the ranking for an explanation on the format, other wrinkles of the tournament and more.
NOTE: This full-field Power Rankings includes starting score for every golfer in the field.
The 13th TOUR Championship of the FedExCup era is unlike every other. The FedExCup Starting Strokes scoring system segregates the field by FedExCup ranking upon arrival. As the top seed, BMW Championship winner Justin Thomas begins the 72-hole competition at East Lake at 10-under. Patrick Cantlay, the 2-seed, opens at 8-under. The cascade effect continues all the way down to those seeded 26-30, who start traditionally at even par.
While there likely will be curiosity for who actually scores best, the starting leaderboard will reflect official position. If it helps understand it at first, think of the opening round as if at least one round was already played and you’re viewing the continuation of the same tournament. There is no cut, so all qualifiers are guaranteed 72 holes.
The winner of the TOUR Championship will be credited with an official victory, but the earnings will be bonus in nature only. The champ will receive $15 million, the runner-up $5 million, and so on down to $395,000 for 30th place. So, there is no stand-alone purse with official money for the field. The BMW represented the last tournament of the 2018-19 season with official earnings.
The FedExCup Starting Strokes scoring system could be responsible for the end of a nine-year drought during which the top seed entering the TOUR Championship has failed to win the FedExCup. Five of the last six FedExCup champions arrived as the 2-seed, including defending champ Justin Rose. No golfer ever has won consecutive FedExCups. Only Tiger Woods (2007, 2009) has captured multiple titles.
This year’s field is populated by seven golfers who started the three-event Playoffs outside the top 30 in FedExCup points. The lowest opening seed to qualify is Abraham Ancer. He started THE NORTHERN TRUST seeded 67th and parlayed it with a runner-up finish at Liberty National into debuts in the TOUR Championship and the Presidents Cup. Ancer, who is now seeded 10th, also is one of four PGA TOUR non-winners in the field. Tommy Fleetwood (22nd), rookie Sungjae Im (24th) and Jason Kokrak (30th) are the others.