The PGA Tour is finalising widespread changes to the structure of the season-ending FedEx Cup, according to The Associated Press.
Currently, players are awarded FedEx Cup points each time they tee it up throughout the season and these are reset heading into the final event – the Tour Championship at East Lake – to give all of the top 30 qualifiers the chance of winning.
It also means that the Tour Championship winner may not be the FedEx Cup winner, which happened last year with Xander Schauffele winning at East Lake, but Justin Thomas clinching the $10 million bonus.
That seems to be the main issue that the PGA Tour is looking to solve. According to the report, the changes would include:
• A cash bonus to the leading player from the regular season – reckoned to be around $3 million – with prize money also for those finishing second and third in the rankings.
• The number of play-off events will be reduced from four to three. The Northern Trust will rotate each year between Liberty National in Jersey City and the TPC Boston, followed by the BMW Championship and then the Tour Championship. The size of the field will be reduced each week until 30 reach East Lake in Atlanta.
• There will be a new scoring format for the Tour Championship. The No.1 player in the rankings would start the event on ten-under-par, with scores to par staggered depending on the 30 players’ position in the standings.
• The winner of the Tour Championship will therefore be the FedEx Cup champion – eliminating any awkwardness and divided attention – with the bonus is expected to be more than the current $10 million prize.
There are still said to be some ‘loose ends’ to tie up, hence why news hasn’t yet been officially announced by the PGA Tour. One is when the regular season would end.
Since the FedEx Cup began in 2007, the Wyndham Championship has been the final regular season tournament. However, there has been talk of the season finishing the previous week at the FedEx Invitational, a World Golf Championship event, allowing the top players in the FedEx Cup to take a week off before the play-offs.
But by ending the season at the Wyndham Championship, there could be a case where a player adds the tournament to their schedule if they have a chance to win the regular season.