After a season that involved 47 PGA Tour stops, including 11 first-time winners, seven players winning multiple times and two first-time major champions, we’ve arrived at the finish — the FedEx Cup Playoffs. And with that, it’s time to determine a season-long champion and hand out quite a bit of dough as well.
Masters champion Jon Rahm leads the way in the FedEx Cup standings with Scottie Scheffler, 2022 FedEx Cup champion Rory McIlroy, Max Homa and Wyndham Clark rounding out the top five. All four won multiple times this year.
In 2022, McIlroy entered the final round of the Tour Championship six shots behind Scheffler, but rallied with a closing 66 to win his third FedEx Cup title and the $18-million winning prize.
For a refresher on how the playoffs work, here are answers to some questions that will help you understand what’s in store as the PGA Tour crowns its next FedEx Cup champion.
When are the FedEx Cup Playoffs played?
Here is the three tournament schedule:
FedEx St. Jude Championship, TPC Southwind, Memphis, August 10-13
BMW Championship, Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club, August 17-20
Tour Championship, East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, August 24-27
How many golfers will play in each of the three events?
The top 70 players off the FedEx Cup eligibility points list are in the field at the FedEx St Jude Championship. This is the first year that number is so low; previously it was the top 125 who got into the Playoffs. The top 50 then after that event move on to the BMW Championship (previously the cut was to the top 70). The top 30 after BMW then advance from Wilmington Country Club to Atlanta for the Tour Championship, the traditional conclusion of the season.
The 2023 FedExCup Playoffs begin at next week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship.
— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) August 7, 2023
Remind us again: How is the actual FedEx Cup winner decided?
OK, so instead of all 30 players starting with the same score when they compete at the Tour Championship, players are now staggered by strokes based on where they stand in the FedEx Cup points list coming into East Lake. The No. 1-ranked player begins the final tournament at 10-under, with the No. 2 player at eight-under, and then seven-under, six-under and five-under for Nos. 3-5. Nos. 6-10 start at four-under; Nos. 11-15 start at three-under; Nos. 16-20 start at two-under; Nos. 21-25 start at one under; and Nos. 26-30 start at even par. The individual with the best score after the stroke adjustment — not merely the best 72-hole score — will be the winner of the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup.
So there are no separate winners of the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup anymore?
Nope … that’s why the change was made, to help eliminate the confusion of somebody winning the tournament at East Lake but not being the actual FedEx Cup champion. In fact, there is no longer a separate purse for the Tour Championship.
Were there two winners a lot?
In the first 12 years of the playoffs, it happened four times, including 2017 and 2018. Remember Tiger Woods’ win at the Tour Championship in 2018? Well, it was Justin Rose who took home the FedEx Cup. Given how frequently this was happening, PGA Tour officials decided they needed an alternative to simplify the race for the FedEx Cup title.
Does winning the Tour Championship count for a player’s victory total?
Yes. It still counts for the PGA Tour’s records.
Who were the players in the lead at the start of this year’s playoffs?
At the end of the PGA Tour’s regular season — after the Wyndham Championship — Jon Rahm had 3,320 points, followed by Scottie Scheffler (3,146), Rory McIlroy (2,304), Max Homa (2,128) and Wyndham Clark (1,944).
Click here for a complete list of the rankings.
Do points from the regular season carry over into the playoffs?
Yes. And then any points earned in the first two FedEx Cup playoff events are added to a players’ regular-season points to get their new place on the FedEx Cup points list each week.
How are the points earned different in the playoffs compared to the regular season?
As you might imagine, a premium is given to players who win/play well in playoff events. If you won a regular-season PGA Tour stop, you earned 500 points. For a playoff win, you get 2,000 points. Similarly, all players earn four times the points for their performances in playoff events compared with regular-season tournaments.
Who is the defending FedEx Cup champion?
Rory McIlroy entered the Tour Championship 10 shots behind Scottie Scheffler at the start of the tournament and six shots back entering the final round. But with a closing 66, the Northern Irishman pulled out the victory by a shot over Scheffler and Sungjae Im.
McIlroy shot rounds of 67-67-63-66 for an aggregate 17 under that was the lowest score of the week regardless of the staggered-stroke start. Im finished at 16 under with Max Homa at 15 under (he finished T-5 in the FedEx Cup standings).
Who has won the most FedEx Cups?
With his win in 2022, McIlroy captured his third title, having also claimed the victory in 2016 and 2019. Only one other player — Tiger Woods, perhaps you’ve heard of him — has won the playoffs more than once, in 2007 and 2009.
Past champions include:
2007: Tiger Woods
2008: Vijay Singh
2009: Tiger Woods
2010: Jim Furyk
2011: Bill Haas
2012: Brandt Snedeker
2013: Henrik Stenson
2014: Billy Horschel
2015: Jordan Spieth
2016: Rory McIlroy
2017: Justin Thomas
2018: Justin Rose
2019: Rory McIlroy
2020: Dustin Johnson
2021: Patrick Cantlay
2022: Rory McIlroy
How much FedEx Cup prize money will be handed out?
The short answer: A lot. Starting in 2019, the FedEx Cup winner earned $15 million from an overall prize money payout of $60 million. It was then increased again in 2022, with the total payout being $75 million and the winner taking home a whopping $18 million.
Here’s the breakdown for what each player will earn at the Tour Championship: