Dustin Johnson. Kevin C Cox
It’s Year 17 of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Here’s a look back at the players who have made the most money — tournament prizes and bonuses — since the playoffs began in 2007.
10: Billy Horschel
Total earnings: $20,354,688
Playoff starts: 32
Tournament earnings: $6,656,688
Memorable moment: Horschel’s charge to qualify for the 2023 Playoffs came up short on Sunday at the Wyndham Championship, but he still has a memorable history in the event having one the FedEx Cup title dramatic fashion in 2014. Indeed, he’s the rare champion to have rallied from far down the points list at the start of the playoffs and win, having started the playoffs that year in 69th place, only to win the BMW and Tour Championship to walk off with the title. Just one other FedEx Cup champion (Rory McIlroy, 2016) started the playoffs outside the top 30 on the points list and went on to win.
9. Xander Schuaffele
Total earnings: $21,922,469
Playoff starts: 20
Tournament earnings: $6,702,349
Memorable moment: Since his first year on the PGA Tour in the 2016-17 season, Schauffele has had finished in the top five of the final FedEx Cup standings five times, including second-place finishes in 2019 and 2020, and a third-place showing in 2017 when he became the first rookie to win the Tour Championship. Schuaffele’s worst showing in the Playoffs was 15th place in 2018, and he enters this year’s Playoffs in 16th place.
8: Jim Furyk
Total earnings: $23,514,493
Playoff starts: 37
Tournament earnings: $8,107,493
Memorable moment: The 2010 FedEx Cup Playoffs got off to a disastrous start for Furyk when he was disqualified from the Barclays after he overslept and missed his pro-am tee time. But Furyk recovered to win the Tour Championship, the FedEx Cup and the then $10 million bonus. With rain falling at East Lake, Furyk turned his hat around backward and sank a par putt to cap the victory and set off an emotional celebration.
7: Jordan Spieth
Total earnings: $23,656,735
Playoff starts: 32
Tournament earnings: $7,401,235
Memorable moment: If Spieth didn’t win the FedEx Cup in 2015 — the same year he won the Masters and US Open, just missed a playoff at The Open and finished second to Jason Day at the PGA — the system probably needed an overhaul. Day spiced things up by winning two playoff events, but Spieth asserted himself at the Tour Championship, shooting a closing 69 to win by a comfortable four shots. After failing to reach East Lake in 2019 and 2020, he returned the last two years but enters the 2023 playoffs 31st on the eligibility points list.
6. Patrick Cantlay
Total earnings: $25,099,998
Playoff starts: 19
Tournament earnings: $7,280,998
Memorable moment: Cantlay followed up a thrilling playoff victory at the 2021 BMW Championship with a win at the Tour Championship to claim his first FedEx Cup title and propel himself into the career top 10 in FedEx Cup earnings. He repeated the win at the 2022 BMW (the first repeat winner of a Playoff event) and enters the 2023 playoffs 13th on the points list.
5: Justin Rose
Total earnings: $25,586,512
Playoff starts: 45
Tournament earnings: $10,344,012
Memorable moment: Rose has missed the playoffs just once in his career (2021, when he fell one point short of qualifying), and is back again this year. He has just one playoff win in his career (2011 BMW), but his FedEx Cup highlight came in 2018, when his T-4 showing at the Tour Championship (after runners-up at the Dell and the BMW) clinched the title.
4: Justin Thomas
Total earnings: $32,104,428
Playoff starts: 27
Tournament earnings: $7,209,428
Memorable moment: Thomas saw his 2023 FedEx Cup Playoffs end before they began, finishing 71st in the regular-season points list when only the top 70 qualified for the first time this year. What made his stumble so tough is the fact he’s got an incredible record in the event. Shortly after winning the PGA Championship, Thomas claimed the FedEx Cup title to cap a stellar 2017 season. In 2019, in the first year of the new staggered start format for the Tour Championship, Thomas, No. 1 in FedEx Cup points, began play at East Lake with a two-stroke advantage on his nearest competitor. He admitted feeling uneasy about leading a tournament before it started, and eventually finished T-3, shooting only three-under at East Lake during the week. In 2020, he tied for second at the Tour Championship to earn another $4.5 million in FedEx Cup bonus money. In 2021, he finished fourth and last year he finished T-5.
3: Tiger Woods
Total earnings: $39,042,804
Playoff starts: 26
Tournament earnings: $10,448,804
Memorable moment: Woods is one of two players to win multiple FedEx Cup titles, and his dominance en route to victory in 2007 and 2009 has still not really been matched (45-under while winning the 2007 BMW and Tour Championship; eight-shot win at the 2009 BMW). Still, it’s hard not to think that his greatest personal triumph in the FedEx Cup came in 2018, when Woods was victorious at the Tour Championship at East Lake for his first PGA Tour win since 2013 and his 80th career PGA Tour title.
2: Dustin Johnson
Total earnings: $41,874,766
Playoff starts: 45
Tournament earnings: $14,817,766
Memorable moment: After years of stand-out performances in the playoffs, including four tournament wins and making more money in playoff events than any other golfer, DJ finally claimed the FedEx Cup in 2020. His impressive stretch in the playoffs came to an end last year after joining LIV Golf.
1: Rory McIlroy
Total earnings: $61,216,682
Playoff starts: 39
Tournament earnings: $10,672,932
Memorable moment: McIlroy made history in 2022 when he became the first three-time FedEx Cup winner, overcoming a six-shot deficit in the final round at East Lake with a closing 66. Ironically, he shot the same final-round 66 in 2019 to beat Xander Schauffele for his second title — becoming the first to win the title in the revised format, starting the Tour Championship five strokes back of Justin Thomas before hitting a shot, but shooting no worse than 68 in any of the four rounds. He finished second in the overall race in 2012 and third in 2014 before claiming his first victory in 2016.