FedEx Cup

The FedEx Cup is a championship trophy for the PGA Tour. Its introduction marked the first time that men's professional golf had a playoff system. Announced in November 2005, it was first awarded in 2007. Rory McIlroy is the 2019 champion. This competition is sponsored by FedEx.

FedEx Cup
Current season, competition or edition:
2020 FedEx Cup Playoffs
SportGolf
Founded2007
Country United States
Most recent
champion(s)
Rory McIlroy
Most titles Rory McIlroy (2 titles)
Tiger Woods (2 titles)
TV partner(s)CBS Sports
NBC Sports/Golf Channel
Official websitePGATour.com

Rule changes

The PGA Tour adjusted the rules around the FedEx Cup in each of the two years after its introduction in 2007. Each set of changes was introduced to address issues that arose the previous year, particularly with the playoffs portion of the FedEx Cup:

  • In February 2008, the changes were designed to allow more golfers a chance to improve their positions on the points list as the playoffs progress. The changes involve a tightening of the playoff reset points and awarding more points to playoff participants. This is effectively a penalty on those players who skip a playoff event.[1]
  • In November 2008, the changes were designed to help ensure that the championship would not be won until every golfer who qualified finished playing the final playoff event. This resulted from the fact that Vijay Singh had accumulated enough points through the first three playoff events in 2008 to guarantee that he would win the Cup without finishing the final event.[2]
  • In 2013, FedEx Cup points began to determine the 125 golfers who would retain their PGA Tour playing privileges (popularly known as "tour cards") for the following season.[3] Previously, this was determined by position on the tour's money list at the end of the year.

In 2019, the total bonus pool was increased by $25 million to $70 million, with the FedEx Cup champion earning $15 million. Among that $70 million is a $10 million Regular Season bonus pool, sponsored by Wyndham, tied to the final Regular Season FedEx Cup standings. This recognizes the 10 players who earn the most FedEx Cup points through the Wyndham Championship, with the Regular Season champion earning $2 million. Also in 2019, the FedEx Cup Playoffs finale, the Tour Championship, instituted a strokes-based system, FedEx Cup Starting Strokes.[4]

As of 2019, at the conclusion of the regular season (after the Wyndham Championship), the top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings become eligible to play in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, a series of three events over the month of August (from 2007 to 2018, the FedEx Cup Playoffs included four events). Points earned during the PGA Tour Regular Season carry over to the Playoffs. The FedEx Cup Playoffs events feature a progressive cut, with fields of 125 for The Northern Trust (Liberty National Golf Club, Jersey City, New Jersey), 70 for the BMW Championship (Medinah Country Club, Medinah, Illinois) and 30 for the Tour Championship (East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Georgia), where the FedEx Cup Champion is determined. In the event an eligible player is unable or chooses not to play, the field is shortened and no alternates are added. Points from the missing positions are not awarded. The Northern Trust cuts the field to low 70 and ties after 36 holes, while the BMW Championship and Tour Championship are no-cut events.[4] The first two Playoffs events award 2,000 points to the winner (quadruple points of Regular Season events).

The Tour Championship features a strokes-based system (FedEx Cup Starting Strokes) instituted for the first time in 2019. The FedEx Cup points leader after the first two Playoffs events begins the Tour Championship at 10-under par. The No. 2 player will start at 8 under. The No. 3 player starts at 7 under; the No. 4 player starts at 6 under; the No. 5 player starts at 5 under. Players 6-10 start at 4 under; players 11-15 start at 3 under; players 16-20 start at 2 under; players 21-25 start at 1 under; and players 26-30 start at even par.[4] At the Tour Championship, the player with the lowest aggregate score over 72 holes when combined with his FedEx Cup Starting Strokes wins the Tour Championship and is also crowned FedEx Cup champion. The Tour Championship win is considered an official victory and the FedEx Cup champion also earns a bonus of $15 million and a five-year PGA Tour exemption.[4]

Format

Qualifying for the playoffs

The season structure changed beginning in the fall of 2013,[3] but the qualifying criteria have not changed since 2009.

Through the first part of the season, the "regular season" from October through August, PGA Tour players earn points in each event they play. The number of points for winning each tournament varies from 250 to 600, depending on the quality of the field for each event, with the typical tournament awarding 500. Fewer points are awarded to other players who finish each tournament, based on their final position.

The goal is to be among the top 125 points leaders following the final event of the regular season. Only those players who are regular full-time members of the PGA Tour earn points. A non-member who joins the PGA Tour in mid-season is eligible to earn points in the first event he plays after officially joining the Tour.

At the end of the regular season, the top 125 players participate in the playoffs. The number of points awarded for winning each playoff event is 2000, which is four times the amount awarded for a typical regular season tournament. Points won in playoff events are added to those for the regular season, and the fields are reduced as the playoffs proceed. Since 2013 the top 125 on the FedEx Cup points list also retain their tour cards for the following season.[3]

After the second playoff event, as of 2019, the FedEx Cup points leader after the first two Playoffs events begins the Tour Championship at 10-under par. The No. 2 player starts at 8 under. The No. 3 player starts at 7 under; the No. 4 player starts at 6 under; the No. 5 player starts at 5 under. Players 6-10 start at 4 under; players 11-15 start at 3 under; players 16-20 start at 2 under; players 21-25 start at 1 under; and players 26-30 start at even par.[4] At the Tour Championship, the player with the lowest aggregate score over 72 holes when combined with his FedEx Cup Starting Strokes wins the Tour Championship and is also crowned FedEx Cup champion. The Tour Championship win is considered an official victory and the FedEx Cup champion also earns a bonus of $15 million and a five-year PGA Tour exemption.[4]

Playoff events

Event Players Cut
The Northern Trust Top 125 points leaders
(after the Wyndham Championship)
36-hole cut to top 70 players plus ties
BMW Championship Top 70 points leaders
(after The Northern Trust)
None
Tour Championship Top 30 points leaders
(after the BMW Championship)


For the Tour Championship, only the top 30 points leaders after the BMW Championship are eligible. If for any reason, a player among the top 30 does not compete in the Tour Championship, he will not be replaced.

Playoff rewards

As of 2019, the player with the most points after the Tour Championship wins the FedEx Cup itself and $15 million of a $70 million bonus fund. The runner-up gets $5 million, 3rd place $4 million, 4th place $3 million, 5th place $2.5 million, and so on down to $70,000 for 126th through 150th place.[5] Beginning with the 2013 season, non-exempt players who finish 126th-150th in the FedEx Cup are given conditional PGA Tour status, but can attempt to improve their priority rankings through the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. Previously, conditional status was earned through the money list.

In 2007, the money was placed into their tax-deferred retirement accounts, not given in cash. Players under 45 are not able to access any 2007 FedEx Cup bonuses (as opposed to prize money earned in the tournaments themselves) until turning 45. They can invest their bonus in any manner they choose, and once they turn 45, can choose to defer payment until they turn 60 or play in fewer than 15 PGA Tour events in a season. Once a player chooses to take payments from his fund, he will receive monthly checks for five years.[6][7]

Because of possible legislation affecting deferred retirement plans, in the wake of business stories that speculated that Tiger Woods could amass a $1 billion retirement fund if he won the FedEx Cup six more times, the PGA Tour announced a change to the payout system effective in 2008. The top 10 finishers now receive the bulk of their FedEx Cup bonuses in cash up front; for example, the 2008 FedEx Cup champion received $9 million up front and $1 million in his tax-deferred retirement account. FedEx Cup bonuses to finishers below the top 10 are still paid solely into the players' retirement accounts.[8]

The winner of the FedEx Cup also receives a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, mirroring the exemption that was given to the tour's leading money winner prior to 2017. Before the change in format in 2019 that made it impossible for the FedEx Cup and the Tour Championship to be won by two different players, the Tour Championship winner received a three-year exemption. Winners of other playoff events receive only the standard 2-year exemption.

Since 2013, the FedEx Cup standings have been the primary means of determining exemption status for the following year; the 125 players who qualify for the playoffs are fully exempt. Players who finish 126th through 150th, if not exempt through other means such as a recent tournament win, retain conditional status; these, along with finishers 151 through 200, are eligible for the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, through which they may regain their cards if not already exempt.[3]

Before 2013, the money list rather than the FedEx Cup standings determined exemption status. Since the money and point distributions were different and the money list was not finalized until after the Fall Series, it was common for players to qualify for the playoffs and still lose their card at the end of the season.

Winners

YearPlayerCountryPointsMarginEventsWinsTop 5sPre-Cup rankingPre-Cup pointsPre-Cup events
2020
2019Rory McIlroy (2) Northern Ireland−18431152,84218
2018Justin Rose England2,2604140341,99114
2017Justin Thomas United States3,00066041222,68921
2016Rory McIlroy Northern Ireland3,1207404223697314
2015Jordan Spieth United States3,8001,49341114,16921
2014Billy Horschel United States4,7501,6504236972223
2013Henrik Stenson Sweden4,7502,00742291,42614
2012Brandt Snedeker United States4,1001,273412191,19418
2011Bill Haas United States2,76015411151,27322
2010Jim Furyk United States2,98025231131,69118
2009Tiger Woods (2) United States4,0001,08041313,34113
2008Vijay Singh Fiji125,101551422715,03419
2007Tiger Woods United States123,03312,578323130,57413

Individual tournament winners

Year The Northern Trust BMW Championship Tour Championship
2020
2019 Patrick Reed (2) Justin Thomas (2) Rory McIlroy (5)
Year The Northern Trust Dell Technologies Championship BMW Championship Tour Championship
2018 Bryson DeChambeau (1) Bryson DeChambeau (2) Keegan Bradley Tiger Woods (4)
2017 Dustin Johnson (4) Justin Thomas (1) Marc Leishman Xander Schauffele
2016 Patrick Reed (1) Rory McIlroy (3) Dustin Johnson (3) Rory McIlroy (4)
2015 Jason Day (1) Rickie Fowler Jason Day (2) Jordan Spieth
2014 Hunter Mahan Chris Kirk Billy Horschel (1) Billy Horschel (2)
2013 Adam Scott Henrik Stenson (1) Zach Johnson Henrik Stenson (2)
2012 Nick Watney Rory McIlroy (1) Rory McIlroy (2) Brandt Snedeker
2011 Dustin Johnson (2) Webb Simpson Justin Rose Bill Haas
2010 Matt Kuchar Charley Hoffman Dustin Johnson (1) Jim Furyk
2009 Heath Slocum Steve Stricker (2) Tiger Woods (3) Phil Mickelson (2)
2008 Vijay Singh (1) Vijay Singh (2) Camilo Villegas (1) Camilo Villegas (2)
2007 Steve Stricker (1) Phil Mickelson (1) Tiger Woods (1) Tiger Woods (2)

By country

Country The Northern
Trust
Dell Technologies
Championship
BMW
Championship
Tour
Championship
Total
 United States 10 8 8 9 35
 Northern Ireland 0 2 1 2 5
 Australia 2 0 2 0 4
 Colombia 0 0 1 1 2
 Fiji 1 1 0 0 2
 Sweden 0 1 0 1 2
 England 0 0 1 0 1

Career FedEx Cup bonus money leaders

Players who have $5 million or more in total FedEx Cup bonus money (2007–2019)
Amounts won (US$ thousands) each year and in total are shown, with  1st place ,  2nd place , and  3rd place  yearly finishes highlighted
PlayerTotal200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018 20192020
Rory McIlroy30,9001403,0001252,00025010,00011027515,000
Tiger Woods28,44410,00011010,000133322,0003,0003,000169
Jim Furyk15,4073001,0001,50010,0001402502701,5001807532160
Justin Rose14,9382457075247.51,00080050030060012055010,000430
Jordan Spieth14,83270025010,0005503,000165167
Justin Thomas14,64515529010,0007003,500
Henrik Stenson13,863136327010,0001153,000140155110105
Brandt Snedeker12,74922514515013860010,0002907521025080135451
Billy Horschel11,8133224510,0001101251331,000168
Bill Haas11,545328013416510,000155205242.519012914270
Vijay Singh11,27250010,0007511018515032757075
Dustin Johnson10,957322701,0001,5006002801757003,0001,5001,500400
Phil Mickelson8,7742,0007003,0002802501,000550110110245145220164
Steve Stricker8,6823,0002702,0007002352252,00070807032
Xander Schauffele7,2502,0002505,000
Matt Kuchar7,08275701353,00080023580060023023527080552
Adam Scott6,623290128702302452001,500290701,500801201,900
Luke Donald5,480165701752,0002,000550185758011070
Paul Casey5,3828011580032752801,0003002002,500
Jason Day5,34475127600290752405002,000800235245157
Webb Simpson5,224110753,00024530020012775240300552

Source[9]

See also

References

  1. "The Changes: What to know". PGA Tour. February 28, 2008. Archived from the original on September 29, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  2. "Five key structural changes about '09 FedExCup". PGA Tour. September 24, 2011. Archived from the original on September 21, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  3. Dell, John (August 23, 2012). "Web.com impact expanded with qualifying changes". PGA Tour. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  4. "FedEx Cup 101". PGA Tour. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  5. "2019 FedEx Cup Prize Money". National Club Golfer. July 16, 2019. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  6. Van Sickle, Gary (August 21, 2007). "A Guide to the FedEx Cup". Golf.com. Archived from the original on October 14, 2007. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  7. Wetzel, Dan (September 4, 2007). "Billion to one". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  8. "PGA Tour will have two-week break for Ryder Cup". ESPN. Associated Press. November 13, 2007. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  9. "PGA Tour FedExCup Bonus Money". PGA Tour. Retrieved August 26, 2019.

Unless otherwise indicated, all are pgatour.com links.

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