How will the new PGA Tour FedEx Cup format work?
The PGA Tour has announced that there will be a new FedEx Cup format being introduced in 2019 which will reward consistency throughout the season and prevent complications surrounding scenarios at the Tour Championship.
An MIT expert was consulted by the PGA Tour to help develop the new system. With the new format they simulated prior FedEx Cup results and found that the new format would have produced the same winner apart from two occasions. Luke Donald would have been in a play-off with Jim Furyk for the 2010 FedEx Cup, while he would have won it outright in 2011 instead of Bill Haas.
How does it work now?
The current format sees each player’s FedEx Cup points reset heading to East Lake for the Tour Championship with the player in first position being reset to 2,000, second reset to 1,800 and so on.
The reset means that the top five players have the best chance of winning the FedEx Cup. It’s pretty simple, win the Tour Championship and they will win the FedEx Cup and pocket the $10 million bonus on offer.
However, if they don’t win then they are still in the best position to win but it also opens up multiple possibilities for the players all the way down to 30th to have a mathematical chance of winning the large some of money available.
So what is the new Fedex Cup format?
The PGA Tour have revamped the format for 2019 meaning that instead of the FedEx Cup points resetting after the penultimate play-off event, all players will no longer start on the same score at the Tour Championship.
The leader will start on 10 under par while second will start on 8 under and so on…
This is being done so the PGA Tour are rewarding the most consistent players over the season and preventing the situation where the Tour Championship winner isn’t the FedEx Cup winner like last season with Xander Schauffele and Justin Thomas.
What if they had used it this year?
If the PGA Tour had decided to adopt the new FedEx Cup format for this season then the the starting leaderboard for the Tour Championship would have read like this…
- Bryson DeChambeau -10
- Justin Rose -8
- Tony Finau -7
- Dustin Johnson -6
- Justin Thomas -5
- Keegan Bradley -4
- Brooks Koepka -4
- Bubba Watson -4
- Billy Horschel -4
- Cameron Smith -4
- Webb Simpson -3
- Jason Day -3
- Francesco Molinari -3
- Phil Mickelson -3
- Patrick Reed -3
- Patrick Cantlay -2
- Rory McIlroy -2
- Xander Schauffele -2
- Tommy Fleetwood -2
- Tiger Woods -2
- Aaron Wise -1
- Kevin Na -1
- Rickie Fowler -1
- Jon Rahm -1
- Kyle Stanley -1
- Paul Casey E
- Hideki Matsuyama E
- Gary Woodland E
- Marc Leishman E
- Patton Kizzire E
What do the players think?
I think clearly the goal was to have one championship here, not the Tour Championship and the FedExCup and two trophies. It’s nice to be juggling trophies on a Sunday. But I think just to simplify everything for the viewers, OK, this is the one-and-done finish to the Tour. Good golf is still going to get rewarded season-long, which is important for us.
It makes it a lot less complicated, that’s for sure. It’s very different, but I think it has simplified things, not only for the players but certainly for the fans.
Obviously you want to be in that No. 1 spot so you start ahead, but no matter what, with this golf course, you can make up a lot of strokes with a good round. Even if you’re starting at 10 under, you’re going to have to play well for four days if you want to win. It’s nice that you don’t have to be No. 1 coming in here to win. The 30th guy has a chance to win.
I think mentally it might seem a little different, but at the end of the day, that change is just for the public to understand our format better and understand the equations versus like looking at 15 different potential scenarios.