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FedEx Cup Play-offs format

FedEx Cup format: Fun or farcical?

Do you like the handicapping system in the FedEx Cup Play-offs? Alex Perry and Barry Plummer discuss
 

The FedEx Cup Play-offs format has proved to be quite the talking point among golf fans. So what do we think of the handicapping system that will see the leader begin on 10-under par and two shots clear before a ball has even been struck? Two of our writers have their say…

‘The FedEx Cup Play-offs format produces the most deserving winner’

The PGA Tour collaborated with someone from MIT to put this format together, writes Alex Perry. Last time I checked they were pretty smart people and I’m not one to argue with science.

It’s pretty straightforward. If you head to the Tour Championship anywhere between 2nd and 30th, you have to make up ground on those above you if you want to win it.

This is the season finale. The big finish. The grand climax. No one wants to see one player win the Tour Championship and another win the FedEx Cup. Remember how awkward it was when Tiger Woods won the 2018 Tour Championship and Justin Rose won the FedEx Cup?

In 2019, Rory McIlroy started five shots off the pace and carded 66-67-68-66 to win by four at 18-under – 13-under for the week plus his 5-under start – and five clear of starting leader Justin Thomas, who could only manage a 3-under week to move to 13-under overall.

It was exhilarating. It was like combining the world’s best players and a maths lesson. What’s not to love?

Joking aside, you’ll never convince me he wasn’t a worthy champion last year.

fedex cup play-offs format

‘There should be a match play element to the Play-offs’

The staggered stroke play start has detracted from the mystery and anticipation around the FedEx Cup, writes Barry Plummer.

The play-offs should be all about progressive cuts, and fighting to make the next event, with a fair chance for all 30 players to lift the FedEx Cup at East Lake.

In English football, in all divisions below the Premier League, a certain amount of teams are promoted automatically, then more – usually four, go into the play-offs. Imagine if, say, the team finishing 3rd in the Championship gets a two-goal head start when they play the the team that finished 6th in the play-offs. It would be ridiculous.

Have a season-end champion before the FedEx Cup Play-offs begin, then have the top 128 in the standings go into a two-week match play knockout showdown.

Tell me you wouldn’t watch every second of that.

In the immortal words of ABBA: “The winner takes it all.”

Do you think the FedEx Cup Play-offs format works? Let us know in the comments below or you can tweet us.

Alex Perry

Alex Perry

Alex has been the editor of National Club Golfer since 2017. A Devonian who enjoys wittering on about his south west roots, Alex moved north to join NCG after more than a decade in London, the last five of which were with ESPN. Away from golf, Alex follows Torquay United and spends too much time playing his PlayStation or his guitar and not enough time practising his short game.

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