The FedExCup 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. Billy Horschel is the current champion. This competition is sponsored by FedEx.
The PGA Tour adjusted the rules around the FedExCup 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 FedExCup:
- 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 that skip a playoff event.
- In November 2008, the changes were designed to help ensure that the championship would not be won until every golfer that 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.
Beginning in 2013, FedEx Cup points will determine the 125 golfers who retain their PGA Tour playing privileges (popularly known as "tour cards") for the following season. Previously, this was determined by position on the tour's money list at the end of the year.
Qualifying for the playoffs
The following are the criteria for the 2012 season (unchanged since 2009). Although the season structure changed beginning in the fall of 2013, the qualifying criteria did not change.
For the first portion of the season, the "regular season", currently from January through the latter part of August (changing in fall 2013 to an October–August cycle), PGA Tour players can 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 ultimate 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 will earn points. A non-member who joins the PGA Tour in mid-season will be eligible to earn points in the first event he plays after officially joining the Tour.
After the final event of the regular season, the top 125 players participate in the playoffs. The number of points awarded for winning each playoff event is 2500, which is five 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. Starting in 2013, the top 125 on the FedEx Cup points list will also retain their tour cards for the following season.
After the third playoff event, the top 30 players move to the final event. Points are reset at that time, so the #1 player has 2500 points, the #2 player has 2250 points, down to the #30 player who is given 210 points. The goal is to ensure that any of the 30 players has a chance to win the FedExCup, but give the top players the best chance, with all of the top five players assured of winning the FedExCup by winning the Tour Championship.
|The Barclays||Top 125 points leaders
(after the Wyndham Championship)
|36-hole cut to top 70 players plus ties|
|Deutsche Bank Championship||Top 100 points leaders
(after The Barclays)
|BMW Championship||Top 70 points leaders
(after the Deutsche Bank Championship)
|Tour Championship||Top 30 points leaders
(after the BMW Championship)
Once the final 125 playoff qualifiers are set, no alternates will be allowed. It is possible for any player among the final 125 (then 100, then 70) to skip a playoff event prior to the Tour Championship, but if he did, he would risk his standing on the points list. This could potentially result in him being eliminated from the playoffs.
For the Tour Championship itself, only the top 30 points leaders after the BMW Championship will be eligible. If for any reason, a player among the top 30 does not compete in the Tour Championship, he will not be replaced.
The player with the most points after the Tour Championship wins the FedExCup itself and $10 million of a $35 million bonus fund. The runner-up gets $3 million, 3rd place $2 million, 4th place $1.5 million, 5th place $1 million, and so on down to $32,000 for 126th through 150th place. Beginning with the 2013 season, non-exempt players who finish 126th-150th in the FedEx Cup are guaranteed conditional PGA Tour status, but can attempt to improve their priority rankings through the Web.com 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 FedExCup 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.
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 FedExCup 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 FedExCup bonuses in cash up front; for example, the 2008 FedExCup champion received $9 million up front and $1 million in his tax-deferred retirement account. FedExCup bonuses to finishers below the top 10 are still paid solely into the players' retirement accounts.
The winner of the FedExCup also receives a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour. This mirrors the exemption for the Leading Money Winner title (PGA Tour Exemption Category 8), but it may not have any practical implications. Players have almost never relied on the Leading Money Winner exemption, as they are usually exempt by other means. With the exception of the Tour Championship, which awards a 3-year PGA Tour exemption, winners of FedExCup playoff events receive only the standard 2-year exemption.
Beginning 2008, any player among the Final Top 30 FedExCup Points Leaders after the Tour Championship, if not exempt by other means, is placed in PGA Tour Exemption Category 18, which is just above the category for the Top 125 Official Money List leaders.
Through 2012, remaining FedExCup qualifiers for the next year will come from the PGA Tour's Official Money List. This particular list will be finalized after the PGA Tour Fall Series, a group of official PGA Tour events that follow the Tour Championship.
Also through 2012, the top 125 players on the money list will be fully exempt for the following year, with other golfers either eligible through other exemptions or needing to qualify by other means (e.g. "Qualifying school"). Starting in 2013, the players retaining their cards will be the top 125 on the FedEx Cup points list, with the next 75 on the points list having to enter the Web.com Tour Finals for a chance to retain their cards, unless otherwise exempt.
|Year||Player||Country||Points||Margin||Events||Wins||Top 5s||Pre-Cup ranking||Pre-Cup points||Pre-Cup events|
|2014||Billy Horschel||United States||4,750||1,650||4||2||3||69||722||23|
|2012||Brandt Snedeker||United States||4,100||1,273||4||1||2||19||1,194||18|
|2011||Bill Haas||United States||2,760||15||4||1||1||15||1,273||22|
|2010||Jim Furyk||United States||2,980||252||3||1||1||3||1,691||18|
|2009||Tiger Woods (2)||United States||4,000||1,080||4||1||3||1||3,341||13|
|2007||Tiger Woods||United States||123,033||12,578||3||2||3||1||30,574||13|
Individual tournament winners
|Year||The Barclays||Deutsche Bank Championship||BMW Championship||Tour Championship|
|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)|
Career FedExCup earnings leaders
|Tiger Woods||United States||25,275,000||10,000,000||110,000||10,000,000||133,000||32,000||2,000,000||3,000,000|
|Jim Furyk||United States||14,960,000||300,000||1,000,000||1,500,000||10,000,000||140,000||250,000||270,000||1,500,000|
|Brandt Snedeker||United States||11,623,000||225,000||145,000||150,000||138,000||600,000||10,000,000||290,000||75,000|
|Bill Haas||United States||11,013,500||32,000||80,000||134,000||165,000||10,000,000||155,000||205,000||242,500|
|Billy Horschel||United States||10,277,000||32,000||245,000||10,000,000|
|Steve Stricker||United States||8,500,000||3,000,000||270,000||2,000,000||700,000||235,000||225,000||2,000,000||70,000|
|Phil Mickelson||United States||7,890,000||2,000,000||700,000||3,000,000||280,000||250,000||1,000,000||550,000||110,000|
|Matt Kuchar||United States||5,715,000||75,000||70,000||135,000||3,000,000||800,000||235,000||800,000||600,000|
|Rory McIlroy||Northern Ireland||5,265,000||140,000||3,000,000||125,000||2,000,000|
- List of point distributions of the FedEx Cup
- LPGA Tour Championship (formerly ADT Championship or LPGA Playoffs at the ADT) – a single-event playoff previously conducted by the LPGA.
- "The Changes: What to know". PGA Tour. February 28, 2008. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
- "Five key structural changes about '09 FedExCup". PGA Tour. September 24, 2011. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
- Dell, John (August 23, 2012). "Web.com impact expanded with qualifying changes". PGA Tour. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
- Van Sickle, Gary (August 21, 2007). "A Guide to the FedEx Cup". Golf.com (Sports Illustrated). Retrieved September 24, 2012.
- Wetzel, Dan (September 4, 2007). "Billion to one". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
- "PGA Tour will have two-week break for Ryder Cup". ESPN. Associated Press. November 13, 2007. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
- "PGA Tour FedExCup Bonus Money". PGA Tour. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
Unless otherwise indicated, all are pgatour.com links.
- The PGA Tour's FedExCup Home Page
- PGA Tour Fan's Quick Guide to FedExCup
- FedExCup Points for Regular Season, Playoffs and Tour Championship Reset.
- Initial announcement of the FedEx Cup Series
- June 2006 announcement giving details of the points system and bonus fund
- November 2006 announcement on size of playoff fields
- Notes: FedExCup winner to get five-year exemption