FedEx Cup

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FedEx Cup
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2019 FedEx Cup Playoffs
FedEx Cup.svg
SportGolf
Founded2007
Country United States
Most recent
champion(s)
England Justin Rose
Most titlesUnited States Tiger Woods (2 titles)
TV partner(s)CBS Sports
NBC Sports/Golf Channel
Official websitePGATour.com

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. Justin Rose is the 2018 champion. This competition is sponsored by FedEx.

Rule changes[edit]

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[edit]

Brandt Snedeker reacting to winning the FedEx Cup at the 2012 Tour Championship

Qualifying for the playoffs[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

The Trophy

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[edit]

Year Player Country Points Margin Events Wins Top 5s Pre-Cup ranking Pre-Cup points Pre-Cup events
2019
2018 Justin Rose  England 2,260 41 4 0 3 4 1,991 14
2017 Justin Thomas  United States 3,000 660 4 1 2 2 2,689 21
2016 Rory McIlroy  Northern Ireland 3,120 740 4 2 2 36 973 14
2015 Jordan Spieth  United States 3,800 1,493 4 1 1 1 4,169 21
2014 Billy Horschel  United States 4,750 1,650 4 2 3 69 722 23
2013 Henrik Stenson  Sweden 4,750 2,007 4 2 2 9 1,426 14
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
2008 Vijay Singh  Fiji 125,101 551 4 2 2 7 15,034 19
2007 Tiger Woods  United States 123,033 12,578 3 2 3 1 30,574 13

Individual tournament winners[edit]

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

By country[edit]

Country The Northern
Trust
Dell Technologies
Championship
BMW
Championship
Tour
Championship
Total
 United States 9 8 6 9 32
 Australia 2 0 2 0 4
 Northern Ireland 0 2 1 1 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[edit]

Players who have $5 million or more in total FedEx Cup bonus money (2007–2018)
Amounts won (US$ thousands) each year and in total are shown, with  1st place ,  2nd place , and  3rd place  yearly finishes highlighted
Player Total 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
United States Tiger Woods 28,275 10,000 110 10,000 133 32 2,000 3,000 3,000
Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy 15,900 140 3,000 125 2,000 250 10,000 110 275
United States Jim Furyk 15,247 300 1,000 1,500 10,000 140 250 270 1,500 180 75 32
United States Jordan Spieth 14,665 700 250 10,000 550 3,000 165
England Justin Rose 14,507.5 245 70 75 247.5 1,000 800 500 300 600 120 550 10,000
Sweden Henrik Stenson 13,758 136 32 70 10,000 115 3,000 140 155 110
United States Brandt Snedeker 12,298 225 145 150 138 600 10,000 290 75 210 250 80 135
United States Billy Horschel 11,645 32 245 10,000 110 125 133 1,000
United States Bill Haas 11,474.5 32 80 134 165 10,000 155 205 242.5 190 129 142
Fiji Vijay Singh 11,272 500 10,000 75 110 185 150 32 75 70 75
United States Justin Thomas 11,145 155 290 10,000 700
United States Dustin Johnson 10,557 32 270 1,000 1,500 600 280 175 700 3,000 1,500 1,500
United States Steve Stricker 8,682 3,000 270 2,000 700 235 225 2,000 70 80 70 32
United States Phil Mickelson 8,610 2,000 700 3,000 280 250 1,000 550 110 110 245 145 220
United States Matt Kuchar 6,530 75 70 135 3,000 800 235 800 600 230 235 270 80
England Luke Donald 5,480 165 70 175 2,000 2,000 550 185 75 80 110 70
Australia Jason Day 5,187 75 127 600 290 75 240 500 2,000 800 235 245

Source[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  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. ^ a b c d Dell, John (August 23, 2012). "Web.com impact expanded with qualifying changes". PGA Tour. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "FedEx Cup 101". PGA Tour. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  5. ^ "2019 FedEx Cup Prize Money". National Club Golfer. 16 July 2019. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  6. ^ Van Sickle, Gary (August 21, 2007). "A Guide to the FedEx Cup". Golf.com (Sports Illustrated). 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 September 23, 2013.

External links[edit]

Unless otherwise indicated, all are pgatour.com links.