The FedExCup Series is upon us with the 2019 PGA Tour Play-Offs beginning with the Northern Trust on August 8.
The format for what is the 13th FedExCup Series is slightly different to previous years with only three events in this year’s PlayOffs—one less than in 2018 with the Dell Technologies Championship not part for 2019.
The Northern Trust, which takes place at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, is the first of the three events with the BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club in Illinois following on from August 15.
The PlayOffs, which carry a $60 million overall prize money pool—up from $35 million last year, then bring an end to the 2018/19 season with the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia, from August 22.
The 25 percent reduction in the number of events is not the only change either, with the cut of players also now being affected by the reduced number of tournaments in the FedExCup Series.
The top 125 players on the FedExCup Series points list have made it to the PlayOffs with all playing in the Northern Trust—with the exception of any players who decide to skip the tournament in favour of a week’s rest.
The top 70 players in the points list after the end of the weekend at Liberty National will then progress to the BMW Championship, after which only the top 30 in the standings will tee it up at the Tour Championship.
It is at the final event of the season, which carries an increased prize fund of $15 million this year, where one of the biggest changes will take place. That is because players will start with a pre-determined score dependant on their position in the standings.
The points standings leader will begin the tournament at 10-under par, the second placed golfer at 8-under par, through to level par for the players in positions 26-30 in the points list.
It promises to be an intriguing end to the season and one which could throw up some late challenges to the leader heading into the Tour Championship at East Lake.
That leader heading into the first Play-Off event the Northern Trust is world number one Brooks Koepka, who has earned 2,887 points and sits more than 500 clear of Rory McIlroy in second place. Third placed Matt Kuchar is the only other golfer to break the 2000-point barrier this season.
The current top-10 also includes Xander Schauffele, US Open champion Gary Woodland, Patrick Cantlay, Dustin Johnson, Paul Casey, Webb Simpson and Jon Rahm.
Other names inside the top 30 include last year’s FedExCup series winner Justin Rose, Bryson DeChambeau—who won two PlayOff events in 2018, Open Championship winner Shane Lowry, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas.
Tiger Woods, who won the Tour Championship last year to signal his return from injury, is currently sitting in 28th position on the points list and will need to appear in either the Northern Trust or BMW Championship to be in with a chance of retaining his place in the top 30.