The FedExCup Playoffs will decide the year’s PGA TOUR champion, but how does it work, who qualifies and what events are featured?
The FedExCup series covers the final month of each season with four events making up the end-of-season Playoffs. The series having decided the annual winner since 2007, the year the FedExCup was first introduced.
There is serious prize money up for grabs across the four events—THE NORTHERN TRUST, the Deutsche Bank Championship, the BMW Championship and the season-ending TOUR Championship—with players playing for a share of $67 million.
Qualification for the first of the events, THE NORTHERN TRUST, goes to the top 125 players in the FedExCup standings after the Wyndham Championship—the final event of the regular season.
The qualification points are accumulated throughout the season, and those sitting inside the top 125 get the chance to feature in THE NORTHERN TRUST, although players do not have to commit to playing in the opening week of the Playoffs.
From there, players are eliminated week on week with only the top 100 (and ties) in the standings after THE NORTHERN TRUST going forward to the Deutsche Bank Championship, after which only the top 70 (and ties) move on to contest the BMW Championship.
The field is then more than halved after the BMW Championship as the year’s top 30 points scorers head to East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia, for the TOUR Championship to decide the PGA TOUR champion and the winner of the $10 million first prize.
Rory McIlroy, now the world number four, is the defending champion having been crowned PGA TOUR champion in 2016 following A victory in the TOUR Championship event.
McIlroy joined an illustrious list of winners of the FedExCup, the first being Tiger Woods as the inaugural champion in 2007. Woods remains the only two-time winner of the series having also lifted the cup two years later in 2009.
Vijay Singh also took the honours when he triumphed during the 2008 PlayOffs before Jim Furyk (2010), Bill Haas (2011) and Brandt Snedeker (2012) all won to ensure the prize remained on American soil.
Henrik Stenson became the first European winner of the FedExCup in 2013 before Billy Horschel held his nerve to be crowned Playoffs champion in 2014.
It was Jordan Spieth who took the prize in 2015 (also after winning the TOUR Championship) before McIlroy became the second European winner of the series last year with victory in a three-way playoff in the TOUR Championship got him across the line after a final day 64 saw him snatch a place at the top of the leaderboard.
Judging by the evidence of previous years, victory in the TOUR Championship is likely to be decisive to crowning the year’s PGA TOUR champion.