Published: Sun, September 23, 2018
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

FedEx Cup overhaul includes $15 million to Tour champ

FedEx Cup overhaul includes $15 million to Tour champ

The new format will make the Tour Championship a victor take all event - which it usually is anyway - but rewards players at the top of the points standings by spreading out the field significantly before the first shot is taken Thursday morning.

East Lake Golf Club, a 7,385-yard par 70, provides players with a stiff challenge with long par 4s, water hazards and tricky greens.

Other notable pairings include Open champion Francesco Molinari and Phil Mickelson, while defending Tour Championship victor Xander Schaufelle will partner Rory McIlroy. That part's a little bit of a bummer but we're just going to see how it unfolds and hopefully it turns out well. "As play moves on through the week, we're just looking at a scoreboard". The most eye-opening change concerns the FedEx Cup playoff-concluding Tour Championship, with top players carrying strokes-gained bonuses into the event. And, of course, players will know exactly where they stand at all times while in play, which will ratchet up the drama, outcome and volatility of the competition down the stretch.

Being extremely analytical by nature, Horschel noted that he won the Tour Championship with a score of 11 under and the last two champions won at 12 under. It was the second time there were two winners on Sunday.

The other big change was the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 program, which pays out $10 million to the top 10 players in the regular season.

While most of the tour players were outwardly supportive of the idea - and why not when the purse is being goosed to $60 million from $25 and the victor now pockets $15 million - behind the scenes some were a little skeptical of the new format and the advantage being given. FedEx last year agreed to a 10-year extension, and the bonus pool for the postseason now is $60 million (along with $10 million in bonus money for the regular season).

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The FedExCup play-offs will also be reduced from four events to three, with the Dell Technologies Championship removed from the schedule.

The 16-member Player Advisory Council and four player-directors were then instrumental in helping the TOUR officials shape the end result, with a format that was collectively agreed on.

Justin Thomas has played down an injury scare ahead of next week's Ryder Cup as he tries to become the first player to win back-to-back FedEx Cup titles.

All of which makes Tuesday morning's announcement at PGA Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. seem all the more radical. DeChambeau was a prospect who many figured could make into the game's elite class.

Still to be determined is how the Official World Golf Ranking will distribute points when the victor might not have the lowest score for the week.

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