PGA Tour revamps FedEx format


Associated Press

PARAMUS, N.J.

The PGA Tour is putting the final touches on a revamped FedEx Cup structure that would award a cash bonus to the leading player from the regular season, followed by a new scoring format for the Tour Championship to decide the FedEx Cup champion, The Associated Press has learned.

Five people aware of the discussions say FedEx Cup points will not be involved in the final playoff event at East Lake. Instead, the No. 1 player would start the Tour Championship at 10-under par, with scores to par staggered depending on the 30 players’ position in the standings.

The winner will be the FedEx Cup champion, and the bonus is expected to be more than the current $10 million prize.

That means whoever gets the 30th spot at East Lake would have four rounds to make up as many as 10 shots. The change eliminates the awkward moment — and divided attention — of one player winning the Tour Championship and another winning the FedEx Cup, which happened last year for the second time.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the tour has not publicly announced what they are planning to do, and because there are still loose ends.

One item unsolved is when the regular season would end.

Since the FedEx Cup began in 2007, the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., has been the final regular season tournament for players to finish among the top 125 to retain full PGA Tour status and qualify for the postseason.

What emerged from a Player Advisory Council meeting last week was the possibility of ending the regular season the previous week at the FedEx Invitational, a World Golf Championship in Memphis, Tenn. The top players in the FedEx Cup typically take a week off before the playoffs instead of playing the Wyndham Championship.

But by ending the season in Greensboro — which one person said is the more likely scenario — there could be a case where a player adds the Wyndham Championship if he has a chance to win the regular season.

Two people said the bonus for the regular season would be awarded only to the top three players, with $3 million going to the leading player.

The larger overhaul involves the conclusion to the FedEx Cup.

Starting next year, the number of playoff events will be reduced from four to three. The Northern Trust will rotate each year between Liberty National in Jersey City and the TPC Boston, followed by the BMW Championship and then the Tour Championship. The size of the field is reduced each week until 30 reach East Lake in Atlanta.

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