Tour Championship is “One Huge Week” for Top 30

Either Scottie Scheffler, (-10) Jon Rahm (-9) or Rory McIlroy (-8) will win the FedEx Cup Tour Championship since all three are starting with major stroke advantage.

Can we agree that after 17 years the FedEx Cup Playoffs are a bust? Not a bust for the top players but certainly a web of confusion for golf fans.

No one knows how FedEx Cup points are earned or how many points are earned by virtue of a win or top 5 finish. Furthermore, after the PGA Tour reinvented itself, based partly on a LIV Golf League model, most of the top PGA Tour players have earned so much money this year that having Federal Express Corp. sprinkle out another $75 million bonus money is hardly newsworthy.

The PGA Tour wants us to think the FedEx Cup Playoffs are a big deal. In reality, who cares if Rory McIlroy wins a fourth FedEx Cup along with the $18 million first prize. So far this season McIlroy has earned over $13 million, while the No. 1 money-earner is Scottie Scheffler with over $20 million, and Jon Rahm a close second at over $17 million. By the way, McIlroy earned $44.8 million in 2022 which breaks out: PGA Tour ($10.6m); DP World Tour ($2.2m); FedEx Cup ($18m); Race to Dubai ($2m); (PIP $12m).

Rory McIlroy earned $44.8 million in 2022 from PGA Tour ($10.6m); DP World Tour ($2.2m); FedEx Cup ($18m); Race to Dubai ($2m); (PIP $12m).

For those interested, let’s take a peek at The FedEx Cup Championship Series to confirm how bizarre and confusing the formula is. Seems like for 17 seasons about this time of year, both golf fans and media are saying the FedEx Cup Playoffs is the “Achilles Heel” of the PGA Tour.

The current FedEx Championship format of a 75 to 50 to 30 cut system is not the issue. It gives all 75 qualifying players an equal opportunity to finish as the FedEx Cup Tour Champion even if they were seeded 75th at the beginning of the playoffs. There are 44 regular season tournaments to get to this position.

Their opportunity runs throughout the first two playoff tournament that bring the field from 75 players to 30 players who then move on to East Lake. These 30 players are moving on only because they have accumulated the 30 highest number of FedEx Points since the beginning of the 20022-2023 season including the St Jude and BMW FedEx Championships.

Only 30 players advance to the Tour Championship, and Jordan Spieth was on the bubble, where the PGA Tour utilizes a handicapped Starting Strokes format to determine the FedEx Cup champion.

The reason that it’s important that you know this is because as the FedEx Cup heads into the final Tour Championship, with a final field of 30 eligible players, 25 players will receive “Strokes” and five players, who could probably use them, will receive none. This is the point that changes the entire playoff system into the “Unfair Playoff System.

The PGA Tour never uses any type of handicap system throughout their 44 seasonal tournaments, including Major Championship, or during the first two FedEx Championships. But this all changes in the Tour Championship when they use a “Reverse Handicap System” that gives the top 25 players “Strokes” before the Championship begins. That’s right, the best 25 players in the Championship are given strokes!

Why does the PGA Tour suddenly decide that players at this point in the season should play in a Tour Championship with assigned stokes that are NEVER used in the regular season or first two FedEx Championships?

Are they using strokes to give a player an advantage over the other players in the Championship? Are they using this format to ensure that their “High Profile” players have an advantage over the rest of the field to ensure they have the best opportunity to win. Isn’t it evident that a number of these players are the best on the PGA Tour?

The PGA Tour’s primary investor – Federal Express Corp – will shell out another $75 million to top PGA Tour players after the Tour Championship August 27.

Seems to me that a Tour Championship might include the best 30 players at this point in the season. Giving any of these players even a one-stroke advantage over the rest of the field brings the question of why now. Does the PGA Tour believe that they deserve the advantage because they’ve accumulated the most FedEx Points? If that’s the case, they’re rewarding their best player, during the regular season, with an advantage over all the other players because they’re the best in the field.

Golf has always been a game of equality whenever there is open competition in a tournament or championship. Players are assigned handicaps that give them, not an advantage over another player, but an equal opportunity to compete, in accordance with their ability level, with even the best player in the competition.

Apparently by awarding strokes, the PGA Tour believes that all 30 players in the FedEx Tour Championship do NOT deserve an equal chance to win?

Lucas Glover, 43, has been a PGA Tour veteran for 22 years, won the Wyndham Championship and St’ Jude in back-to-back weeks pocketing over $5 million.

Quite frankly, I’m glad the PGA Tour season is ending this week. Seems like they only promote the top 6 – 8 players. The powers-that-be at Ponte Vedra must cringe when an obscure retread like Lucas Glover wins? And how about some of the other 10 first-time winners this year, who have won due mostly to lack of quality and talent competing in the “non-designated” tournaments. Here is the list of first-time winners: Lee Hodges (3M Open), Akshay Bhatia (Barracuda Championship), Vincent Norrman (Barbasol Championship), Wyndham Clark (Wells Fargo Championship), Nick Hardy (Zurich Classic of New Orleans), Davis Riley (Zurich Classic of New Orleans), Matt Wallace (Corales Puntacana Championship), Taylor Moore (Valspar Championship), Nico Echavarria (Puerto Rico Open), Kurt Kitayama (Arnold Palmer Invitational) and Adam Svensson (RSM Classic).

Other than Wyndham Clark who won the U.S. Open wonder how many golf fans can put the face to the name of the above winners.

Here is the total payout for the FedEx Cup bonus purse of $75,000,000. 1st: $18,000,000; 2nd: $6,500,000; 3rd: $5,000,000; 4th: $4,000,000; 5th: $3,000,000; 6th: $2,500,000; 7th: $2,000,000; 8th: $1,500,000; 9th: $1,250,000; 10th: $1,000,000; 11th: $950,000; 12th: $900,000; 13th: $850,000; 14th: $800,000; 15th: $760,000; 16th: $720,000; 17th: $700,000; 18th: $680,000; 19th: $660,000; 20th: $640,000; 21st: $620,000; 22nd: $600,000; 23rd: $580,000; 24th: $565,000; 25th: $550,000; 26th: $540,000; 27th: $530,000; 28th: $520,000; 29th: $510,000; 30: $500,000;

The system is still flawed but one thing is certain, it pays to play well on the PGA Tour and the Tour Championship is one huge week for the top 30 players!

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