FedEx Cup: PGA Tour announces Tour Championship revamp for 2019

Ruben Hill
September 19, 2018

The tour said there would not be a separate purse for the Tour Championship. This year, Dustin Johnson had the most points in the regular season by 83 points over Thomas.

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA - With the upcoming 2018-19 PGA TOUR schedule reflecting previously announced, significant structural changes, PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan today unveiled further innovations that elevate the entire FedExCup season - from the Regular Season through the FedExCup Playoffs and ultimately, at the Playoffs Finale, the TOUR Championship.

Justin Thomas holds the trophy after winning the Fedex Cup after the Tour Championship golf tournament at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta in 2017. But starting next year, points will not be reset.

Starting in 2019, whoever finishes the Tour Championship at the lowest aggregate total including the staggered bonus will be the tournament victor as well as the FedEx Cup champion.

"Any fan can immediately understand what's going on and what's at stake for every single player in the field, " Monahan said. "So every viewer, every spectator and every player on the golf course will know precisely where they stand at any moment".

Monahan, who said the Tour considered many format changes, said he loves the beauty of the simplicity of the scoring at the playoff final.

Woods is now 20th in the FedEx Cup point standings, but every golfer in the field could potentially end the season by claiming the FedEx Cup.

The FedEx Cup champion will now bank $US15 million, versus the $US10 million prize from previous years.

The Associated Press reported on the format changes for the Tour Championship three weeks ago, and players have been mulling over them. It can happen again this year but not going forward.

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. For Woods to win his third Cup, he'll have to win the tournament and hope that leader Bryson DeChambeau has an off week.

While that part of the change is an improvement, it might take some getting used to a tournament where a player as a 10-shot advantage over others before the first tee ball is struck.

It's a radical idea that makes sense on some levels but also throws traditional tournament play out the window. The bonus pool for the PGA Tour season doubles next year to $70 million in a revamped system that pays $15 million to the FedEx Cup champion. Players all the way through 150th in the final points standings receive a deferred bonus.

Meanwhile, the PGA Tour also announced a new incentive program created to reward the players who have the best regular seasons.

Under the system, the player who has the most FedEx Cup points after next season's BMW Championship, the final championship qualifying event, will start the first round of the 2019 Tour Championship at 10 under par and a two-shot lead over the second-highest points earner, who will begin at 8 under.

Following The Open at Royal Portrush in July - the last major, because the PGA Championship is moving to May - the schedule heads to the WGC-FedEx St. Jude in Memphis, followed by the season-ending Wyndham Championship. After that, the top 30 advance to the Tour Championship, where the new strokes-based system will be put in place.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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