Two FedEx Cup Playoffs events are in the books, and Lucas Glover and Viktor Hovland have left their mark. Glover took down the top 70 on the PGA Tour in Memphis at the FedEx St. Jude Championship while Hovland shot a 61 to race past the top 50 in the playoffs at the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields. As a result, both have moved into the top five of the FedEx Cup standings as the Tour heads to East Lake for the Tour Championship.
The most obvious changes to the playoffs this year is the field size. While 30 has always been the number at the Tour Championship, the St. Jude Championship was reduced from top 125 to top 70 this year and the BMW bumped down to the top 50. These smaller fields have made the bubble watch for the following event even more interesting than normal as the top 50 in this year’s FedEx Cup automatically qualify for the eight small-field signature events on next year’s PGA Tour schedule. As noted earlier, the top 30 move on to the Tour Championship.
All three events are 72-hole, stroke-play tournaments, though the fields gradually get smaller as the playoffs roll on. The points change, too, as everything is quadrupled. During regular season events, most winners receive 500 FedEx Cup points for finishing first at tournaments (in a handful of events, 600 points went to first place). The winners of the first two FedEx Cup Playoffs events will instead receive 2,000 points each. The point boost goes for every slot on the leaderboard: 300 for second becomes 1,200 and so on.
Only four golfers — Rahm, Scheffler, McIlroy and Max Homa — surpassed the 2,000-point total during the entire regular season, which means the FedEx Cup standings have already have shifted quite a bit, although those four are all still in the top six in the rankigns Winners are disproportionately rewarded and deservedly so given this is the postseason.
This provides the opportunity for golfers — like Glover — to go on a hot streak and rocket up the FedEx Cup standings. After not even sniffing the top 25 in the FedEx Cup standings all year, he is suddenly in the top five with one events to go. Regardless of what else happens, everyone in the top 10 of the FedEx Cup rankings is in prime position at the Tour Championship at East Lake. Similar to other sports, now that the postseason has begun, almost anything can happen.
2023 FedEx Cup standings
Again, there was not too much movement at the top of the standings. Part of that is because Rahm and Scheffler built a massive 1-2 lead in the regular season, and part of it is because most of the top 10 players in the FedEx Cup standings have played well early in the playoffs.
Here’s a look at some top players going into the Tour Championship.
Scottie Scheffler (-10)
Viktor Hovland (-8)
Rory McIlroy (-7)
Jon Rahm (-6)
Lucas Glover (-5)
Max Homa (-4)
Patrick Cantlay (-4)
Brian Harman (-4)
Wyndham Clark (-4)
Matt Fitzpatrick (-4)
2023 Tour Championship format
Heading into the Tour Championship inside the top five or top 10 in the FedEx Cup standings is important because of how scoring is dispersed. Whoever is first in the FedEx Cup standings after the BMW Championship starts the Tour Championship at 10 under, and the event is played under normal scoring conditions from there. Second starts at 8 under and so on (see full numbers below).
With so much money at stake (again, $18 million for first place), those margins become more meaningful than even a normal week.
2023 Tour Championship purse, prize money
The numbers are startling for the finale. The winner of the Tour Championship receive $18 million. If you just make into the final FedEx Cup Playoff event, you’re guaranteed $500,000. Here’s a look at what the lucrative top 10 will look like at the Tour Championship.
Last year, McIlroy overcame a six-stroke deficit at the start of the week and a five-stroke deficit at the start of the final day to defeat Scheffler by one and swipe an additional $11.5 million from him in the process.