You may think that the PGA Championship signalled the end of the golf season for this year but the FedEx Cup playoffs still leave plenty for the guys on tour to play for which means there is plenty more drama for us golf fans to witness before 2012.
If like many golf fans don’t know what the FedEx Cup is and how it works the here is our guide to the end of season playoffs that will see someone walk away with a whopping $10,000,000!
The FedEx Cup is a trophy that brings excitement to the latter stages of the golfing season which may otherwise fizzle out following the passing of the last major of the season and with no Ryder Cup until next year. The trophy is decided by a points race over the last four events on the PGA Tour calendar. The first of these four events is The Barclays. Only the top 125 points scorers from the regular season qualify for this tournament. Following The Barclays the field is cut to 100 players who will contest the Deutsche Bank Championship, and then to 70 players who will fight it out for the BMW Championship and a place in the final event, The Tour Championship.
This is a series of events that will see the cream rise to the top and only the very best players and specifically those in top form will be slugging it out for the final victory of the season and the small matter of $10,000,000.
As I pointed out earlier the top 125 points scorers qualify for the playoffs. You may be wondering how golfers can score points over the course of the season so here is a quick explanation. During the regular season on the PGA Tour players are awarded points for their position in each tournament they play. Points are fairly consistent across the board but there are a few tournaments which are worth more than others. Regular Tour events are worth 500 points to the winner, 300 for second place, 190 for third and so on. Major Championships are worth 600 points to the winner and WGC events are worth 550.
Points from the regular season carry over into the playoffs so the better your season the better your chances in the playoffs. However starting with more points than others in the playoffs doesn’t necessarily guarantee success as the stakes are raised over the last four events. Points awarded are five times greater than during the regular season meaning winners of any of the playoff events bag themselves 2500 points.
Leading points scorers going into the playoff include Nick Watney (1906), Steve Stricker (1865), Webb Simpson (1861), Luke Donald (1856) and PGA Champion Keegan Bradley (1621).
There are some big name absentees from the playoffs this year including Paul Casey, Angel Cabrera and, most notably, Tiger Woods.
Going into the Tour Championship the remaining 30 players have their points adjusted so that all 30 players still have a chance at winning the biggest financial prize in golf although the top five seeds are guaranteed to win the cup should they capture the Tour Championship trophy.
Last year’s FedEx Cup went to Jim Furyk who was the third seed following the regular season. He was disqualified from The Barclays, finished 37th at the Deutsche Bank Championship, 15th at the BMW Championship and, tellingly, won the Tour Championship. All in all Furyk bagged $11.35 million from the FedEx Cup which goes to show just how important these four events can be to the players involved.