The PGA TOUR has announced a number of significant changes to the 2019 FedExCup Playoffs with the aim of making it easier for fans to follow.
Starting with next year’s event at East Lake, there will be only one leaderboard. No separate FedExCup points standings. No projections that fluctuate with each holed putt. No analytics to determine who might or might not have an advantage.
And on that Sunday afternoon, there will be one champion crowned. One winner standing on the 18th green, holding up one trophy – the FedExCup. Nothing will be shared. Everything will be definitive.
Winner takes it all.
‘Win the TOUR Championship and you are the FedExCup champion. It’s that simple,’ PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan said Tuesday when announcing the changes.
Credit a new scoring system called FedExCup Starting Strokes that was unveiled Tuesday and will be implemented at the 2019 TOUR Championship. A strokes-based bonus system related to the FedExCup standings, players will start the opening round with scores between 10 under to even par.
It will replace the system currently in use this week (and since 2009) in which FedExCup points are reset going into East Lake. Instead of two separate leaderboards – one for the tournament, the other for the FedExCup race – the 2019 TOUR Championship will have one leaderboard for a single, decisive winner.
The main benefits? Fans will immediately understand what’s going on, no matter if they’ve followed the TOUR all season or just tuning in for the final event. Meanwhile, players will know exactly where they stand at all times.
This change also eliminates the possibility that the TOUR Championship winner might not emerge as the FedExCup winner, which has happened three times in the first 11 years of the FedExCup Playoffs. Beginning in 2019, if any of the 30 players at East Lake wins the TOUR Championship, he is also guaranteed to win the FedExCup.
‘I support it,’ said Dustin Johnson, the FedExCup runner-up in 2016 who enters this week’s TOUR Championship ranked No. 4.
‘I think it definitely would make things a lot clearer. … It would definitely be a lot more fun to watch on the telecast.’
• A doubling of the total FedExCup bonus pool money from the current $35-million to $70-million starting next season. The FedExCup winner’s share will have the largest increase, from $10-million to $15-million.
• Among that $70 million will be a $10 million regular season bonus pool, sponsored by Wyndham, tied to the final regular-season FedExCup standings. The new Wyndham Rewards Top 10 $10-million bonus will recognize the top 10 players who earn the most FedExCup points through the Wyndham Championship, the final event of the regular season. The leader will earn $2-million, followed by $1.5-million for the runner-up with the 10th-place finisher earning $500 000.