Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/21/13
PGA Tour Playoffs This week the PGA Tour begins the intriguing, star-studded, confusing event that is the FedEx Cup playoffs. When the playoffs first began in 2007, I have to admit that I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on. I know that I wasn’t alone. All I knew was the winner received the single largest payout in all of sports, $10 million. Not bad. I am going to explain, as simply as I can, how the playoffs will work. Players have been accruing points over the entire season, and now the top 125 are the only ones playing for the FedEx cup. The playoffs consist of four events in subsequent weeks beginning with The Barclays. Next week will be the Deutsche Bank Championship, the following week will be the BMW Championship, and then the final event is the TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. In each event, the field will be narrowed down. The Barclays field will include all 125 players, although Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson have opted not to play, and their spots will not be filled with alternates. As the playoffs continue to play out, the field will become significantly diminished. The Deutsche Bank field will be narrowed to the top 100, the BMW will be narrowed to the top 70, and finally the TOUR Championship will only include the top 30 players. Each event will offer five times the amount of FedEx Cup points than a regular season event. Heading into the TOUR Championship, the points will reset based on how the standings are at that point. The points will be weighted in order to favor the players who are ranked higher, but still give an opportunity for everyone in the top 30 to win. You may be wondering if it’s possible to have a player win the FedEx Cup playoffs and a different player win the TOUR Championship, the answer is yes. Even with the points resetting, a lower-ranked player could win the TOUR Championship without having enough to overtake the first-place player because of the weighting of the points. If it’s easier to learn by looking at numbers, below is a table depicting how playoff points will be distributed at each event (courtesy of PGATOUR.com). Playoff event points distribution Position Points Position Points Position Points Position Points 1 2500 19 260 37 170 55 80 2 1500 20 255 38 165 56 75 3 1000 21 250 39 160 57 70 4 750 22 245 40 155 58 65 5 550 23 240 41 150 59 60 6 500 24 235 42 145 60 55 7 450 25 230 43 140 61 50 8 425 26 225 44 135 62 45 9 400 27 220 45 130 63 40 10 375 28 215 46 125 64 35 11 350 29 210 47 120 65 30 12 325 30 205 48 115 66 25 13 300 31 200 49 110 67 20 14 285 32 195 50 105 68 15 15 280 33 190 51 100 69 10 16 275 34 185 52 95 70 5 The table below shows how the points of the final event will be reset. As you can see, there is a possibility of a player in one of the last positions overtaking everyone with a win (because the winner receives 2,500 points). Obviously the higher positioned players would have to have a bad week for that to happen, but we know that stranger things have happened in golf. Reset points for the TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP by Coca-Cola Position Reset Points Position Reset Points 1. 2,500 16. 380 2. 2,250 17. 360 3. 2,000 18. 340 4. 1,800 19. 320 5. 1,600 20. 310 6. 1,400 21. 300 7. 1,200 22. 290 8. 1,000 23. 280 9. 800 24. 270 10. 600 25. 260 11. 480 26. 250 12. 460 27. 240 13. 440 28. 230 14. 420 29. 220 15. 400 30. 210 This is best and most simple way I can explain how the FedEx Cup playoffs work. I know it’s not the easiest of playoff systems out there, but it is fair. It takes some getting used to, but this system is a good way for the PGA to get in some more excitement after the majors are finished. Kick back, relax, and watch the drama unfold.
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