Even though all the attention of the golf world seems set on the Ryder Cup that takes place in France September 28-30, the PGA TOUR Championship set for this weekend at the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta promises some exciting golf.
The top 30 players in the FedEx Cup playoffs remain as a pair of champions will determined this week – the TOUR Champion and the FedEx Cup Champion.
And to the victor goes the spoils, with the FedEx champ picking up a nice little $10 million in prize money.
One issue that always clouds the TOUR Championship is you are stuck trying to figure out who is leading in the FedEx Cup based on how the top players are faring.
That won’t be the case after this year as the PGA Tour announced Tuesday at East Lake, it has simplified the quest for the TOUR’s season-long points race. It’s no longer necessary for players, fans and media to simultaneously check the scoreboard and projected FedExCup standings.
The leaderboard will tell the whole story. The winner of the TOUR Championship also will be crowned the FedExCup champion. Players will be rewarded for their position in the FedExCup standings with a lower starting position in relation to par at the start of the TOUR Championship.
Instead of a point reset at East Lake, the TOUR is instituting a strokes-based bonus system related to the FedExCup standings through the BMW Championship. The FedExCup leader through the first two Playoffs events will begin the TOUR Championship at 10 under par. The next four players will start at -8 through -5, respectively. The next five will begin at -4, regressing by one stroke per five players until players 26-30 start at even par.
The player atop the leaderboard at week’s end will be the FedExCup champion.
As for this year, all 30 players in the field this week mathematically have a shot at winning it all but realistically, those at the top have the best chances.
Heading into the tournament Bryson DeChambeau is the top seed and a top six finish would almost guarantee him the title. The top five in order behind DeChambeau – Justin Rose, Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas.
Tiger Woods comes in at No. 20 as he makes his first start in the event in five years.
With only 30 players in the field and the players going off in groups of two, the action moves faster and there is nothing but top-quality groupings. Some of the highlighted twosomes and their Thursday tee times – PT – are: Rickie Fowler/Jon Rahm (9:10 a.m.), Tiger Woods/Tommy Fleetwood (9:30 a.m.), Rory McIlroy/Xander Schauffle (9:40 a.m.) and Brooks Koepka/Bubba Watson (10:30 a.m.).
By Dennis Miller