FedEx Cup 2021: How does it work?

One lucky PGA Tour player will finish the season with a $15 million jackpot by winning the FedEx Cup. But the format can be a little confusing, so here’s everything you need to know.

The current FedEx champion is Dustin Johnson. Only two players have won it twice since it was first awarded in 2007, Tiger Woods (2007 and 2009), and Rory McIlroy (2016 and 2019).

FedEx Cup Playoffs

The current FedEx Cup Playoffs system was introduced in 2019. With this new system, the playoffs were reduced from four tournaments to three.

Throughout the season, players are awarded FedEx Cup points based on their performance in PGA Tour events, which usually award 500 points to the winner. Bigger tournaments award more points, Major winners get 600 points.

The Top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings at the end of the season-ending Wyndham Championship then qualify for the first playoff event, the Northern Trust, which was won by Tony Finau. The Top 70 in the standings at the completion of the Northern Trust then go to the BMW Championship.

FedEx Cup points awarded at the Northern Trust and BMW are far higher than regular-season events, with the winner receiving 2000 points. So Tony Finau and Patrick Cantlay are in a very good position to win the Tour Championship finale and walk off with the $15 million winner’s cheque.

Once the BMW is complete, the Top 30 in the standings then go to the season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta.

Tour Championship

The FedEx Cup standings are then used to decide starting positions at the Tour Championship for the 30 players that make it that far. 

First place in the standings begins the Tour Championship at 10 under par, second place at 8 under. Then 3rd at -7, 4th -6, 5th -5, 6th-10th -4, 11th-15th -3, 16th-20th -2, 21st-25th -1, 26th-30th even par.

Then the Tour Championship starts, and the standings and points system are now completed. The player who then finishes with the lowest score wins the FedEx Cup and the whopping $15 million bonus.

Prize money

The money on offer is staggering. In total, the FedEx Cup is giving out $60 million to the best players in the world. The winner of the Tour Championship gets $15 million, and if you make it to the Tour Championship, you’re guaranteed $395,000 even if you finish last.

1st: $15 million, 2nd: $5 million, 3rd: $4 million, 4th: $3 million, 5th: $2.5 million, 6th: $1.9 million, 7th: $1.3 million, 8th: $1.1 million, 9th: $950,000, 10th $830,000.

Who will win the jackpot?

Players who performed well all season as well as performing well at the Northern Trust, like Jon Rahm who finished third, are also in a good position to win the jackpot. World number one Rahm is now fourth in the standings and one of the favourite to win the FedEx Cup.

Ryder Cup incentive

The prestige – and money – on offer for winning the FedEx Cup is huge. But there is an extra, very important incentive for performing well.

For American players trying to make Team USA for the Ryder Cup, accumulating enough points to make the team concludes after the second FedEx Cup Playoff event, the BMW Championship. But the final six places will be selected by captain Steve Stricker following the completion of the Tour Championship.

Finau, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Jordan Spieth and Harris English are among the big names who still have a chance of making the team. All are outside of automatic qualifying.

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