Tour Championship: Preview

The finale to the PGA Tour season is upon us with the 30 leading players in the FedEx Cup standings set to battle it out at East Lake in Atlanta for the staggering $18m winner’s jackpot.

World number one Scottie Scheffler returned to the top of the FedEx Cup standings after a T3 finish at the BMW Championship last week and will tee it up at the Tour Championship with a two stroke lead on 10 under par.

Patrick Cantlay will start in second place on 8 under after winning the BMW Championship, the first player in FedEx Cup history to defend a Playoffs title.

This year only 29 players will take part instead of the usual 30 after Will Zalatoris, winner of the first playoff event, the FedEx St. Jude Championship, withdrew due to a back injury. He was due to start in third place on 7 under.

Chance to make history


After defending the BMW Championship, Cantlay now has the chance to make history again and become the first back-to-back winner of the Tour Championship. He won the 2021 tournament on 21 under, one shot ahead of Jon Rahm.

Also with a chance to make history is Rory McIlroy, who along with Tiger Woods is the only player to have won the FedEx Cup twice. After it was first awarded in 2007, Tiger won it that year and in 2009, while Rory won in 2016 and 2019.

Tour Championship starting positions

Scottie Tour Championship

10 under: Scottie Scheffler

Eight under: Patrick Cantlay

Seven under: Will Zalatoris (withdrawn)

Six under: Xander Schauffele

Five under: Sam Burns

Four under: Cameron Smith, Rory McIlroy, Tony Finau, Sepp Straka, Sungaje Im

Three under: Jon Rahm, Scott Stallings, Justin Thomas, Cameron Young, Matthew Fitzpatrick

Two under: Max Homa, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth, Joaquin Niemann, Viktor Hovland

One under: Collin Morikawa, Billy Horschel, Tom Hoge, Corey Conners, Brian Harman

Even par: K.H. Lee, J.T. Poston, Sahith Theegala, Adam Scott, Aaron Wise

How the FedEx Cup Playoffs work

The current FedEx Cup Playoffs system was introduced in 2019 when the number of playoffs events were set to three tournaments.

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 Wyndham Championship then qualify for the first playoff event, the FedEx St. Jude Championship, which was won in 2022 by Will Zalatoris.

The Top 70 in the standings at the completion of the FedEx St. Jude Championship then go to the BMW Championship, won this season by Patrick Cantlay for the second year running.

FedEx Cup points awarded at the FedEx St. Jude Championship and BMW Championship are far higher than regular-season events, with the winner receiving 2000 points.

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

Season finale

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.

The winner of the Tour Championship is crowned FedEx Cup champion.

FedEx East Lake

Big payday

There is not an actual purse for the Tour Championship like at other events during the season. The FedEx Cup Playoffs bonus money is the only money that players earn at East Lake. FedEx Cup bonus money is also not considered part of a golfer’s official earnings for the season.

The overall payout at the event is $75 million. The player who finishes with the lowest score wins the FedEx Cup and the whopping $18 million winner’s bonus, and a five-year PGA Tour exemption. Here’s the breakdown for what each player will earn at the Tour Championship:

1: $18,000,000

2: $6,500,000

3: $5,000,000

4: $4,000,000

5: $3,000,000

6: $2,500,000

7: $2,000,000

8: $1,500,000

9: $1,250,000

10: $1,000,000

11: $950,000

12: $900,000

13: $850,000

14: $800,000

15: $760,000

16: $720,000

17: $700,000

18: $680,000

19: $660,000

20: $640,000

21: $620,000

22: $600,000

23: $580,000

24: $565,000

25: $550,000

26: $540,000

27: $530,000

28: $520,000

29: $510,000

30: $500,000

East Lake Golf Club

The Tour Championship is held at the oldest golf course in Atlanta and the home of the great Bobby Jones, East Lake Golf Club. Originally designed by Tom Bendelow, both Donald Ross and Rees Jones, son of world renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, have in recent years upgraded the layout.

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