The FedEx Cup could be seen as the PGA Tour’s postseason. Golfers have to qualify by earning enough FedEx Cup points, which are given out based on finishes at particular tournaments. Majors and higher-level tournaments award more points, and the higher up the leaderboard you are, the better your standing.
Professional golfers have a big incentive to qualify and compete for the FedEx Cup: The prize money is bigger, and the title of PGA Tour champion for the year is at stake.
This all comes together in a four-tournament playoff: The Barclays, Duestche Bank Championship, BMW Championship, and the TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. The top 125 players based on FedEx Cup points compete at The Barclays with big payouts and quadruple the FedEx Cup points for the winner.
The field is narrowed to the top 100 FedEx Cup point holders after The Barclays, the top 75 after the Duestche Bank Championship, and the top 30 after the BMW Championship. The winner of the $10 million FedEx Cup champion’s prize is determined by who has the most points after the final event, the TOUR Championship.
Jordan Spieth won the 2015 FedEx Cup, on the strength of five victories over the course of the year – including the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, and the 2015 U.S. Open. He actually missed the cut in the first two FedEx Cup playoff tournaments, but won the TOUR Championship to capture the FedEx Cup prize.
It’s not always the favorite that will win, however. Billy Horschel entered the 2014 FedEx Cup playoffs ranked 69th and even missed the cut in the The Barclays. But a hot streak of finishing tied for 2nd at the Duestche Bank Championship and then winning the BMW and TOUR Championships vaulted him all the way to the title and the big payday.
If it’s added drama the PGA Tour was looking for, then it certainly found a winner in the FedEx Cup!