Before the 1920s, professional golf events were held at various points around the country, but there was no cohesion between them – in other words, it wasn’t tour golf. That all changed when the PGA Tour got its start when tournaments were held on the west coast, Texas, and Florida, and within a few years, the Tour boasted $77,000 in prize money.
The PGA Tour has certainly exploded since those early days. The FedExCup Playoffs, a series of four playoff events, is actually a relative newcomer to the golfing world–established in 2007. Golfers compete all season long on the PGA Tour, which runs from October through August. Players rack up points during the PGA Tour season, which then carry over into the FedExCup Playoffs. They not only hope to capture the championship title and the cup itself, but also a nice purse on the line–the overall winner of the championship gets a cool $10 million.
The playoffs are only a part of the full Tour experience. The events that lead up to these playoffs are often familiar to the casual fan, particularly the majors. The Masters Tournament, for example, is probably the most well known, and takes place every spring in April. The U.S. Open is another many are familiar with, which helps usher in summer every year in June. The third of the majors is the Open Championship in July, and the fourth is the PGA Championship, which usually takes place in late July or August.
Four events take place in the playoffs themselves. They include The Barclays, the Deutsche Bank Championship, the BMW Championship, and the TOUR Championship. The points amassed from the regular PGA Tour season determine who gets to compete in the playoffs, with the top 125 players nabbing a spot in the first tourney, The Barclays.
After that first matchup, the number of golfers allowed to play in the rest of the tournaments is determined by their overall point total. Points matter even more during the playoffs, as the top spot garners 2,000 points in each of the four events. Contenders are pared down after each tourney, also – while the first event has a 125 player field, the second has 100, the third has 70, and the final event hosts the top 30 players.
The winner of the championship nets the most winnings (to the tune of $10 million). The runner up doesn’t do too badly, either–$3 million. Third place gets $2 million, fourth a million and a half, and the fifth spot grabs $1 million.
The 2015 FedExCup winner was Jordan Spieth. Other historical winners include Billy Horschel in 2014, and Henrik Stenson in 2013. Tiger Woods grabbed both the 2009 cup and the inaugural playoff championship in 2007, while Vijay Singh won in-between in 2008.
Some of the Best
Patrick “Big Game” Reed
Patrick Reed, from Texas, United States, is one of the players in the hunt this year. In the playoffs, he came in at No. 1 in The Barclays and at No. 5 in the Deutsche Bank Championship. He won several other championships over his career, including the 2015 Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Australia’s Jason Day is also in the mix. He was tied for fourth place in The Barclays and for 15th in the Deutsche Bank Championship. Day got his passion for golf from his dad, and was inspired in his early years by a Tiger Woods book. He won The Barclays in 2015 as well as the BMW Championship that same year.
Dustin “The Cheetah” Johnson
Dustin Johnson, from South Carolina, United states, has previously notched 18th place at The Barclays and 8th at the Deutsche Bank Championship. He won the U.S. Open this season, and has been ranked in the top 5 each year that he’s participated in the PGA Tour.
Scott, from Australia, nabbed fourth place in the first two events of the playoffs. He began golfing at a young age, was coached by his father, and turned pro in 2000. He’s the first Australian to win the Masters Tournament, in 2013, and was the youngest player to win the Player’s Championship in 2003.
The Golden Child
Last year’s FedExCup winner is Jordan Spieth, who is also from Texas. At The Barclays, he grabbed a tie for 10th place, and at the Deutsche Bank Championship, he tied for 21st. Spieth comes from a family of athletes. His mom and dad both played sports at the collegiate level. He broke a few records shortly after turning pro in 2012–he was the youngest man in 82 years to win a PGA Tour event, and at age 21, became the first man since 1922 to win two majors before he turned 22.
Things Are Heading Up
While we have seen incredible finishes throughout this past season, there’s time for one more.Who knows…the culmination of the season could very well come down to a final putt at the TOUR Championship. Whether you’re a casual fan of the game or a hardcore weekender, be sure to head over to Fanatics to grab all the gear you’ll need to watch the final tournament, and to get started on your own golf game.