PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan unveiled a string of changes on Tuesday that go into place next year and are created to simplify the playoff system, ending with the Tour Championship at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta with the $15 million finale.
Changes include a new scoring system for the Tour Championship and a new $10 million program for the regular season.
The points structure for the regular season and the first two events will remain the same (awarding quadruple points compared to FedExCup Regular Season events) but instead of a points format for the Tour Championship, the player who is ranked first will begin the four-round tournament at 10-under par.
The player with the lowest score after 72 holes will be the Tour Championship victor and the FedEx Cup champion - and its $15 million bonus, a bump from the $10 million winners have cashed since 2007.
Another surprise the model is projecting at the Tour Championship 2018: Thomas, last year's FedEx Cup champion, fails to defend his title and finishes outside the top three.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan says the changes were geared toward making the FedEx Cup finale easier for fans to understand and to avoid the potential of separate winners of the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup. The FedExCup Champion will receive $15 million, versus the $10 million prize from previous years. The next golfer in the standings will begin at 8-under, the player in the third spot would be 7-under, and so on. 26-30 start at even par.
As has been the case since the FedExCup Playoffs' inception in 2007, the postseason's last event, The Tour Championship, will feature 30 players. "With two big weeks coming up, it's kind of more precautionary than anything".
The victor of the Tour Championship, based on the staggered scoring formula, will be credited with an official PGA Tour win even if he did not shoot the lowest score over 72 holes. It's just that pros at this level don't often play in net tournaments.
Almost three months after the PGA Tour ended another run outside golf-rich Washington, the PGA of America announced an agreement for the club to host the Women's PGA Championship twice, the Senior PGA Championship twice, the PGA Championship (2031) and the Ryder Cup (2036).
Other notable pairings include Open champion Francesco Molinari and Phil Mickelson, while defending Tour Championship victor Xander Schaufelle will partner Rory McIlroy. This year, Dustin Johnson had the most points in the regular season by 83 points over Thomas.
In addition to the $10 million Wyndham Rewards Top 10, the existing FedExCup bonus pool will increase by $25 million, to $60 million. The top 10 are expected to average just over $12 million, and the top 50 players will earn more than $5 million in earnings and bonuses.