In 2007 PGA officially changed the format in which golf tournaments were held, which is today known as the FedEx Cup Golf Tournament tour. But, how does it really work, and why do some tournaments elicit more excitement than others. Here are the basics of it all.
How it works
The format really isn’t all that complicated. It works like this:
1. There is a regular season which has a total of 33 rounds of golf (“pre-playoff” events).
2. During each of these events, players earn points based on which place they land at each event (points will determine seeding for the playoffs).
3. 25,000 points are spread over “Official” PGA tour events with the winner typically earning 500 points.
4. The 5 major events award 27,500 points, and the World Championship 26,250 points.
5. At season’s end, the top 125 players are invited to the 4 week playoff event.
6. During the playoffs, a total of $35 million in prize money ($10 million to the winner) is given and 50,000 points awarded.
7. After the final playoff match, the field of 125 is narrowed down to 30 players, based on points totals (the top 30 are also guaranteed exemption in the following year).
8. The Barclays, The Deutsche Bank Championship, BMW Championship, and Tour Championship are the 4 playoff rounds.
9. The purse is set at $8 million for the winner of each playoff, and a total of 2500 points is awarded to the winner.
Why is the Master’s so important? –
The Master’s tournament is held early in April each year, and is the only one of the four majors during the regular season held in the same place each year (Augusta National Golf Club). The tournament is not one in which all players are permitted to play, in fact, it draws so much attention due to the nature of being an “invitation only” tournament. It is the elite players who are invited to this tournament round. Further, there are traditions which include:
– The green jacket.
– Tournament dinner; and,
– The honorary tee shot.
Of course a cash prize is given to winners, and the invitation to be among the elite who have won the green jacket, is something which golfers highly anticipate when invited to the event.
Although no single tournament during the regular season outweighs another, the prestige along with the invitation only status, makes the Master’s a tournament all elite golfers want to be invited to. With quite a bit of prize money being handed out, and several tournaments during the course of the year, the FedEx Cup Golf Tournament allows for plenty of jockeying during the season, and affords players the opportunity to have a few off weeks, and still make it to the final championship rounds.