FedEx Cup to offer $15 million

ATLANTA — The bonus pool for the PGA Tour postseason doubles next year to $70 million in a revamped system that gives a head start to top players at the Tour Championship and pays $15 million to the FedEx Cup champion.

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said Tuesday the changes were designed to make the FedEx Cup finale easier for fans to understand and to avoid the potential for separate winners of the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup.

“You take these changes and you combine them with the new and improved schedule, and we think this is a significant step forward,” Monahan said.

The changes include a more compact schedule next season that ends Aug. 25, a week before football begins. The top 10 players in the FedEx Cup during the regular season are part of a separate $10 million bonus program that pays $2 million to the No. 1 player. The FedEx Cup playoffs are reduced from four events to three, with the winner of the Tour Championship being the FedEx Cup champion.

The Associated Press reported on the format changes for the Tour Championship three weeks ago, and players have been mulling over them.

One of the concerns is essentially handicapping the field for the FedEx Cup finale at East Lake. Instead of everyone starting the first round on the same score, the No. 1 seed starts at 10-under par, with the No. 2 player at 8 under, then 7 under, 6 under and 5 under. The next group of five players are at 4 under, all the way down until the final five players in the 30-man field are at even par.

The winner is determined by his score to par, not his 72-hole score.

“We now have a single leaderboard,” said Andy Pazder, the tour’s chief of operations. “As play moves on through the week, we’re just looking at a scoreboard. So every viewer, every spectator and every player on the golf course will know precisely where they stand at any moment.”

Under the current system that ends this week, points are reset going into the Tour Championship so that all 30 players have a mathematical chance to win the FedEx Cup, and the top five only have to win the tournament to capture the $10 million bonus.

Agreement reached

The PGA of America is bringing its biggest championships to Congressional over the next two decades.

Nearly 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).

Congressional also will host the Junior PGA Championship and the Professional National Championship, along with an annual event designed to introduce golf to veterans.

“We are excited to bring major championship golf back to Congressional and to represent our country and the nation’s capital as host of the 2036 Ryder Cup,” said Bev Lane, the club president.

Congressional, across the Potomac River in Bethesda, Maryland, previously hosted the 1976 PGA Championship won by Dave Stockton, whose 1-over 281 remains the last time no one broke par at the PGA Championship.’

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