Dustin Johnson will be paid to not play in the FedEx Cup playoffs. Wait. What?
Johnson is on a leave of absence from the PGA Tour, but entered the playoffs at No. 7 in the standings. He didn't compete in any leg of the playoffs, but only dropped 23 spots over the course of the first three events, meaning he has qualified for the Tour Championship at 30th in points.
However, Johnson is not going to play at East Lake. That means there's only a 29-player field for the Tour Championship. Johnson could have been paid $303,000 -- $128,000 in last-place prize money for the Tour Championship and $175,000 for finishing 30th in the FedEx Cup. But why?
RELATED: FedEx Cup bonus payouts
Based on interpretation, Johnson could have been entitled to the Tour Championship money under PGA Tour regulations, which say if a player qualifies for a non-World Golf Championships event without a cut or an alternate list but is "unable to play due to a serious personal emergency, injury or other disability which requires ongoing medical attention ... [that player] will receive last place, unofficial prize money without being required to register on-site."
On July 31, Johnson announced he was taking a leave of absence from the PGA Tour to address "personal challenges." He has not indicated a return date. However, PGA Tour player Joe Ogilvie looked into the situation further and learned the Tour will not interpret Johnson's absence as a "serious personal emergency" and deny him the last-place money.
@RyanBallengee FYI, he gets bonus and no Tour Championship $$$.
— Joe Ogilvie (@ogilviej) September 8, 2014
However, Johnson will earn $175,000 for his FedEx Cup finish.