The FedEx Cup playoffs have been around as a concept since 2007, and the format and points system have been the same since 2009. (Can you remember how awful it was in 2008?!) However, since most PGA Tour fans really only think about how the FedEx Cup playoffs work in the four-event series itself, it's always helpful to have a refresher.
The entire PGA Tour regular season leads to the FedEx Cup playoffs, with each official PGA Tour event offering points to players who made the 36-hole cut based on a standardized system. For each regular PGA Tour event, the winner earns 500 FedEx Cup points. At the four majors and The Players, the winner earns 600 FedEx Cup points. At the four World Golf Championships, the winner earns 550 points. At opposite-field PGA Tour events -- that is, those played opposite the WGCs and majors -- the winner gets 300 FedEx Cup points. Even players who are subject to the MDF 54-hole, secondary cut rule earn 1 FedEx Cup point.
All of the points from regular season events are tallied together at the conclusion of the regular season, which reliably is the Wyndham Championship. The top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings at the end of that tournament qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs. Those 125 players also lock up their PGA Tour cards for the next season (as do others, including those who finish in the top 125 in money earned during the regular season).
From there, the four FedEx Cup playoff events whittle a field of 125 down to 30 for the final event at the Tour Championship. The points are increased by a factor of four from the regular season events, with a winner picking up 2,000 FedEx Cup points. Points earned in each of the first three legs of the playoffs are added to a player's regular season tally, with the field for subsequent playoff events determined on the combined points.
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