The Charles Schwab Cup playoffs on PGA Tour Champions have been around as a concept since 2016. However, since many PGA Tour Champions fans may not be familiar with how they work, it's always helpful to have a refresher.
The entire PGA Tour Champions regular season leads to the Charles Schwab Cup playoffs, with each official PGA Tour Champions event offering points to players who make money. (Only four of the five majors have a cut; the others on the schedule do not.) In the regular season, each dollar earned equals one point earned.
All of the points from regular season events are tallied together at the conclusion of the regular season, which is the SAS Championship. The top 72 players in the Charles Schwab Cup standings at the end of that tournament qualify for the Charles Schwab Cup playoffs.
From there, the three Charles Schwab Cup playoff events whittle a field of 72 down to 54 and then to 36 for the final event at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. In the playoffs, points are increased, offering two points per dollar earned. Points earned in each of the first two 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.
The Dominion Energy Charity Classic has 72 players, and then reduces the field to 54 for the PowerShares QQQ Championship. From there, the field is reduced to 36 for the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
It's at that point that the Charles Schwab Cup points standings are reset ahead of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, giving all 36 players in the finale field a mathematical chance of winning the Charles Schwab Cup. The scenarios for the top five in the standings are the most clear: Win the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, and a Charles Schwab Cup win is assured.
At the end of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, the Charles Schabwa Cup winner earns the $1 million first-place prize annuity from the $2.1 million bonus pool. However, the top five players earn at least a piece of the bonus pool money.