The 2019 Tour Championship format has been announced for the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup finale played at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
The Tour Championship field is comprised of 30 players, competing over 72 holes. The Tour Championship is the only PGA Tour stroke-play event that will use a handicap system. The top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings after the BMW Championship qualify for the event, and they're slotted with starting strokes based on their FedEx Cup ranking. The top seed starts the tournament at 10 under par, with the No. 2 seed at 8 under par, and so on, all the way down to Nos. 26-30 starting at even par. This means the lowest-seeded players will have to overcome a 10-stroke disadvantage during four rounds of golf.
2019 Tour Championship starting strokes and handicaps
- No. 1: -10
- No. 2: -8
- No. 3: -7
- No. 4: -6
- No. 5: -5
- Nos. 6-10: -4
- Nos. 11-15: -3
- Nos. 16-20: -2
- Nos. 21-25: -1
- Nos. 26-30: E
The player with the lowest total -- combining their starting strokes and on-course play -- after 72 holes wins both the tournament and the FedEx Cup. There is no cut in this tournament.
The format is designed to create an incentive for players to get into the season finale as highly ranked in the FedEx Cup as possible, while also making it straight-forward for fans to understand who is going to win the FedEx Cup without thinking about points and math.
In the event of a tie in points after 72 holes, the Tour Championship playoff format becomes a sudden-death stroke-play affair, with the player earning the fewest strokes on a playoff hole advancing or winning the tournament. The Tour Championship winner earns the FedEx Cup, the $15 million first-place prize, a five-year PGA Tour exemption and entry into all four major championships in 2020.
For the purposes of the Official World Golf Ranking, points will be awarded for a separate hypothetical tournament. World-ranking points will be doled out based on their 72-hole, on-course performance, not taking into account starting strokes and handicaps.