2021 Tour Championship format: Starting strokes, handicaps and cut rules
PGA Tour

2021 Tour Championship format: Starting strokes, handicaps and cut rules

The 2021 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 is the only PGA Tour stroke-play event that will use a handicap system. The Tour Championship field is comprised of 30 players, competing over 72 holes.

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.

For the purposes of the Official World Golf Ranking, points are doled out based on how players score in the 72-hole tournament without starting strokes.

2021 Tour Championship starting strokes and handicaps

    • 1. Patrick Cantlay (1) -10
    • 2. Bryson DeChambeau (2) -8
    • 3. Tony Finau (3) -7
    • 4. Jon Rahm (4) -6
    • 5. Cameron Smith (5) -5
    • T6. Justin Thomas (6) -4
    • T6. Harris English (7) -4
    • T6. Abraham Ancer (8) -4
    • T6. Jordan Spieth (9) -4
    • T6. Sam Burns (10) -4
    • T11. Collin Morikawa (11) -3
    • T11. Sungjae Im (12) -3
    • T11. Viktor Hovland (13) -3
    • T11. Louis Oosthuizen (14) -3
    • T11. Dustin Johnson (15) -3
    • T16. Rory McIlroy (16) -2
    • T16. Xander Schauffele (17) -2
    • T16. Jason Kokrak (18) -2
    • T16. Kevin Na (19) -2
    • T16. Brooks Koepka (20) -2
    • T21. Corey Conners (21) -1
    • T21. Hideki Matsuyama (22) -1
    • T21. Stewart Cink (23) -1
    • T21. Joaquin Niemann (24) -1
    • T21. Scottie Scheffler (25) -1
    • T26. Daniel Berger (26) E
    • T26. Erik van Rooyen (27) E
    • T26. Sergio Garcia (28) E
    • T26. Billy Horschel (29) E
    • T26. Patrick Reed (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 2021.

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