The FedEx Cup is a championship trophy awarded at the end of each year’s PGA TOUR that is sponsored by FedEx. The FedEx Cup created the first playoff system for men’s professional golf when it was first announced in 2005.
How It All Started
Officially established in 2007, the FedEx Cup is a season-long points competition (called FedEx Cup points) offering bonus money for the top PGA TOUR Players. Players aim to become the FedEx Cup Champion, which distinguishes the one player who not only performs well during the FedEx Cup Regular Season, but also excels through the pressure of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Previous FedEx Cup champions include Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Jim Furyk, Bill Haas, Brandt Snedeker, Henrik Stenson, Billy Horschel, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, and Dustin Johnson.
The 2020-21 FedEx Cup Regular Season featured 47 official FedEx Cup events that began with the 2020 Safeway Open and ran through the 2021 Wyndham Championship. PGA TOUR members earn FedEx Cup points based on their finish at each tournament, with an emphasis placed on wins and high finishes.
How FedEx Cup Points Are Distributed
- Official PGA TOUR events each award 500 FedEx Cup points to first place winners
- THE PLAYERS Championship, Masters Tournament, PGA Championship, US Open Championship, and The Open Championship award 600 FedEx Cup points to first place winners
- Each of the four World Golf Championships events and The Genesis Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, and the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide award 550 FedEx Cup points to first place winners
- Additional events award 300 FedEx Cup points to first place winners
FedEx Cup Points are awarded by finish position. Limited field events during the FedEx Cup competition will not redistribute the points for places that do not play. For example, if the Sentry Tournament of Champions has a field of 30 players, the points awarded will be based on the points that would be awarded to each individual position in a full-field event from positions 1 to 30. This will result in the points that would have otherwise been awarded from positions 31–65 in a regular event not being awarded in the tournament.
Another example is the World Golf Championships–Dell Technologies Match Play, a 64-player field. In this limited-field event, points for positions 65 and beyond would not be awarded.
How The FedEx Cup Playoffs Work
At the conclusion of the PGA TOUR season, the top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings will be eligible to play in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, a series of three events from August through September. Points earned during the FedEx Cup Regular Season carry over to the first two Playoffs events. Players will compete in the FedEx Cup Playoffs for their share of the $60 million total in bonus money, with the FedEx Cup Champion taking home $15 million.
The FedEx Cup Playoffs feature a progressive cut, with fields of 125 for the first event (The Northern Trust), 70 for the second event (The BMW Championship), and 30 for the final event (The TOUR Championship), where the FedEx Cup Champion will be determined. In the event an eligible player is unable or chooses not to play, the field will be shortened and no alternates will be added. Points from the missing positions will not be awarded.
- Event one, The Northern Trust, will cut the field to low 65 and ties after 36 holes, while the BMW Championship and TOUR Championship are no-cut events. The first two Playoffs events award 2,000 points to the winner, while the Playoffs Finale, the TOUR Championship, features a strokes-based system instituted for the first time in 2019. The player with the lowest total score will win the FedEx Cup and be credited with an official victory in the TOUR Championship competition.
- The FedEx Cup points leader after the first two Playoffs events will begin the TOUR Championship at 10 under par. The number 2 player will start at 8 under. The number 3 player starts at 7 under, the number 4 player starts at 6 under, and the number 5 player starts at 5 under. Players 6-10 start at 4 under, players 11-15 start at 3 under, players 16-20 start at 2 under, players 21-25 start at 1 under, and players 26-30 start at even par.
- At the TOUR Championship, the player with the lowest aggregate score over 72 holes when combined with his FedEx Cup Starting Strokes will win the TOUR Championship and also be crowned FedEx Cup Champion. The TOUR Championship win will be considered an official victory and the FedEx Cup Champion will also earn a bonus of $15 million and a five-year PGA TOUR exemption.
FedEx Cup points are distributed to players earning official money. Only players who are PGA TOUR Members or become members during the season will be listed on the FedEx Cup Points List. Special Temporary Members and Non-Members who earn FedEx Cup points will not appear on the FedEx Cup Points List, but will be tracked on a Non-Member FedEx Cup Points List. Amateurs will not be eligible to earn FedEx Cup points.
Points won by Non-Members and Special Temporary Members who subsequently become PGA TOUR Members during the season will be counted on the FedEx Cup Points List, along with any FedEx Cup Points earned as a Non-Member (excluding those won at World Golf Championships events as a Non-Member).