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A new chapter of PGA TOUR golf in Memphis begins in 2022, with the TOUR’s annual stop elevated to the opening FedExCup Playoffs event with a new name to boot: the FedEx St. Jude Championship.
Let’s dive into what this means for golf fans in Memphis, but we know there will be questions so feel free to…
Hang on. I’ve been attending the PGA TOUR event in Memphis for years. How will this be different?
We’re glad you asked. Simply put, golf’s version of a postseason begins in Memphis.
The PGA TOUR announced the birth of the FedExCup competition in 2007, and with it the FedExCup Playoffs. The FedExCup is a season-long points competition that culminates with the FedExCup Playoffs, a series of three tournaments to determine the FedExCup champion.
Players compete throughout the 47 Regular Season events with the hopes of being among the top 125 players in the FedExCup standings who qualify for the first round of the FedExCup Playoffs. From there, the top 70 players advance to the second round at the BMW Championship, with only 30 players qualifying for the finale at the TOUR Championship for a shot to be crowned the FedExCup champion.
You get all that?
I think so. You’re saying the regular season’s best 125 players will be in Memphis?
You said it! The culmination to the entire PGA TOUR season will start at TPC Southwind. Players know that each shot and each round counts more than ever. If you’re among the top 125 who make it to Memphis, chances are you aren’t skipping out on the opportunity to improve your position in the standings. Ja Morant might sit out a game here and there during an NBA season, but do you think he’s missing a Grizzlies playoffs game? I didn’t think so.
Look, there’s $18 million on the line for the FedExCup champion and players will do whatever it takes to…
Wait… did you say $18 million?
That’s right! The stakes are huge! But it’s not just about the money; it’s about the pride and prestige of knowing you were the best player over the course of an entire season. Anyone can have one great week and walk away with a trophy; being able to call yourself the champion of an entire season is something very different.
Let’s go back to Memphis…how else will that week feel different for fans on site?
Compared to regular season events, the FedExCup Playoffs provide some serious do-or-die drama. Of the 125 players who arrive in Memphis, only 70 will advance to the second round of the FedExCup Playoffs. That means 55 players will see their seasons come to an end in Memphis. There’s added pressure, no doubt about it. So while the attention will certainly drift toward the big names atop the leaderboard, other players are fighting to keep their seasons alive by moving – or staying – inside the top 70.
Here’s another wrinkle: for the first two rounds, players are grouped based on their position in the FedExCup standings. So the regular season’s three best players will be playing together on Thursday and Friday at TPC Southwind. Not a bad deal. We would also advise checking out the group made up of player Nos. 70-72. You want to see players really grinding it out against each other with their seasons on the line? Look no further…
How fluid are the standings? Do players really move up and down that much once the Playoffs begin?
You bet they do. If a regular season event awards 500 FedExCup points to the winner, a Playoffs event awards 2,000 points! Allow me to use Tom Hoge as an example. Bear with me here. Hoge entered last year’s Playoffs at 108th in the FedExCup standings. He needed a big week to keep his season alive, and he got it. A T4 finish vaulted him all the way to No. 48. He wasn’t able to crack the top 30, but it goes to show how one good week in the Playoffs can dramatically alter your season.
On the flip side, let’s talk about Collin Morikawa. The reigning Open champion had two wins on the season and entered the Playoffs at No. 1 and the odds-on favorite to lift the FedExCup. Would you have believed me if I told you he didn’t finish the season inside the top 20? A missed cut in the first round of the Playoffs dropped him to No. 6; a T63 the following week left him at No. 11. In the finale, Morikawa finished T26, and concluded his season No. 26.
If the FedExCup Playoffs tell us anything, it’s that an epic regular season can quickly come unraveled if players don’t perform in the season’s final three weeks.
I’m in. When do tickets go on sale?
Tickets are on sale now! Click here for more information.
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