PGA Tour Players Are Rebelling Against The FedEx Cup Championship Format

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The PGA Tour has made a few tweaks to the race for the FedEx Cup since the season-long championship was introduced in 2007, but one fairly recent change to the scoring system used to determine the winner has begun to attract criticism from some of the most notable names in the sport.

The 2023 Tour Championship kicked off on Thursday at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta to give the top 30 players on the PGA Tour this year the chance to compete for the $18 million set aside for the golfer who manages to top the rest of the field when everything is said and done.

Scottie Scheffler kicked things off with a two-stroke lead over the competition thanks to the “Starting Stroke” model that was introduced in 2019 to give players credit for their play in the events leading up to what is essentially the “PGA Finals.”

However, he doesn’t seem to be a huge fan of the format even though he’s benefitting from it.

On Wednesday, Scheffler (who also headed into the Tour Championship as the top-ranked golfer in the world) made a pretty valid point while questioning if the way the Starting Strokes are distributed is really reflective of how guys have played over the course of the previous year, saying:

“I wouldn’t say that it is the best format to identify the best golfer for the year.

Jon Rahm played some of the best golf of anybody this year and he’s coming into this tournament fourth and he’s 4 shots back. And, in theory, he could have won 20 times this year and he would only have a 2-shot lead.”

Rahm also took issue with the format when speaking with the media ahead of the tournament, noting:

“You can come in ranked No. 1 in the FedExCup. You can win every single tournament up until this one. You have a bad week, you finish 30th, and now you’ll forever be known as 30th in the FedExCup this season.

I don’t think that’s very fair.”

It does seem like the PGA Tour could take a slightly more scientific approach to how those strokes are allotted (it technically uses FedEx Cup points to determine how they’re doled out, but there’s no direct correlation), so it’ll be interesting to see if they take a closer look at the format moving forward.

Connor O'Toole avatar
Connor Toole is the Deputy Editor at BroBible. He is a New England native who went to Boston College and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Frequently described as "freakishly tall," he once used his 6'10" frame to sneak in the NBA Draft and convince people he was a member of the Utah Jazz.