PGA Tour changes playoff points system
By Torleif Sorenson on 12/11/14
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, working with the tour's Policy Board and the Player Advisory Council, have made an ever-so-slight change to the FedEx Cup Playoff points system.

The Tour announced earlier today that, instead of 2,500 points, the winner of a FedEx Cup Playoffs event will only receive...

... 2,000 points. Said the commissioner:
"Every year since the FedExCup was introduced in 2007, we have reviewed the points structure with the Player Advisory Council and four Player Directors who sit on the Policy Board. We believe this slight modification will add greater significance to players having an outstanding season leading into the Playoffs, while still allowing for the excitement of volatility and movement during the Playoffs, particularly as players vie to make the final 30 for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola."
(How nice of Finchem to mention the championship title sponsor, there. Ka-ching.)

The other changes include a proportional reduction in still-controversial playoff reset points system. This is designed to make three things happen:
  1. To maintain the "current scenarios" of all 30 players having a chance to win the FedEx Cup;

  2. To give the higher sees a "significantly greater chance" of winning; and...

  3. To guarantee that one of the top five seeds will win the FedEx Cup if they win any one of the four playoff events.
The Tour also eliminated a 54-hole secondary cut in a playoff tournament in the event that more than 78 players make the 36-hole cut.

The reduction of 500 points for a playoff victory, had this been applied during the PGA Tour's 2014 season, would have made no difference in the final result; Billy Horschel still would have won the FedEx Cup.

This is because...
  • Each regular season PGA Tour victory is worth only 500 FedEx Cup points.

  • Each World Golf Championship win is worth 550 points.

  • And a win in any of the four major championships, all of which still outweigh the FedEx Cup in prestige, cachet, Ryder Cup team consideration, and World Golf Hall of Fame qualification...

    ... is worth a measly 600 FedEx Cup points.
The Tour also has an "Additional Events" category in which a win is worth 300 points. (Yay.)

How did the 2014 major champions fare in 2014?
  • Masters champion Bubba Watson finished fifth in the standings, by virtue of his two victories and eight top-10s.

  • U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer tied for 16th place with two wins and four top-10s.

  • Rory McIlroy, who captured the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, then the WGC-Bridgestone, followed by the PGA Championship at Valhalla, finished 3rd in the standings with 12 top-10 finishes.

McIlroy was the consensus player of the year — by any objective or subjective measure. He led the money list, won the PGA Tour and the PGA of America's "Player of the Year" awards, won the European Tour's Order of Merit, the Byron Nelson Award, and the Vardon Trophy.

But because Chris Kirk and Billy Horschel got hot at "the right time" and won at least one FedEx Cup Playoffs event, their playoff victories are worth more than those of McIlroy, as well as those of Watson and Kaymer, each of whom notched their second major championship this year.

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