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How FedExCup Playoffs is determined, starting with The Northern Trust

The PGA Tour has reached its season-ending playoff. We break down how it works, featuring The Northern Trust, the BMW Championship, and the TOUR Championship. We look at who is eligible and how players advance.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates with the FedExCup trophy after winning during the final round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on August 25, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The 2019-2020 PGA Tour season is fast approaching its close, and that means the FedExCup Playoffs are getting started. The Playoffs open this week with The Northern Trust tournament at TPC Boston.

The current season was altered by the Covid-19 pandemic, but the Tour has been running strong for two months now since restarting with the Charles Schwab Challenge. The Tour will be moving on to the 2020-2021 season in September, but before then, we get the three week race for the FedEx Cup.

The FedExCup features the top 125 golfers and pairs down across three tournaments to eventually crowning a points champion. This year, it starts with The Northern Trust August 20-23. When that tournament wraps, the top 70 golfers in FedExCup points will advance to the BMW Championship. That tournament takes place at Olympia Folds in a Chicago suburb and is August 27-30. Following that tournament, he top 30 golfers advance to the season-ending TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. The points leader at the close of the TOUR Championship takes home the top prize.

For the first two playoff events, points are tripled from the regular season. For example, a tournament win normally nets a player 500 points. In the first two playoff tournaments, a win will net a player 1,500 points.

Once they get down to the final 30, the TOUR Championship will feature a format called Starting Strokes. Rather than have all 30 players start with the same score (Even), players will be staggered by strokes based on their FedExCup points standing. The No. 1 player will begin the tournament at 10-under, No. 2 will start with 9-under, and so on through the top five. Nos. 6-10 will start at 4-under, Nos. 11-15 will start at 3-under, Nos. 16-20 at 2 under, Nos. 21-25 at 1 under, and Nos. 26-30 at even par. The player with the lowest total score at the TOUR Championship will be declared the FedExCup Champion.

Below is the current points leaderboard heading into The Northern Trust. Tiger Woods currently ranks 49th as he looks for his record third FedExCup championship. Rory McIlroy ranks 8th as he also looks for his third championship.

2020 FedExCup Leaderboard

Place Golfer Points
Place Golfer Points
1 Justin Thomas 2,458
2 Collin Morikawa 1,902
3 Webb Simpson 1,878
4 Bryson DeChambeau 1,657
5 Sungjae Im 1,633
6 Patrick Reed 1,426
7 Daniel Berger 1,347
8 Rory McIlroy 1,327
9 Brendon Todd 1,316
10 Jon Rahm 1,295
11 Xander Schauffele 1,258
12 Lanto Griffin 1,159
13 Abraham Ancer 1,099
14 Marc Leishman 1,086
15 Dustin Johnson 1,071
16 Sebastián Muñoz 1,045
17 Kevin Na 1,036
18 Hideki Matsuyama 1,030
19 Tyrrell Hatton 1,025
20 Cameron Champ 951
21 Adam Long 912
22 Kevin Streelman 909
23 Tony Finau 907
24 Scottie Scheffler 900
25 Billy Horschel 893
26 Joaquin Niemann 878
27 Harris English 867
28 Viktor Hovland 842
29 Ryan Palmer 838
30 Cameron Smith 807
31 Byeong Hun An 765
32 Patrick Cantlay 745
33 Gary Woodland 741
34 Matthew Wolff 739
35 Tyler Duncan 736
36 Adam Scott 726
37 Nick Taylor 720
38 Joel Dahmen 720
39 Tom Hoge 716
40 Kevin Kisner 710
41 Richy Werenski 703
42 Mark Hubbard 701
43 Brendan Steele 669
44 Adam Hadwin 654
45 Jason Day 653
46 Michael Thompson 647
47 Carlos Ortiz 630
48 Andrew Landry 626
49 Tiger Woods 604
50 Dylan Frittelli 604
51 Matthew Fitzpatrick 602
52 Mackenzie Hughes 597
53 Danny Lee 588
54 Jim Herman 581
55 Paul Casey 559
56 Corey Conners 535
57 Max Homa 526
58 Maverick McNealy 523
59 J.T. Poston 516
60 Doc Redman 514
61 Sung Kang 512
62 Talor Gooch 508
63 Matt Kuchar 502
64 Charles Howell III 492
65 Denny McCarthy 489
66 Bubba Watson 489
67 Phil Mickelson 488
68 Henrik Norlander 483
69 Brian Harman 480
70 Xinjun Zhang 474
71 Sepp Straka 466
72 Harry Higgs 465
73 Harold Varner III 457
74 Bud Cauley 443
75 Vaughn Taylor 442
76 Brian Stuard 438
77 Patrick Rodgers 431
78 Alex Noren 428
79 Pat Perez 421
80 Troy Merritt 419
81 Robby Shelton 417
82 Si Woo Kim 409
83 Chez Reavie 408
84 Nate Lashley 395
85 Ian Poulter 392
86 Matt Jones 388
87 Cameron Tringale 381
88 Rickie Fowler 381
89 Tommy Fleetwood 380
90 Jason Kokrak 376
91 Cameron Davis 374
92 Emiliano Grillo 373
93 Matthew NeSmith 372
94 Scott Harrington 370
95 Ryan Armour 366
96 Ryan Moore 360
97 Brooks Koepka 360
98 Brandt Snedeker 358
99 Louis Oosthuizen 354
100 Jordan Spieth 354
101 Russell Henley 352
102 Sam Ryder 349
103 Sam Burns 345
104 Zach Johnson 337
105 Keith Mitchell 328
106 Zac Blair 324
107 Scott Brown 323
108 Brian Gay 323
109 Justin Rose 313
110 Kyoung-Hoon Lee 312
111 Charley Hoffman 311
112 Keegan Bradley 309
113 Graeme McDowell 305
114 Adam Schenk 304
115 Lucas Glover 303
116 Luke List 297
117 Scott Stallings 296
118 Brice Garnett 294
119 Scott Piercy 291
120 Rory Sabbatini 291
121 Beau Hossler 286
122 Shane Lowry 283
123 Tom Lewis 281
124 Bo Hoag 281
125 Wyndham Clark 276
126 Fabián Gómez 274
127 Russell Knox 269
128 Charl Schwartzel 266
129 Rafa Cabrera Bello 258
130 Bronson Burgoon 255
131 Chase Seiffert 254
132 Nick Watney 253
133 Kyle Stanley 246
134 Matt Wallace 244
135 Sergio Garcia 241
136 Chesson Hadley 239
137 Peter Malnati 238
138 Rob Oppenheim 236
139 Jhonattan Vegas 235
140 Hank Lebioda 230
141 Joseph Bramlett 223
142 Josh Teater 217
143 Cameron Percy 208
144 Stewart Cink 207
145 Robert Streb 207
146 Danny Willett 202
147 Andrew Putnam 184
148 J.B. Holmes 183
149 Tim Wilkinson 183
150 Aaron Wise 175
151 Seamus Power 168
152 Brandon Hagy 167
153 D.J. Trahan 165
154 Ted Potter, Jr. 163
155 Austin Cook 162
156 Kristoffer Ventura 157
157 Sebastian Cappelen 156
158 Mark Anderson 154
159 Aaron Baddeley 153
160 David Hearn 152
161 Tyler McCumber 151
162 Ben Martin 142
163 Chris Baker 141
164 Jason Dufner 138
165 Branden Grace 136
166 Peter Uihlein 136
167 Hudson Swafford 135
168 Michael Gligic 132
169 Roger Sloan 131
170 Kramer Hickok 131
171 James Hahn 129
172 Patton Kizzire 129
173 Wes Roach 123
174 Chris Stroud 120
175 George McNeill 119
176 Zack Sucher 114
177 Dominic Bozzelli 112
178 C.T. Pan 112
179 Jimmy Walker 112
180 Kevin Tway 110
181 Jim Furyk 108
182 Martin Laird 106
183 Vincent Whaley 106
184 Doug Ghim 102
185 J.J. Spaun 102
186 Grayson Murray 100
187 Shawn Stefani 98
188 Kiradech Aphibarnrat 94
189 Matt Every 94
190 Wesley Bryan 94
191 Luke Donald 89
192 Rhein Gibson 87
193 Francesco Molinari 84
194 Chris Kirk 80
195 Ricky Barnes 77
196 Roberto Castro 77
197 Ryan Brehm 75
198 Kevin Chappell 75
199 Steve Stricker 73
200 Chad Campbell 73
201 Henrik Stenson 69
202 Boo Weekley 69
203 Jonathan Byrd 67
204 Alex Cejka 62
205 Seung-Yul Noh 62
206 Michael Gellerman 61
207 K.J. Choi 61
208 Rafael Campos 60
209 Bill Haas 59
210 Ben Taylor 54
211 Jamie Lovemark 53
212 Jerry Kelly 47
213 John Huh 46
214 Ben Crane 41
215 Arjun Atwal 32
216 Martin Trainer 31
217 Nelson Ledesma 27
218 John Merrick 27
219 Anirban Lahiri 27
220 Satoshi Kodaira 26
221 Sangmoon Bae 26
222 Morgan Hoffmann 24
223 Tommy Gainey 23
224 Johnson Wagner 20
225 Carl Pettersson 18
226 David Lingmerth 16
227 Rod Pampling 15
228 Bo Van Pelt 15
229 Robert Garrigus 12
230 Chris Couch 11
231 Davis Love III 10
232 Lucas Bjerregaard 10
233 John Senden 9
234 Ernie Els 9
235 Derek Ernst 8
236 Vince Covello 8
237 Graham DeLaet 8
238 Sean O'Hair 8
239 J.J. Henry 7
240 Tim Herron 6
241 Rich Beem 6
242 Daniel Chopra 5
243 Bernhard Langer 5
244 Vijay Singh 4
245 Greg Chalmers 4
246 Ted Purdy 3
247 William McGirt 3
248 Michael Kim 3
249 Brian Davis 3
250 Dicky Pride 3
T251 Brendon de Jonge 2
T251 Parker McLachlin 2
T253 Omar Uresti 2
T253 Carlos Franco 2