ATLANTA – Justin Thomas struggled to keep up a six-shot lead in preparation for the ultimate spherical of the BMW Championship on Sunday, understanding that he ought to win with a so massive benefit. .
He defeated – however not earlier than feeling the strain of the assault that decreased to 2 the variety of strokes within the again – profitable for the primary time in 2019.
This victory earned him Main the FedEx Cup standings, meaning he needed to sleep on a two-shot benefit all week resulting in the Tour Championship.
The factors have been reset in several varieties over the previous 12 years. throughout the PGA Tour FedEx Cup playoff system that ends Thursday on the East Lake Golf Membership with the beginning of the Tour Championship.
This new system was designed to imitate the disparity of factors in keeping with the blows. scoring plan that can see Thomas begin the event on the high of the rating at 10 beneath par. Patrick Cantlay, second in factors, will go away at eight years previous. And the checklist goes as much as quantity 30 Jason Kokrak, who begins at par.
"You recognize, getting right into a Sunday, a two-shot lead is nothing," mentioned Brooks Koepka, who will begin in third place, three strokes behind Thomas "Everyone knows it, so what's the distinction between a two-stroke lead early within the week?" It appears very affordable to catch up, particularly if you wish to play effectively. "
The PGA Tour carried out "a million simulations," in keeping with curator Jay Monahan, to find out the disparity of factors between photographs, with the thought of simplifying issues for followers and gamers, whereas eliminating any confusion as to the true winner of this week.
It's only a completely different option to begin a event – which is admittedly greater than that.
"It's a contest that lasts all season," Monahan mentioned. "It's not a event, the FedEx Cup just isn’t a event."
The 72-hole occasion that Tiger Woods captured a 12 months in the past is over. There might be 72 holes at East Lake, but it surely's a continuation of the FedEx Cup playoffs that began two weeks in the past at Liberty Nationwide and continued final week in Medinah: the participant who obtained the rating the bottom in 4 days will get the very best variety of factors on this planet rankings, however no trophy.
FedEx Cup will get a really good trophy – and $ 15 million.
"I can all the time discover a option to spend one other $ 15 million," Koepka mentioned. "However I'm not attempting to make hundreds of thousands of dollars, it's the identical nerves."
Koepka could possibly be excused if he was sorry to not be on the high of the standings. He gained the PGA Championship. He completed second on the US Open and Masters and fourth at The Open, the place he gained the WGC-FedEx. St. Jude and he’s third?
That's the volatility – some would say defects – of the playoff system, which noticed Patrick Reed win the Northern Belief and rank fourth after the 50th rank, Thomas win the BMW and transfer on within the entrance row, and Cantlay leaping over Koepka, Reed and Rory McIlroy – regardless of his one-time reminiscence win – – in second place.
McIlroy has two wins and 13 top-10s this 12 months and but he’s behind Reed, who has just one win and solely 4 high 10.
"The 12 months of my victory in The FedEx Cup  was the worst standings I performed within the playoffs, mentioned McIlroy. "I used to be in 36th place. And I gained Boston and gained the Tour Championship. I gained. I’ve been # 1 for 2 occasions and I’ve not gained. It’s important to respect it for what it’s. "
In keeping with some critics, this is the reason FedEx has raised from 35 million to 60 million dollars the full quantity of its premiums for the complete season, together with $ 15 million ($ 10 million) and $ 5), final place brings in $ 395,000, and the checklist of ultimate factors pays as much as 150th ($ 60,000).
Since its inception in 2007, the FedEx Cup has undergone many adjustments, and this 12 months, for the primary time, the playoffs are comprised of three occasions, in comparison with 4 beforehand, and the brand new, quirky rating is completely different, though it's not the identical. it’s imagined to replicate what the FedEx Cup remaining all the time appeared like., with out the advantage of an everyday event.
Profitable the FedEx Cup just isn’t imagined to be on the The the identical sacred discipline as profitable a significant championship, and that will not have been a lot sense to win the championship of gamers or a world championship golf occasion.
It's only a approach for the PGA Tour to complete with its lengthy season.
"The FedEx Cup, it's completely different," Monahan mentioned. "It's a option to mix all the pieces to crown a season's champion."