ATLANTA — The $18 million bonus will be won by the winner of this week’s season-ending Tour Championship. It starts Thursday at East Lake Golf Club.
The FedEx Cup Playoffs points standings are a benchmark for which the top 29 players will compete to win the top prize. Will ZalatorisThird in the standings was… On Tuesday, I had to withdrawA back injury.
The biggest news of the week could be Wednesdays address by Jay Monahan, PGA Tour commissioner. Details have begun to leak from a Players-only meetingIt was organized by Tiger WoodsAnd Rory McIlroyLast week, the BMW Championship was held in Wilmington, Delaware.
A proposal was presented to the 22 participants at the meeting that would see 15 events converted to smaller tournaments and larger purses to entice top PGA Tour players to stay with the tour. More than twenty-six PGA Tour members have departed to join the LIV Golf series, which is being financed from Saudi Arabias sovereign wealth. It includes former major champions. Brooks Koepka, Bryson deChambeau, Dustin JohnsonAnd Patrick Reed.
Monahan has been presented with the proposal by the players. ESPN spoke with a player familiar with the discussions, saying that the plan was still in its infancy. He wasnt sure how fast the tour would implement the changes if they move forward.
ESPN was informed Tuesday by a source that Monahan will likely announce significant changes at the East Lake news conference.
Change is difficult for an organization with such a long history like the PGA Tour. I think its slow to make changes in general. So if youre making potentially huge changes, they wont happen necessarily overnight, said the FedEx Cup champion. Patrick CantlayTuesday.
Cantlay declined talk about the Delaware discussion last week. He did however say he would support any changes to strengthen the PGA Tour in its ongoing battle against LIV Golf.
Cantlay stated that he believes that anything that is better for viewers, and trying to get as many viewers as possible to get them to the game of golf and to get them excited about the sport, would be a good thing.
Cantlays FedEx Cup defense
Cantlay, who He successfully defended his BMW Championship titleLast week, is trying for the first time to win the FedEx Cup in consecutive seasons. Not even Tiger Woods did it.
Cantlay stated, Im excited, returning to a course I like and obviously have had some recent success on. Its nice that I can win this tournament, being at the top of the staggered starts, but this year should be a different challenge, considering Im 2 ahead as opposed to 2 ahead.
Cantlay, ranked third in the globe, called this season a grind. He had 11 top-10 finishes in 19 tour start, but he didnt get his first individual win until last week at Wilmington Country Club. He teamed with a good friend. Xander SchauffeleTo win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, in late April
Cantlay stated, Its probably the most golf that Ive played in a two month stretch the past couple months. I think its six out of eight or seven nine. [tournaments]This is a lot for me. This week is a great opportunity for me, as I am only two shots away from the event. Ill be content when the season is over, and I get a couple weeks off before the Presidents Cup.
Formats not loved by players
The Tour Championship is a PGA Tour event that uses a strokes-based scoring system. This is determined by a player’s position after the BMW Championship in the FedEx Cup points standings.
Scheffler, points leader, will start at 10-under-par on Thursday. Schauffele, Cantlay and Schauffele will be behind him. Sam Burns, will start at 8-under, 6-under, and 5 below, respectively. The tournament will be opened by the next five players at 4 under. Each five players will then regress one stroke until they reach No. 26-30 are even par.
Zalatoris, who won his first FedEx St. Jude Championship title, the first leg in the playoffs, was third overall in points. He would have been 7 under. Zalatoris was eliminated from last weeks BMW Championship third round with two herniated discs in the back.
Despite Cantlay’s success in the Tour Championships, he still doesn’t like the format. It is currently in its fourth year of existence.
Cantlay stated, Ive spoken before about it. Im not a supporter. I think there must be a better way, though I don’t know what it is.
Schauffele, who has scored scores in the 60s in 18 out of 20 East Lake career rounds, doesnt like the format. He was a rookie winner of the Tour Championship in 2017 and was second in 2019 and 2020.
Schauffele stated that if it had been the same as before, Scottie could have won the FedExCup months back. I think Scottie would enjoy it in the old systems, and it would not be difficult to argue he doesn’t merit it.
Schauffele stated, But from a playoff perspective and shaking it up, giving the viewers the what they need, at end of the day, we play golf and entertainers, so that we can create an entertaining space. I think everyone would like to see an alternative outcome that gives someone else a chance at winning. Although I dont know what it looks like, Im certain it could be improved.
What is the best way to make it better? U.S. Open champion Matt FitzpatrickIt was suggested that a match play format in the three playoffs events might be a better option. This could increase the chances of everyone in field winning.
Fitzpatrick stated, Golfs just so different from other sports. Thats why I believe looking at match play would be more helpful because you have a team that is in the playoffs in last or whatever place and you don’t think they’re going anywhere. But then they go all the way. You could also have a guy in 90th [place]You will reach the final.
Pass out the name tags
A large number of golfers making their Tour Championship debuts is one of the side effects of more than 20 players leaving the PGA Tour. Fitzpatrick is one of nine first-timers at East Lake. Sepp Straka, Scott Stallings, Cameron Young, Max Homa, Tom Hoge, K.H. Lee, J.T. PostonAnd Sahith Theegala.
Fitzpatrick stated, Yeah. I was speaking with someone last week about how the average age of players has dropped dramatically and that guys are winning younger. I think that just about says it all with like nine new-timers. Everyone is obviously much younger than those first-timers. Thats why I think golf is in a decent position.
Zalatoris would be the 10th first timer. Hell be 30th in the FedEx Cup standings. Hell also receive a $500,000 bonus. Schauffele was unhappy with the outcome for Zalatoris who placed sixth in all four majors. He lost to Justin ThomasIn a playoff at PGA Championship and tied second at U.S. Open.
Schauffele stated that I think unfortunately I saw Will not being able play this week and after a season where he had sort of just to go last place, its a bit harsh. I think it can be sorted out slightly better.
Pure East Lake
Since 1998, East Lake has hosted the Tour Championship. It was home to Bobby Jones, a golf legend. It boasts a thick Bermuda rough that is long and luscious due to the recent wet weather in Atlanta. The Georgia heat of August might give players a break. Forecasts predict temperatures between 80 and 86 degrees. There is a chance of thunderstorms Thursday and Friday.
Cantlay stated, I would say clearly this course is one the best-conditioned golf clubs we come to all year. It seems like its in perfect condition every year. It seems that it is much wetter than usual this year. The fairways are quite long, and I doubt they were cut due to their softness. If the weather doesnt get too wet, Im certain it will firm up every day.