Fairway Life

2019 FEDEX CUP PLAYOFFS PREVIEW

Aug 07, 2019

2019 fedex cup playoffs

The 2019 FedEx Cup Playoffs are set to begin at THE NORTHERN TRUST in New Jersey. To get you ready for golf's postseason run, we preview the new format, venues, storylines, and more.

Strap in and get ready for what should be an exciting finish to the 2018-19 PGA Tour season.

New Playoff Format

The FedEx Cup Playoffs are the culmination of a season-long points race. Golfers earn points for how they finish in events they participate in with the goal of being one of the top 125 players who earn a spot in the playoffs. Once they make it to the "2nd season", the goal is to be crowned FedEx Cup champion.

This season marked a change in the format. The PGA Tour introduced a "Regular Season Champion" title, adding bonus money to the mix. They also added a "starting strokes" incentive for those that make the Tour Championship, the last event of the playoffs.

The Wyndham Rewards Top 10 rewarded the top 10 regular season point totals through the Wyndham Championship. The top prize, which went to Brooks Koepka, was a $2 million bonus!

The "Starting Strokes" bonus for the Tour Championship rewards the top 10 point totals entering the final tournament of the playoffs. Number 1 in points starts the tournament at -10, second highest starts at -8, and so on. Players seeded 26-30 start at Even par.

Playoff Venues

The 2019 FedEx Cup Playoffs consist of 3 events, played at 3 different courses. The frst event, THE NORTHERN TRUST, is being played at Liberty National Club. The second leg of the playoffs moves west to Medinah Country Club, outside Chicago, IL, for the BMW Championship. From there, players head south to East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta for the TOUR Championship.

Here's a brief look at each course.

Liberty National Club

Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images

Liberty National is no stranger to hosting big events. Since opening in 2006, the course has hosted THE NORTHERN TRUST twice and the Presidents Cup in 2017.

The course was designed by Robert E. Cupp and World Golf Hall of Famer Tom Kite. Players will need to avoid being distracted by the stunning views of the New York City skyline while taking on this stern test. As you'd expect, shotmaking is a premium. The course is littered with tight fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and undulating greens.

Medinah Country Club

Medinah Country Club, a Dustin Johnson drive away from O'hare Airport in Chicago, is also no stranger to hosting major events. It's hosted a Ryder Cup (Miracle at Medinah anyone?), multiple PGA Championships, U.S. Opens, and other regular Tour stops.

This course is the longest of the 3 host courses of the 2019 FedEx Cup Playoffs, measuring a beefy 7657 yards.

Notable holes on the course are the 3 par-3's that are flanked by water, holes 2, 13, and 17. Also note the 16th, the long par-4 that Sergio Garcia hit his famous shot in 1999, leaping after it up the fairway.

East Lake Golf Club

Photo: Keyur Khamar/PGATour.com

East Lake Golf Club, the home course of legendary golfer, Bobby Jones, is the host of the TOUR Championship. The course was named the permanent host in 2005 and has hosted the tournament a total of 18 times.

The course has gone through several changes since it's inception at the turn of the 20th century, including redesigns by golf architect giants Donald Ross and Rees Jones.

The course isn't very long by modern standards, measuring 6,886 yards from the championship tees. The last 2 holes do provide for exciting finishes, though. Hole 17 is a short par-4 and Hole 18 is a reachable par-5, providing tantalizing scoring chances.

Interesting Storylines

brooks koepka

The big storylines heading into the playoffs revolve around Brooks Koepka. The reigning Player of the Year has won 3 times, including the PGA Championship in May, and won the regular season points championship. He hasn't run away with the FedEx Cup title though. He has a stable of thoroughbreds chasing him, including Rory McIlroy, U.S. Open winner Gary Woodland, and reigning FedEx Cup Champ Justin Rose.

Predictions

The smart money to win the FedEx Cup is on Koepka. He's been the dominant player recently and shines in big moments. That being said, our heart is elsewhere. We love to root for the chase pack, versus the lead dog. Rory and Xander are at the top of our "we-hope-they-win" list.

Let The Games Begin

We hope you all enjoy watching the playoffs unfold. It should be a wild ride.