The first two events of the 2019 FedEx Cup Playoffs are in the books, and we have both a new No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings and a new favorite to win the Tour Championship later this week at East Lake. Justin Thomas, who took home the BMW Championship with a stunning 61-68 over the weekend at Medinah, is the new favorite to win his second FedEx Cup in the last three years.
With millions -- mega-millions, actually -- on the line and a stacked field of 30 golfers ready to take on East Lake later this week, let's take a look at the new odds as well as a quick refresh on the playoffs as a whole. Here's what's at stake, where we stand and who can potentially make a big move at the Tour Championship this week.
FedEx ponied up some extra dough for the ending to the PGA Tour's season, which sweetened the pot for everybody. But that's not the only benefit for players. They also don't have to play as much as they used to as one week of the playoffs has been sliced off. Here's a list of the changes with the strangest, most curious one at the end.
|2018 Playoffs||2019 Playoffs|
125 to 100 to 70 to 30*
125 to 70 to 30*
|Bonus money||$35 million||$60 million|
|Winner's purse||$10 million||$15 million|
|Northern Trust Winner||Bryson DeChambeau||Patrick Reed|
|BMW Championship Winner||Keegan Bradley||Justin Thomas|
|Tour Championship Winner||Tiger Woods||?|
* The field is cut after each event
The field of 30 at the Tour Championship starts with predetermined scores (leader of FedEx Cup at -10, second place at -8 and so on all the way down to the bottom five, who will start at even par). Nobody really knows how it will play out.
FedEx Cup standings top 10
Brooks Koepka fell out of the No. 1 slot following the BMW Championship, and he didn't even land at No. 2. That's because the most underrated golfer in the world, Patrick Cantlay, slid in there. Here's a look at your new top 10 in the FedEx Cup standings and what the leaderboard will look like before golfers tee of at East Lake on Thursday.
I did not envision Ancer being in the top 10 and Tiger Woods not even making the Tour Championship after the Masters in April. Alas, here we are. The remaining 20 golfers will be 3 under to even, seven shots or more behind Thomas as the Tour Championship begins.
Big names going home
Several big names won't be moving on to the Tour Championship following last week's BMW Championship. Only the top 30 of 70 are moving on. Here's some of the top names missing out on the festivities and big cash prize. I wouldn't feel that bad for them, though. They all took home over $150,000 in bonus money for finishing where they did.
- Tiger Woods (42nd)
- Jordan Spieth (44th)
- Phil Mickelson (47th)
- Jason Day (54th)
Handicapping the Tour Championship
This one is complicated because we're talking about a tournament that already has a leaderboard. J.T. sits at 10 under with 72 holes to go, while Patrick Cantlay is 8 under and Brooks Koepka sits at 7 under. Here's how the Westgate Superbook sorts things out going into the finale.
- Justin Thomas: 9/4
- Patrick Cantlay: 9/2
- Brooks Koepka: 9/2
- Rory McIlroy 8-1
- Patrick Reed: 16-1
- Jon Rahm: 16-1
- Xander Scahuffele: 25-1
- Webb Simpson: 25-1
- Dustin Johnson: 25-1
- Adam Scott: 40-1
- Hideki Matsuyama: 40-1
- Matt Kuchar: 40-1
- Tony Finau: 40-1
- Justin Rose: 40-1
- Rickie Fowler: 60-1
- Abraham Ancer: 80-1
- Paul Casey: 80-1
- Gary Woodland: 80-1
- Tommy Fleetwood: 100-1
It really is a fascinating event. Last year, DeChambeau sat in the Thomas spot, but he finished T19 at the Tour Championship and would not have won the FedEx Cup even with a 10-stroke bump. So while Thomas (or Cantlay or Koepka) seem like great picks right now, there's still a ton of golf to be played. And while we don't know how it will all go, I feel confident saying that Year 1 of this little playoff experiment is going to be fascinating, even with the math it takes to get there.