The tweaked Tour Championship will have two different leader boards, but golf fans will only see one
In an effort to make the conclusion of the FedEx Cup Playoffs easier to follow, the PGA Tour announced last year the move to a simplified scoring system for the Tour Championship. Beginning in 2019, the 30 players who qualify for the event will begin the tournament based on their position in the FedEx Cup standings. But now the tour announced there will be another, more traditional leader board at the event. It just won't be seen by fans.
Yeah, it's as weird as it sounds, but it also makes sense. The AP's Doug Ferguson reported this wrinkle on Tuesday and it all has to do with the awarding of Official World Golf Ranking points. Because giving out points to a player who didn't actually card the lowest four-day score made even less sense.
According to Ferguson, "The Official World Golf Ranking board met last week at the Masters and approved a PGA Tour proposal that awards full ranking points based on where players would have finished without the staggered start."
Still confused? We don't blame you. Let's back up and use what happened at East Lake last year as an example.
Under the new system, Bryson DeChambeau, who entered that tournament at No. 1, would have been 10 under before hitting a single shot in Thursday's first round. Meanwhile, eventual winner Tiger Woods would have begun eight shots back at two under because he was only No. 20 (Players ranked No. 26-30 would have teed off at even par, 10 shots behind). Meanwhile, No. 2 Justin Rose would have began at eight under and thanks to going six under over four days, would have finished in first place with a 14 under total. So he would have won the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup, and not just the latter.
So under this new scenario, Woods wouldn't have won at East Lake. However, thanks to this even newer twist, he still would have received the same ranking points as if he had won. Got it now? Maybe? So much for making things simpler, huh?
Actually, what will make things easier to follow is the tour will only focus on the staggered leader board during the event. And that will be what fans see. If they want to figure out who is "really" winning that week, it sounds like they're going to have to do a little math.