2020 Tour Championship: FedEx Cup Leaderboard and New System Explained

The first tee shot of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Georgia is still a day away, but the tournament already has a leader.

For the second consecutive year, the PGA Tour season finale will feature a staggered scoring start system and will also determine the winner of the FedEx Cup.

The latter change was also introduced in 2019 to eliminate any possible confusion arising from the FedEx Cup and the Tour Championship could have different winners.

Since the FedEx Cup Playoffs made their debut in 2007, the winner of the FedEx Cup Playoffs differed from the winner of The Tour Championship on four occasions.

The staggered scoring start format means FedEx Cup leader Dustin Johnson will start the event at 10-under par, while second seed Jon Rahm will start at 8-under and third seed Justin Thomas will begin at 7-under.

Webb Simpson and Collin Morikawa, the fourth and fifth-ranked players in the FedEx Cup standings, meanwhile, will begin at 6-under and 5-under respectively.

Players seeded between six to 10 will begin at 4-under, while seeds 11–15 will begin at 3-under, all the way down to seeds 26–30, who will start at even par.

The 30 participants have been split in 15 pairs, with the two lowest-ranked players—Billy Horschel and Cameron Champ—teeing off at 12 p.m. ET on Friday, while Rahm and Johnson will be the final pair out on the course at 2:20 p.m. ET.

In other words, Rory McIlroy could finish at 16-under at East Lake Golf Club this weekend, but Johnson would win the tournament if he finished a 10-under because of the seven-shot advantage he holds over the Northern Irishman.

For example, last year McIlroy started five shots adrift of then-FedEx Cup leader Justin Thomas and finished at 18-under for the tournament—13-under for the four rounds plus the five-under from his starting position—to finish four shots ahead of Xander Schauffele, with Brooks Koepka and Thomas a shot further back.

Aside from the title, winning at East Lake comes with a major financial reward with the winner on Monday pocketing $15 million, while the runner-up will be taking home $5 million and the third-placed finisher earning $4 million.

The field is limited to the top-30 players in the FedEx Cup standings, down from the 125 players who qualified for The Northern Trust last month, the first of three FedEx Cup Playoffs events.

The field was subsequently whittled down to 70 for the BMW Championship last week, with the 30 top-ranked players qualifying to play at East Lake this weekend.

That means multiple major winners like Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth have all missed out.

Here's all you need to know ahead of the weekend.

Tour Championship leaderboard

  • -10—Dustin Johnson
  • -8—Jon Rahm
  • -7—Justin Thomas
  • -6—Webb Simpson
  • -5—Collin Morikawa
  • - 4—Daniel Berger, Harris English, Bryson DeChambeau, Sungjae Im, Hideki Matsuyama
  • -3—Brendon Todd, Rory McIlroy, Patrick Reed, Xander Schauffele, Sebastian Munoz
  • -2—Lanto Griffin, Scottie Scheffler, Joaquin Niemann, Tyrrell Hatton, Tony Finau
  • -1—Kevin Kisner, Abraham Ancer, Ryan Palmer, Kevin Na, Marc Leishman
  • Even par—Cameron Smith, Viktor Hovland, Mackenzie Hughes, Cameron Champ, Billy Horschel
Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson
Jon Rahm (L) of Spain and Dustin Johnson (R) of the United States fist bump after Jon Rahm of Spain made a 66-foot putt on their first sudden-death playoff hole to win during the final round of the BMW Championship on the North Course at Olympia Fields Country Club on August 30 in Olympia Fields, Illinois. Andy Lyons/Getty