From the courtroom to the course, every thing it’s essential know concerning the FedEx Cup playoffs

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A lot {of professional} males’s golf’s consideration was on a California courtroom on Tuesday, the place a federal judge ruled that it was OK for the PGA Tour to ban three gamers who left for the rival LIV Golf sequence from competing within the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Beginning on Thursday, eyes will return to the course, the place world No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler and others will begin their quest for the FedEx Cup within the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind, the primary leg of the playoffs.

“Going into the FedEx Cup Playoffs ranked No. 1, nothing’s actually going to alter for me,” Scheffler mentioned. “I am simply making an attempt to come back out right here, have a very good begin and put myself in place to win this match. Clearly the sphere is admittedly good, all the very best gamers on this planet are right here, and I am simply wanting ahead to the problem of this week.”

Nicely, not the entire greatest gamers on this planet are right here — and it is nonetheless unclear how lots of the greatest will nonetheless be acting on the PGA Tour after the playoffs.

Open Championship winner Cameron Smith, the No. 2-ranked participant on this planet, is the most recent prime golfer linked to Saudi Arabian-backed LIV Golf. The Telegraph of London reported on Tuesday that Smith had agreed to a deal price greater than $100 million to hitch the brand new circuit, and Smith didn’t do much to quash the report throughout a information convention.

Whereas Tuesday’s courtroom victory was huge for the PGA Tour, dropping a participant of Smith’s caliber, or worse, having him carry the FedEx Cup at East Lake in Atlanta in three weeks after which defecting to LIV Golf, could be troublesome to swallow.

This is what to look at within the FedEx Cup Playoffs:

The LIV guys aren’t right here

United States District Courtroom Choose Beth Labson Freeman’s ruling that the PGA Tour might ban Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford from the playoffs whereas they’re suspended is critical. It was a victory for the PGA Tour in what might be the primary of many battles between the dueling circuits.

Elliot Peters, the PGA Tour’s legal professional, argued throughout the listening to that having the LIV gamers within the subject, sporting LIV hats and shirts and speaking concerning the new circuit throughout information conferences, could be a “platform” for its rivals.

“It is a proven fact that the competitors is fierce,” Peters mentioned.

In a memo despatched to PGA Tour gamers, commissioner Jay Monahan wrote, “With [Tuesday’s] information, our gamers, followers and companions can now concentrate on what actually issues over the following three weeks: the very best gamers on this planet competing within the FedEx Cup Playoffs, capping off an extremely compelling season with the crowning of the FedEx Cup champion on the Tour Championship.”

With these three gamers out, the sphere for the FedEx St. Jude Championship is about at 121 gamers. Daniel Berger (again), Lanto Griffin (again), Tommy Fleetwood (private) and Nate Lashley (foot) have pulled out of the match and will not get replaced.

How the playoffs work

The highest 125 gamers within the FedEx Cup factors standings certified for the primary playoff occasion, this week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship. The sphere will likely be trimmed to the highest 65 and ties after 36 holes. The highest 70 on the factors record after the ultimate spherical at TPC Southwind will advance to the second leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, which will likely be performed subsequent week on the BMW Championship at Wilmington Nation Membership in Delaware.

Gamers are competing for basically 4 instances as many factors as they did throughout official PGA Tour regular-season occasions (gamers obtained 600 factors for successful The Gamers and the 4 majors and 550 for invitationals and WGC occasions). So the participant who wins the FedEx St. Jude Championship will earn 2,000 factors, which gives a chance for gamers far again within the standings to advance.

The BMW Championship is a no-cut occasion, and the highest 30 within the factors standings after that match will advance to the no-cut Tour Championship, which is scheduled for Aug. 25-28 at East Lake Golf Membership in Atlanta.

How vital is a participant’s place within the factors standings?

It might imply every thing in a participant’s quest for the FedEx Cup and the $18 million bonus that comes with successful it. For the fourth straight season, the Tour Championship will make the most of a staggered, strokes-based scoring system. The participant who’s atop the factors standings will start the Tour Championship at 10 below, earlier than he even hits a tee shot. The participant who’s in second begins at 8 below, third at 7 below, fourth at 6 below and fifth at 5 below.

Gamers who’re sixth to tenth within the standings will begin at 4 below, eleventh to fifteenth at 3 below and sixteenth to twentieth at 2 below. These at twenty first to twenty fifth will begin at 1 below and twenty sixth to thirtieth at even par.

Within the first season of the “beginning strokes” format in 2019, Rory McIlroy was in a position to rally from a 5-stroke deficit at the beginning to win the FedEx Cup. However Dustin Johnson and Patrick Cantlay have been winners the following two seasons after beginning the Tour Championship because the factors leaders.

What concerning the Presidents Cup?

One of many backstories of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, at the least the largest non-LIV Golf one, would be the Presidents Cup, which is scheduled for Sept. 20-25 at Quail Hole Membership in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The highest six gamers within the Presidents Cup factors standings after the BMW Championship will robotically qualify for the U.S. staff. Scheffler, Cantlay, Sam Burns, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas and Tony Finau are at present within the prime six.

U.S. staff captain Davis Love III will make six captain’s picks after the Tour Championship.

Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, Max Homa, Will Zalatoris, Billy Horschel and rookie Cameron Young spherical out the highest 12 and are inside putting distance of cracking the highest six with good showings within the playoffs.

Kevin Kisner, probably the greatest match-play performers on this planet, Tom Hoge, J.T. Poston, Cameron Tringale and Russell Henley may additionally be thought-about.

Worldwide Workforce captain Trevor Immelman‘s job is a bit more troublesome. His staff will include worldwide gamers from international locations outdoors of Europe, and two of the very best gamers who match that standards — South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen and Mexico’s Abraham Ancer — defected to LIV Golf.

The highest eight gamers within the Presidents Cup standings will make the Worldwide Workforce, and that record at present consists of Cameron Smith, Hideki Matsuyama, Sungjae Im, Joaquin Niemann, Joohyung Kim, Corey Conners, Mito Pereira and Adam Scott.

Immelman has 4 captain’s picks, and K.H. Lee, Erik van Rooyen, Ryan Fox, Lucas Herbert, Adam Hadwin, Sebastián Muñoz and Marc Leishman could be into consideration.

The U.S. staff has received eight straight and 9 of the previous 10 Presidents Cups (the groups tied in 2003). The Worldwide staff’s lone victory in 13 matches got here in Melbourne, Australia, in 1998. Underneath captain Tiger Woods, the U.S. staff received 16-14 within the final Presidents Cup in Australia in 2019.

Will Scheffler maintain on to No. 1?

Scheffler has been on the prime of the FedEx Cup factors standings and ranked No. 1 within the Official World Golf Rating since his epic heater within the spring, when he received 4 instances in six begins, culminating together with his first main championship victory on the Masters.

Scheffler hasn’t received since, however he did end second on the Charles Schwab Problem and tied for second on the U.S. Open. He heads into the playoffs with a 1,221-point lead over Smith, who might be his largest challenger for PGA Tour Participant of the 12 months.

Scheffler is actually the favourite heading into the playoffs. He already has earned a single-season report $13.2 million in prize cash and picked up a $4 million bonus for ending first within the Comcast Enterprise Tour High 10 and $1 million for successful the Aon Threat Reward Problem.

“You realize, it seems like I’ve been main for some time,” Scheffler mentioned. “I’ve had a giant lead and I am up by perhaps 1,200 factors or one thing like that, and I feel now a win for a few of these guys would assist them cross me if I did not play so good this week. However I nonetheless have a reasonably sturdy lead even with the factors being magnified now within the playoffs, so if I proceed to play good golf I ought to have a lead going into East Lake, which is certainly a very good place to be in.”

Can Finau maintain successful?

In an odd kind of approach, Finau is the defending champion of the FedEx St. Jude Championship, regardless that he has by no means performed within the occasion. Final season, Finau received the primary leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs at The Northern Belief at Liberty Nationwide in Jersey Metropolis, New Jersey, and that historical past follows him to TPC Southwind.

The Northern Belief ended Finau’s greater than five-year drought with no victory, and it propelled him to No. 1 within the FedEx Cup factors standings for the primary time in his profession. He ended up tied for eleventh after the 2021 Tour Championship.

He enters this 12 months’s playoffs in seventh place, the best place of his profession, and he’s coming off back-to-back victories, on the 3M Open and Rocket Mortgage Traditional.

“I like being within the prime 10 going into the FedEx Cup,” Finau mentioned. “It is a spot that I’ve by no means been in. Actually, you in all probability need to be Scottie Scheffler proper now. You’re controlling the entire FedEx Cup. If he wins a playoff occasion, he’ll be in charge of the FedEx Cup, he’ll have one hand on it, type of comparatively talking. That might in all probability be the perfect place, however the way in which that the staggering rating is about up now, I feel if you happen to’re within the prime 5, the highest 10, you are going to have an excellent likelihood to win the FedEx Cup.”

Above the road

A lot of the PGA Tour’s largest names are in snug positions to advance all the way in which to the Tour Championship. However a handful of acquainted gamers have work to do at TPC Southwind this week to maneuver on to the BMW Championship.

Matt Kuchar (No. 54), Harold Varner III (No. 58) and Marc Leishman (No. 62) are simply above the reduce for the highest 70, whereas Gary Woodland (No. 73), Adam Scott (No. 77), Joel Dahmen (No. 80), Justin Rose (No. 94), Jason Day (No. 113) and Rickie Fowler (No. 125) should play effectively to maneuver up. Talking of Fowler, he has Cobra rep Ben Schomin on his bag this week and is not working with caddie Joe Skovron.

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