December 10, 2023

FedEx Cup Fall 2023: Inside the PGA's Revolutionary New Structure

Just last year, Saudi-backed LIV Golf took the golf world by a storm and brought turmoil to the PGA Tour. The new league was able to lure away some of golf’s biggest stars, shaking up the golf landscape as we know it. As the new league grew in popularity and impact, the PGA was forced to make major structural changes to keep up. The FedEx Cup 2023 Playoffs raised its top prize to $18M, the Player’s Impact Program fund more than doubled, and the top tournaments gained bigger purses. The PGA even partnered with TMRW Sports to create the TGL indoor golf competition. Now, as both leagues learn to coexist, it’s time to take a look at the changes the PGA Tour has made in its Fedex Cup 2023 fall season. 

fedex cup 2023

Breaking Down Fedex Cup Fall 

As we hit December and the fall season officially comes to an end, many fans are wondering why this year looked so different. The PGA Tour has enhanced its fall season, referring to it as the “FedEx Cup Fall” in an effort to generate buzz surrounding golf’s historically sleepy stretch. For the first time in a decade, the PGA Tour fall season does not signal the start of the regular season. In previous years, the tour has followed a “wrap around” model for its regular season. This means the season would stretch two calendar years, with the beginning of the season starting in the fall and ending the following year at the FedEx Cup playoffs.

This year, the top 50 players who reached the BMW Championship at the end of the year are exempt into new “signature events.” These are a series of designated events with limited fields, no cuts, and $20M prize money payouts set to debut in 2024. With the tour’s new fall system, the FedEx Cup Fall will stand as its own campaign. Those who do not finish in the top 70 in FedEx Cup points, such as Justin Thomas, Adam Scott and Shane Lowry, will retain their points from the regular season. This gives them a chance to qualify for the following year's signature events, play their way into the top 125, and earn full status for next season.

The FedEx Cup Fall has seven events including the Fortinet Championship and the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. These seven tournaments will allow players to contend for over $56 million in prize money and the chance to lock in their status for 2024. The inclusion of these tournaments will impact players the most: tour pros who finish outside the top 70 on the FedEx Cup points list will use these events to ensure their spot inside the top 125 by fall's end and maintain PGA Tour cards for 2024. In addition, pros who finish the fall between 61st and 70th in points earn spots into the first two "signature" events of the 2024 tour season.

fedex cup 2023

Showcasing New Talent

The PGA Tour has long been dominated by the big name players like Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy. This coming fall season, neither will make an appearance. The FedEx Cup Fall took a different route, instead leaning into showcasing new players beyond the household names we already know and love. The fall season allowed for the emergence of new stars, the resurgence of past favorites, and new names battling it out for their tour cards. Golf fans witnessed the ascension of Ludvig Aberg, who turned pro in June, as he secured his Tour card due to incredible performances in both the Sanderson Farms Championship and the Shriners Children’s Open. Big names like Collin Morikawa also capitalized on the new campaign, ending his 27-month winless drought with a victory at Japan’s Zozo Championship. 

Giving Fans a Closer Look

Players aren't the only ones benefitting from the new format- the league itself is capitalizing on it as well. As professional sports leagues are always looking to capture the attention of their audience with new products and insights into their league, the PGA is no exception. With the fall often considered the down time of the PGA, the league gave its fans an inside look into the lives of four players as they attempted to move up the ranks in the FedEx Cup standings throughout this fall season. PGA Tour Originals debuted its new docuseries THE CUT, offering fans the chance to see the PGA Tour up close and personal, with players fighting their way to survive in the new format.

As the golfing landscape continues to evolve, the PGA Tour's adaptability shines through, proving that change can bring excitement and rejuvenation. The introduction of the "FedEx Cup Fall" marks a strategic shift, turning the historically quiet autumn season into a dynamic spectacle of its own. The 2023 fall season stands as a testament to the league's commitment to staying ahead of the curve, ensuring that the spirit of competition and the pursuit of excellence remain at the forefront of professional golf.

Sources:

  1. https://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/35762063/pga-tour-revamps-format-designated-events-no-cuts
  2. https://www.golfdigest.com/story/pga-tour-schedule-2023-fall
  3. https://golf.com/news/8-thoughts-pga-tours-fall-schedule/
  4. https://www.cbssports.com/golf/news/what-is-pga-tour-fedex-cup-fall-schedule-of-events-whats-at-stake-for-golfers-in-2024-season/
  5. https://www.pgatour.com/article/news/needtoknow/2023/10/25/the-five-biggest-stories-of-the-fedexcup-fall-eric-cole-ludvig-aberg

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