FedEx Cup Playoffs: Tour Championship format, how it works, bonus payouts

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates on the 18th green after winning during the final round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on August 28, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Here's the starting positions, format and bonus payout for the season-ending Tour Championship, the final leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

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All that talk you hear about trying to earn a spot in the Tour Championship? Here’s why it’s worth it.

Only 30 players qualified for this week’s season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake it Atlanta, which is the third and final leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. But for getting into the playoffs (top 70), past the FedEx St. Jude (top 50) and through the BMW Championship (top 30), players are handsomely rewarded.

All players in the Tour Championship get a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and invites for the 2024 Masters. (U.S. Open and Open Championship exemptions are likely, too, although those haven’t been announced yet.)

Oh, right, and the money. There’s a lot of that. A total purse of $75 million is up for grabs.

The winner brings home a whopping $18 million, but even the runner-up gets $6.5 million and third place $5 million. In fact, everyone inside the top 10 gets seven figures. As for last place? They get $500,000, which isn’t exactly pocket change, either.

Here’s the entire bonus payout for the FedEx Cup Playoffs and Tour Championship.

FedEx Cup Playoffs, Tour Championship bonus structure

1st — $18 million
2nd — $6.5 million
3rd — $5 million
4th — 4 million
5th — $3 million
6th — $2.5 million
7th — $2 million
8th — $1.5 million
9th — $1.25 million
10th — $1 million
11th — $950,000
12th — $900,000
13th — $850,000
14th — $800,000
15th — $760,000
16th — $720,000
17th — $700,000
18th — $680,000
19th — $660,000
20th — $640,000
21st — $620,000
22nd — $600,000
23rd — $580,000
24th — $565,000
25th — $550,000
26th — $540,000
27th — $530,000
28th — $520,000
29th — $510,000
30th — $500,000

As for how the FedEx Cup Playoffs actually work, that’s another story. It’s evolved over the years, and this year the top 70 in the FedEx Cup standings after the Wyndham Championship qualified for the playoffs and were guaranteed their Tour cards for the following season.

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The first of three playoff stages was the FedEx St. Jude, and the top 50 in the standings afterward advanced to last week’s BMW Championship. That was a big hurdle that came with an important incentive, too, as those who made it to the BMW field earned guaranteed spots into the Tour’s eight big-money Signature Events for 2024.

Finally, the top 30 after the BMW Championship head to Atlanta for this week’s Tour Championship. The Tour uses staggered starting positions (FedEx Cup points leader Scottie Scheffler is in first, so he has a head start at 10 under, and so on), but we’ve learned anything can happen.

Last year, Rory McIlroy came from nine shots back after he tripled bogeyed the first hole to top Scheffler and win the tournament (and massive first-place payout).

Here are the starting positions for everyone in the playoffs.

Tour Championship starting scores

10 under: Scottie Scheffler
Eight under: Viktor Hovland
Seven under: Rory McIlroy
Six under: Jon Rahm
Five under: Lucas Glover
Four under: Max Homa, Patrick Cantlay, Brian Harman, Wyndham Clark, Matt Fitzpatrick
Three under: Tommy Fleetwood, Russell Henley, Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele
Two under: Tom Kim, Sungjae Im, Tony Finau, Corey Conners, Si Woo Kim
One under: Taylor Moore, Nick Taylor, Adam Schenk, Collin Morikawa, Jason Day
Even: Sam Burns, Emiliano Grillo, Tyrrell Hatton, Jordan Spieth, Sepp Straka

Josh Berhow Editor

As’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at