2018 Tour Championship: How We Got Here

By Ryan Watson

The 2018 Tour Championship returns to Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Course September 20-23 to decide the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs champion. The FedEx Cup Playoffs began in August with the Northern Trust, followed by the Dell Technologies Championship and the penultimate BMW Championship. After each tournament the field of players shrinks until only 30 golfers remain to compete at the Tour Championship.


Northern Trust

The Northern Trust began with the top-125 FedEx Cup points leaders coming to suburban New York City to compete at the Ridgewood Country Club.  Bryson DeChambeau, an eccentric golfer known for his unusual playing style, managed to convincingly win the tournament by 4 strokes. This jumped DeChambeau from 9th to 1st in the points standings. Few upsets occured at the tournament, and the high regular season points totals of Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stensen and Brandt Snedeker allowed each of those golfer to sit out of the first event comfortable in the knowledge that their point totals guaranteed them a spot in the next FedEx Cup Playoff event. 


Dell Technologies Championship

The Dell Technologies Championship featured a field of the top-100 points leaders following the Northern Trust. The tournament was played at the TPC Boston for the last time following the announcement that the event would be dropped next season as the FedEx Cup Playoffs goes from 4 to 3 events. DeChambeau would continue his hot streak with a second straight FedEx Cup Playoff victory, defeating Justin Rose by 2 strokes. The tournament was a tight affair as golfers looked to push into the top-70 in order to qualify for the BMW Championship. In all, 6 players would move into the top-70 after the end of the tournament.


The BMW Championship

The field of 70 then descended on suburban Philadelphia’s historic Aronimink Golf Club to compete for a spot in the Tour Championship. The tournament provided plenty of action both on and off the course, as a lengthy weather delay meant the tournament was forced to end a day later on Monday, September 10. Keegan Bradley and Justin Rose finished joint top with -20 to force a sudden-death playoff to decide the tournament winner. Bradley would defeat Rose on the first extra hole to jump from 52 all the way to 6 in the FedEx Cup rankings, assuring his unlikely spot in the Tour Championship. Arguably the biggest shock of the tournament came as Jordan Spieth’s T55 performance saw him fall out of the top 30 and out of the Tour Championship picture.


The Tour Championship

The Tour Championship features the top 30 points leaders competing for the FedEx Cup and title of Tour Champion. The FedEx Cup points reset for the event to make it more competitive between the smaller field while still rewarding the golfer’s performance throughout the playoffs and regular season. The standings feature Bryson DeChambeau in 1st place with 2,000 points, followed by Justin Rose with 1,800 and Tony Finau with 1,520. If any golfer ranked in the top-5 win in Atlanta they are guaranteed to be FedEx Cup champion, meaning Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas still have a great chance to snag the cup. 






About The Author

Ryan Watson is a freelance sportswriter and history professor. He has been an avid fan of golf since his father signed him up for golf camp as a young child. Ryan enjoys following the professional game and learning about new equipment and gadgets.


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