Rahm, Fitzpatrick critique FedEx Cup Playoffs format
As the PGA TOUR heads into the second week of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, not everyone is on board with the format.
"I have made my position clear on that in the past. I don't think it's the best system," Jon Rahm told reporters on Tuesday, according to Golfweek's Adam Woodard. "You don't get to the Super Bowl, and the team with the better record starts with a two-touchdown advantage. I think it's absolutely ludicrous, but it's the best choice we have right now."
Rahm was referring to the TOUR Championship starting-strokes format, where players start the playoff finale on an uneven playing field. The player who enters the tournament ranked No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings starts the tournament at 10-under, No. 2 starts at 8-under, and it continues to stagger down the standings, with only the players ranked 26-30 starting at even par.
Rahm, the former world No. 1, isn't the only player not sold on the TOUR's current format. U.S. Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick also shared his critique of the playoff format with reporters on Tuesday, according to Woodard.
"I'm a little bit uneasy with that," Fitzpatrick said on the progressive cut throughout the playoffs. "I think like if you've played well all year, you deserve to be, you know, kind of at the top or where you deserve to be. I think the playoffs can kind of throw that out a little bit, which is a little odd to me."
The FedEx Cup Playoffs feature three tournaments, starting with the FedEx St. Jude Championship, then the BMW Championship, and finally, the TOUR Championship. After each tournament, the FedEx Cup standings update - this year, the eligibility standings are being used - and a progressive cut determines which players move on to the next round.
The first tournament - which was played last week in Memphis - has the top 125 players qualify, this week's BMW Championship cut that down to the top 70, and by the end of the week, only the top 30 will be invited to the TOUR Championship at East Lake.
In regular-season official TOUR events, the winner is awarded 500 FedEx Cup points, majors and The Players Championship winners are awarded 600, elevated status events award 550, and any other additional events are awarded 300. The first two rounds of the playoffs, however, award each winner 2,000 points.
As a result, Will Zalatoris, who grabbed just his first career TOUR win with his playoff victory on Sunday, moved into No. 1 on the FedEx Cup eligibility points list. Zalatoris moved ahead of Scottie Scheffler, who has four wins on TOUR this season, including the Masters, a World Golf Championship, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Behind Scheffler is Cameron Smith, who has three wins on TOUR this season: the Sentry Tournament of Champions, The Players Championship, and The Open.
"They are some of the best events in the world, and they are behind Will now," Fitzpatrick said of Scheffler's and Smith's wins this season. "Not taking it away from Will, but I think it's a bit too much. In my opinion, those two should be kind of running away with it, and it's kind of a two-horse race, and now there's more people in the mix, which I get that's the whole point, the playoffs, it's exciting.
"But as a player, when you've worked hard all season to then not be rewarded for the whole season performance, yeah, it is a tough one."
The second round of the FedEx Cup Playoffs begins on Thursday with the first round of the BMW Championship at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware.