The PGA Tour revealed its points structure for the new FedEx Cup competition Wednesday, and the BellSouth Classic will play a part in the determination of a champion in 2007.
Every player that makes the cut at the BellSouth Classic, to be held May 14-20 at the TPC at Sugarloaf in Duluth, will earn points in a season-long competition that will decide playoff seeding.
"We are excited to be a part of the FedEx Cup and the positive impact it will have on the BellSouth Classic and the PGA Tour as a whole," said BellSouth tournament director Dave Kaplan. "We like how the competition will connect every tournament and generate more interest in our event and the overall season. It will be interesting to track our winner and other top finishers in the FedEx Cup."
The championship run is formatted much like NASCAR's Chase for the Nextel Cup and the winner will receive $10 million, the largest single bonus awarded in professional sports.
The annual FedEx Cup champion will be determined by points accumulated first through the regular season of 33 weeks and, following a points reset based those standings, a player's performance in four playoff tournaments. The playoff events, in order, will be the Barclays Classic in New York, Deutsche Bank Championship, BMW Championship and The Tour Championship presented by Coca-Cola in Atlanta.
"It's an exciting time for golf," Tiger Woods said. "It's certainly going to be more exciting for everyone, not just us as competitors who will be bucking heads against the best more often, but also for the fans."
Most events will offer 25,000 FedEx Cup points. The Masters, The Players, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship will offer 27,500 points. The three World Golf Championships events will award 26,250.
The point allocation in each tournament will put a premium on victories and high finishes. The top 70 players plus ties receive points.
A reset follows the regular season, with the top 144 players plus ties becoming eligible for the FedExCup playoffs. A certain number of players will be mathematically eliminated each week.
"Four big events at the end of the year, everybody has to play and there's a good reward at the end of it, as well," said Vijay Singh.
Each eligible player will be assigned a point total based on his regular-season finish. The leader will receive 100,000 points and second place 99,000. Then there are 500-point drops through No. 5, 250-point drops for spots 6 to 10 and so on down the line.
The qualifiers will compete in the first three playoff tournaments to determine the final 30 for The Tour Championship. Each playoff tournament will offer 50,000 points.
"As we worked through the scenarios, using comparisons to past seasons, this model provided the best possible combination of credibility, excitement and suspense," Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. "There is a significant advantage to doing well during the regular season and having a higher seeding.
"(But) the FedEx Cup ultimately has to be won through strong play during the playoffs."