The Tour Championship kicks off tomorrow at East Lake Golf Club pitting the top thirty players in the world against each other at Bobby Jones’s home course and the winner takes home $15 million. However, the format has changed from Tiger Woods’s remarkable win last year at the Tour Championship and Justin Rose winning the FedEx Cup. The new format promises one winner, one grand prize, and no more confusion.

First, the leaderboard is based on the FedEx Tour rankings after last Sunday’s BMW Championship at Medinah. Justin Thomas’ win ensured the No. 1 overall spot, meaning he will begin the Tour Championship with a two-shot lead over Patrick Cantlay, who secured the second spot in the standings thanks to his runner-up finish at Medinah.

“The points for strokes, as a player and I think even as a fan, the points were hard to figure out,” said Matt Kuchar Tuesday. “Players certainly had no idea. It was way too much math to do when you’re trying to figure out if somebody three groups away — and not even that close to you, but happens to get within a stroke and points vary — nobody could do the math. So you really had no idea where you stood or what the outcome was potentially going to be.”

Here is the leaderboard as play begins Thursday:

-10 — Justin Thomas

-8 — Patrick Cantlay

-7 — Brooks Koepka

-6 — Patrick Reed

-5 — Rory McIlroy

-4 — Jon Rahm, Matt Kuchar, Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson, Abraham Ancer

-3 — Gary Woodland, Tony Finau, Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama

-2 — Paul Casey, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, Rickie Fowler, Kevin Kisner

-1 — Marc Leishman, Tommy Fleetwood, Corey Conners, Sungjae Im, Chez Reavie

Even — Bryson DeChambeau, Louis Oosthuizen, Charles Howell III, Lucas Glover, Jason Kokrak

“This is very simple. I think it makes sense. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets tweaked a bit here or there, but I think the general concept is really good, and I think it will be easy for everybody to understand,” Kuchar explained. “I am sure guys will try to make it confusing when guys try to tell you, well, this guy would have won because he shot 280. He only hit it 280 times versus this guy really hit it 284 times. But because he started with an advantage — I’m sure there will be people who try to make it a bit confusing, but it shouldn’t be. It should just be let’s figure out — listen, Justin Thomas is 10 under, I’m 4 under, leave it at that and figure it out from there.”

The second most-notable change is year’s winner will receive $15 million, a $5 million increase from the previous top prize. The runner-up will earn $5 million, and every player at East Lake will make at least $395,000. Below are the payouts for each player finishing inside the top 10:

1st place – $15 million

2nd place – $5 million

3rd place – $4 million

4th place – $3 million

5th place – $2.5 million

6th place – $1.9 million

7th place – $1.3 million

8th place – $1.1 million

9th place – $950,000

10th place – $830,000

“I think Majors should reward 1,000 FedExCup points,” said Rory McIlroy when asked if he would make changes to the FedEx Cup scoring system. “I think that’s always been my view. I think 600 or 650 or whatever, it is isn’t quite enough for that level of achievement. But at the same time, it does — you know, if you won a major and miss 20 other cuts, is that a good year? I don’t know. Yeah, you’ve had one good week, but does that mean you’ve had a good year?

If you look back in 20 years’ time, historically it would say, yes, you would because your name’s on that trophy, but I know I wouldn’t be happy with that year. That’s not — I don’t practice as hard as I do and work on my game to play well one week out of 52. I try to play well every week.”

Justin Rose lifts the FedEx Cup trophy at East Lake Golf Club on Sunday, September 23, 2018. Photo by: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...

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