The “off-season” is over and time for those who finished outside the top 70 in the FedEx Cup regular season standings to head back to work.
The fall portion of the PGA Tour schedule has been reimagined as the FedEx Cup Fall, consisting of seven official Tour events. The top 70 have secured their cards for the 2024 season, which returns to a calendar-year schedule (January-August).
The top 125 after the RSM Classic, the last of the seven fall events, will retain their playing privileges for 2024 while those who fail to do so (and aren’t otherwise exempt) will be forced to return to PGA Tour Qualifying School in December, where five Tour cards will be up for grabs.
“We are launching the most meaningful updates to the PGA Tour season since 2007, the first year of the FedEx Cup,” said PGA Tour president Tyler Dennis.
Here are five things to know about the FedEx Cup Fall.
Napa, California, is the kick off for the fall portion of the schedule, where the only notable course change is the World Wide Technology Championship, which shifted from Mayakoba Golf Club near Cancun – which jumped to hosting a LIV Golf event – to Los Cabos in Mexico at the Tiger Woods-designed El Cardonal at Diamante. Also, the fall portion of the schedule lost its Houston event, which moved into the regular season in 2024, and the CJ Cup, which had been played in South Korea, Las Vegas and most recently South Carolina. CJ took over title sponsorship of the Dallas Tour stop. The WGC-HSBC Champions in China, which has not been contested since 2019, will not be played in 2023.
All seven FedEx Cup Fall events will be televised on Golf Channel, with ESPN+ providing exclusive Thursday-Friday streaming coverage for the four U.S. domestic events.
Silverado Resort and Spa (North Course)
Sanderson Farms Championship
The Country Club of Jackson
Shriners Children’s Open
Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club
World Wide Technology Championship
El Cardonal at Diamante
Los Cabos, Mexico
Butterfield Bermuda Championship
Port Royal Golf Course
Sea Island Golf Club (Seaside and Plantation Course)
St. Simons Island, Georgia
Status in Signature Events
One of the new wrinkles this year is that players ranked No. 51 and beyond will carry their FedEx Cup points from the regular season and first playoff off into the FedEx Cup Fall and continue to accumulate FedEx Cup points to finalize eligibility for the 2024 season.
Ten players, not previously eligible, with the most season-long FedEx Cup points through the FedEx Cup Fall will earn exemptions into the first two Signature events that follow the Sentry (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Genesis Invitational).
What else is at stake?
They are still playing for plenty of cash – $56.6 million in prize money will be awarded during the fall, which is nothing to sneeze at.
Winning still has its perks including a two-year PGA Tour exemption, 500 FedEx Cup points, entry to the season-opening Sentry Tournament of Champions and the Players Championship as well as eligibility into those major championships that have invited Tour winners in the past #MastersBound.
Will any of the big names play?
Much of the top Tour talent has been dreaming of a true off-season and the end of the wrap-around schedule means players in the top 70 don’t have to worry about falling behind in the standings if they don’t play in the fall and the top 50 have already locked up status in the signature events. They have limited motivation to play in the seven fall events but they are still eligible to do so and some of them may sign up for tournaments that they are fond of, or they might just get bored being home (too much time off?) and want to play – pro golfers are gonna golf!
The Fortinet Championship field has two-time defending champion and Fortinet ambassador Max Homa as well as his Ryder Cup teammate Justin Thomas signed up to knock off some rust after missing out on the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
The Zozo Championship in Japan, which is a limited field, no-cut event, should draw some big names. Golfweek has learned that Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele, who both have ties to Japan, are expected to play and it would be a shocker if native son Hideki Matsuyama skipped playing there.
“We are confident a number of top performers will continue to support events that have traditionally fit into their respective schedules,” said Dennis.
It all comes down to Sea Island
Sea Island Resort is the definition of tranquility, the type of place to kick your feet up and feel good about how good you have it to be there. But this year, jobs will be on the line and there will be some tense moments at the final of 54 FedEx Cup events staged over 15 months.
The RSM Classic just became a big deal to pros who need a good week or else could be heading down a rung in the world of professional golf. The difference between playing on the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour is substantial. That’s a story in and of itself but this should sum it up: 80 players earned at least $2 million this season on the PGA Tour while the leading money-winner on KFT banked just more than No. 150 in the big leagues. Finishing in the top 125 and retaining a Tour card for the 2024 season is going to lead to some pressure-packed moments on the Seaside Course. That should make for some good TV.