Date: January 03, 2007
Author: Sportal

Aussies eye new prize

Sportal A new era in golf will commence with the Mercedes Benz Championships this Thursday with the launch of the season-long Fed Ex Cup points competition on the US PGA Tour for 2007. Adam Scott will be one of the first players to tee off in the Hawaii tournament and will follow Korean KJ Choi. Along with Scott, a total of 24 Australasian players will contest the US Tour this year, including 2006 event winners Stuart Appleby, Aaron Baddeley, Geoff Ogilvy, Rod Pampling and John Senden. Over the next 37 weeks, competitors will aim to become the first Fed Ex Cup Champion – the winner set to be distinguished as one who performs well throughout the 33-week PGA Tour regular season as well as one who excels through the pressure of the first-ever PGA Tour Playoffs for the Fed Ex Cup. The new points system will favour victories and high finishes with US Tour members set to earn points throughout the season, which ends on the third weekend in August with the Wyndham Championships. Then, once the season is finished, competitors will be seeded for the Playoffs based on their Fed Ex Cup points total before a points reset will take place. The Playoff events, which will feature a progressive cut, are The Barclays in New York (top 144 players), Deutsche Bank Championship near Boston (120), BMW Championship in Chicago (70) and the Tour Championship presented by Coca-Cola in Atlanta (30), where the Fed Ex Cup Champion will be crowned. The winner will receive a $10 million bonus, the largest single bonus payout in sports, from a total bonus pool of $35 million. The 30 players who advance to Atlanta automatically become exempt for the 2008 Fed Ex Cup. Once the Playoffs conclude in mid-September, the Tour schedule continues with the seven-tournament PGA Tour Fall Series, which will finalise the remaining 95 fully exempt players for 2008 for a total of 125.