The 2017 PGA Tour is over...well, almost over.
This weekend's The Northern Trust in Old Westbury, New York, will open the 11th annual FedEx Cup Playoffs. It will mark the first time that Glen Oaks Golf Club has hosted a PGA Tour event.
Hideki Matsuyama will tee off on Thursday atop the 125-player field with 2,869 points. His two regular-season victories and five straight top-15 finishes to end the slate leave him with a bit of breathing room ahead of Justin Thomas (three wins, 2,689 points) and Jordan Spieth (three wins, 2,671 points). But with point payouts quadrupling during the playoffs, Matsuyama will have to keep up his hot streak to secure his first FedEx Cup title.
Here's a look at how the top of the standings currently stack up:
FedEx Cup Standings
- Hideki Matsuyama, 2,869 points
- Justin Thomas, 2,689 points
- Jordan Spieth, 2,671 points
- Dustin Johnson, 2,466 points
- Rickie Fowler, 1,832 points
- Jon Rahm, 1,754 points
- Brooks Koepka, 1,736 points
- Daniel Berger, 1,623 points
- Kevin Kisner, 1,612 points
- Brian Harman, 1,557 points
- Charley Hoffman, 1,498 points
- Pat Perez, 1,461 points
- Adam Hadwin, 1,347 points
- Marc Leishman, 1,324 points
- Matt Kuchar, 1,260 points
Here's a breakdown of point distribution by event type and final position:
PGA Tour Season
PGA Tour Events: 500 points for first place, 300 points for second place, 190 points for third place, 135 points for fourth place.
World Golf Championship Events: 550 points for first place, 315 points for second place, 200 points for third place, 140 points for fourth place.
The Masters, The Players, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship: 600 points for first place, 330 points for second place, 210 points for third place, 150 points for fourth place.
Additional Event: 300 points for first place, 165 points for second place, 105 points for third place, 80 points for fourth place.
FedEx Cup Playoffs (each event)
- 2,000 points
- 1,200 points
- 760 points
- 540 points
- 440 points
- 400 points
- 360 points
- 340 points
- 320 points
- 300 points
- 280 points
- 260 points
- 240 points
- 228 points
- 224 points
- 220 points
Reseed (Prior to Tour Championship)
- 2,000 points
- 1,800 points
- 1,600 points
- 1,440 points
- 1,280 points
- 1,120 points
- 960 points
- 800 points
- 640 points
- 480 points
The FedEx Cup Playoffs mark the conclusion of the 2017 PGA Tour season. The 125 players who play on after the regular season qualify based on how many points they accumulate during the tour's 43 tournaments.
The Northern Trust is the first of four Playoffs events. The 100 players with most FedEx Cup points after this weekend will move onto the Dell Technologies Championship in Boston. The top 70 after that will advance to the BMW Championship in Lake Forest, Illinois.
The final event—the Tour Championship in Atlanta—will feature the 30 highest scorers left on the FedEx Cup leaderboard. The catch? They will be reseeded, and the points reset, to give anyone in the top five a chance to claim the FedEx Cup simply by winning the Tour Championship.
Here's a look at the prior winners by year:
Past FedEx Cup Champions
- 2016: Rory McIlory
- 2015: Jordan Spieth
- 2014: Billy Horschel
- 2013: Henrik Stenson
- 2012: Brandt Snedeker
- 2011: Bill Haas
- 2010: Jim Furyk
- 2009: Tiger Woods
- 2008: Vijay Singh
- 2007: Tiger Woods
Last year's FedEx Cup playoffs saw Rory McIlory come roaring back from a subpar PGA Tour to claim his first title in the season-ending run.
The four-time Major champion finished the regular season in 36th place after failing to claim a single tour victory among his six top 10s. He slipped to 38th after the first playoff event, courtesy of a 31st-place finish at The Barclays on the Bethpage Black Course in Farmingdale, New York.
But the sweet-swinging Northern Irishman found his groove after that.
At the Deutsche Bank Championship, he shot a 6-under 65 on the final day to clear a six-stroke deficit and claim his first tour victory of the year. A 42nd-place finish at the BMW Championship couldn't keep him out of the top-10 on the FedEx Cup leaderboard heading into the Tour Championship.
Nor could a three-stroke gap between McIlory and top spot on the leaderboard with three holes to play. The then-27-year-old clinched it all with a birdie putt from 14 feet on the fourth hole in sudden death to win the Tour Championship and overtake Dustin Johnson and take home the FedEx Cup and $10-million prize—along with a tidy $1.53 million for winning that week's tournament.
McIlroy might need another miracle to defend his FedEx Cup crown. He enters this weekend's Northern Trust in 44th place, 2,066 points back of Matsuyama. He'll have to battle through a recurring rib injury, along with spasms and numbness in his left arm that hampered him at the PGA Championship, before embarking on an extended (and much-needed) break.
"I'm OK to play these next four out of five weeks," McIlroy told ESPN.com's Michael Collins, "but then I do need a prolonged period off at some point in 2017 to be ready for 2018."
Cracking the top of the leaderboard will be a tough task for anyone given who's already sitting up there. Matsuyama will have to fend off Thomas, the latest PGA Championship winner; Spieth, the sport's pre-eminent young talent; and Johnson, the 2016 PGA Player of the Year.
McIlroy won't be the only big name looking to bounce back from a forgettable PGA Tour this year. Patrick Reed (38th), Jason Day (49th) and Phil Mickelson (51st) are among the notables with plenty of ground to make up on Matsuyama, whose career-long putting issues will be under the microscope for the next month.