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FedEx Cup Standings 2019: Latest Rankings Before TOUR Championship

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIAugust 22, 2019

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - AUGUST 21: Justin Thomas speaks to the media prior to the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on August 21, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Justin Thomas tops the FedEx Cup standings ahead of the start of the 2019 TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday.

There will be plenty of scrutiny on the final event of the 2019 PGA Tour season after changes to the format that have been designed to simplify matters.

In 2018, there was the confusing situation of Tiger Woods winning the tournament but Justin Rose claiming the FedEx Cup and taking home the $10 million prize money:

Joey Buttitta @Joey_Buttitta

Tiger Tiger Wood Yo! 🐅🏆 Tiger wins Tour Championship. Justin Rose takes home $10 million in FedEx Cup. #golf https://t.co/0HaAnnfGsm

The revamped tournament now means that the winner of the TOUR Championship will also clinch the FedEx Cup and collect €15 million:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

The @PlayoffFinale winner takes home a $15 million bonus. What would you do with that check? 🤔 https://t.co/tymYr9e0A6

The new format also means staggered starts for the 30 players involved and sees Thomas begin at 10-under par with a two-stroke lead from Patrick Cantlay.

Meanwhile, 2019 PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka is at seven-under, Patrick Reed is a shot further back and Rory McIlroy is at five-under.

The PGA Tour showed how the rest of the field is shaping up:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

The field is set. The #FedExCup will be decided at the @playofffinale. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/ZGXs5NYwI7

The starting strokes give Thomas the lead before a single shot has been hit, and the American has talked about how it will be "weird" to start with an advantage:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Leader in the #FedExCup standings @JustinThomas34 speaks with media ahead of @PlayoffFinale. https://t.co/VBZLzxw5nP

Thomas heads into the tournament fresh from victory at the 2019 BMW Championship, where he beat Cantlay by three shots to lift his 10th career Tour title.

Cantlay said he will not be thinking about the leaderboard until Sunday's fourth round at East Lake:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

No. 2 in the #FedExCup Patrick Cantlay speaks with media ahead of @PlayoffFinale. https://t.co/RWoCsYkTYN

Neither 2019 Masters champion Woods nor Open winner Shane Lowry have made the field, but world No.1 Koepka is in contention after a dominant season.

The American tends to reserve his best golf for the big events, but he will have his work cut out starting three shots behind leader Thomas despite his success this season.

The 29-year-old won the 2019 PGA Championship and finished second at the Masters and the U.S. Open, and he has played down Thomas' advantage.

"You know, coming into a Sunday, a two-shot lead is nothing,'' he said, Bob Harig at ESPN FC. "We all know that. So what's the difference between a two-shot lead starting the week? That seems very reasonable to make up, especially if you're going to play well.''

The new system should make for a fascinating weekend of action, and it means the player who cards the lowest score at East Lake Golf Club is not guaranteed victory.