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PGA Tour stars want Tour Championship format to change, not East Lake

PGA Tour stars want Tour Championship format to change, not East Lake

Xander Schauffele capped his PGA Tour Rookie of the Year season in 2017 with a win at the Tour Championship.

Over the last six years the 29-year-old has made the Tour’s season finale his personal ATM with consecutive finishes of 1-T7-2-T2-T5-4. It’s safe to say Schauffele, 29, knows a thing or two about the event and its esteemed host, East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, and he didn’t hold back his opinions while discussing both ahead of this week’s 2023 Tour Championship.

As the culmination of a season-long race for the FedEx Cup, the Tour Championship features a staggered start system that aims to reward players for their performance over the season. The top player in the FedEx Cup standings, world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, will start at 10 under, with Viktor Hovland in second at 8 under, Rory McIlroy in third at 7 under and so on. Schauffele will start 15th at 3 under.

“I can happily say I’ve been on both sides of it. I’ve never won the (FedEx Cup), but I’ve won this event and I was given a trophy and I’ve won it and was not. So I can’t really comment on that, just because I haven’t thought of a way to make it better,” said Schauffele of the staggered start, who also claimed he didn’t “even know how the tournament works” earlier in his pre-tournament press conference.

“I still believe that when I talk to some friends and people they still feel like a little confused on how it all happens,” he continued. “I think this is supposed to be like our most important event all year. It kind of comes down to this moment. And, like, for people to be like a little bit confused, it’s still not a finished product to me in that sense.”

Jon Rahm hasn’t been shy with his opinions on the Tour Championship, and while he admitted the format is easier to understand, he still believes some work needs to be done.

“I don’t think it’s the best we can come up with,” said the world No. 3. “I think I’ve expressed my dislike towards the fact that you can come in ranked No. 1 in the FedEx Cup. You can win every single tournament up until this one. You have a bad week, you finish 30th, and now you’ll forever be known as 30th in the FedEx Cup this season. I don’t think that’s very fair.”

The Spaniard liked the old format because if a player entered the week as No. 1 they rarely fell out of the top three.

“But when you’re in fifth place you are, what, 5 under, so you’re five shots from the lead,” he explained. “But…


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