How Do PGA Standings Work?
Every year from January through August, golfers from around the world compete in the PGA Tour season. Tournaments are held every weekend, and anything can happen on a given week, from one player dominating to an unknown suddenly making a name for themselves. At the end of this months-long journey, a final set of standings is tallied, which determines who gets to tee it up in the playoffs. Keep reading to learn more about how the PGA standings are determined and their effect on golfers.
What Are the PGA Tour Standings?
The PGA Tour standings are a list that is kept throughout the season, showing which golfers have played the best amongst their peers. These standings are a good way for fans to keep track of who’s been golfing well and who are some of the names to watch for in the following weekend's event. The standings are based on a points system where golfers with the most points are ranked at the top.
How Points Are Earned on the PGA Tour
Points on the PGA Tour are awarded based on a player’s finish in an event and add to whatever total the golfer previously had. Wins provide a player the most points possible, with winners of any of the four majors taking home 600 points and winners of PGA Tour events taking 500 or 550 points, depending on the event. Here is a breakdown of how many points are awarded to first place in various tournaments:
- PGA Tour Events: 500 points
- World Golf Championship Events: 550 points
- Genesis Invitational: 550 points
- Arnold Palmer Invitational: 550 points
- Sentry Tournament of Champions: 550 points
- The Memorial Tournament: 550 points
- Majors: 600 points
- The Players Championship: 600 points
- Additional Events: 300 points
- FedEx Cup Playoffs: 2000 points
In a normal PGA event, second place is awarded 300 points, third place is awarded 190 points, and the rest scale down by a predetermined formula for players who made the cut. Due to this, wins are important, but it is possible for a golfer to remain high on the standings if they consistently finish in the top three or even the top five of many events. Consistency is valued heavily in the PGA standings, where golfers who play well every weekend will come out ahead of players who hit it big once or twice.
How PGA Rankings Affect the Playoffs
At the end of the regular season, the PGA will release a final version of the standings. The season usually ends in mid-August, at which point the top 125 players are invited to compete in the playoffs. The players who make it to the playoffs are the highest in PGA standings by the end of the season. There are three events that progressively cut down the field, with the end of the first event cutting to 70 players, then cutting to 30 for the last event.
Like in other sports, there is an advantage to finishing at the top of the rankings in golf. The number one ranked player starts the final event at ten-under par, the second-ranked player starts at eight-under, the third-ranked player starts at seven-under, and so on. The only players who do not start with any advantage are the players ranked 26th-30th, so finishing close to the top of the standings at the end of the regular season is crucial for players looking to win it all.
How does the points system work for the PGA Tour?
For every PGA Tour event, golfers are awarded points for how well they place in relation to their competitors. The winners of the four Majors are each awarded 600 points. Winners of PGA Tour events are awarded 500 points (or 550 points for certain events). As with prize money, players receive increasingly less points as they decrease in overall rankings.
How do PGA Tour priority rankings work?
PGA Tour priority rankings decide the order in which golfers qualify for open PGA tour events. Players who finished in the top 125 in the previous season’s Fedex Cup or through promotion from the previous Korn Ferry Tour are awarded a PGA Tour card that automatically qualifies them for any open PGA tour events.