While winning the FedEx Cup on the PGA Tour isn't regarded quite the same as winning a major championship in your career, it's still a remarkable achievement. To not only get into the playoffs at the end of the regular but then continue playing at a high level in order to be crowned champion at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta speaks to a sustained level of greatness.
Of course, how the FedEx Cup champion is crowned has changed quite a bit over the past few years. In 2019, one year removed from Tiger Woods' epic win at the 2018 TOUR Championship -- a FedEx Cup, however, that was still won by Justin Rose with Tiger in second -- the playoff format changed. Not only did they reduce it to three playoff events from the previous four, but the TOUR Championship itself changed.
The change at East Lake, of course, came with the inclusion of starting strokes for the 30 players who qualified for the field. The leader in the FedEx Cup standings would start the tournament at 10-under with staggered scoring behind him ending with the No. 26-30 players in the standings beginning at even-par. The points were removed and it became a 72-hole tournament with the starting strokes to determine the FedEx Cup champion.
Just last year, we saw Rory McIlroy come from 4-under to start the tournament (and a triple-bogey on his first hole) to usurp Scottie Scheffler and win the TOUR Championship and, subsquently, the FedEx Cup. Who else has captured that honor in their careers and the history of the playoffs since they began in 2007? Let's take a look.
List of every FedEx Cup Champion in PGA Tour history
As mentioned, the FedEx Cup Playoffs took shape first in 2007 and have been played every year since. Tiger Woods, fittingly, won those playoffs the first year, but let's take a look at every champion and the year (or years) they won.
- 2007: Tiger Woods
- 2008: Vijay Singh
- 2009: Tiger Woods
- 2010: Jim Furyk
- 2011: Bill Haas
- 2012: Brandt Snedeker
- 2013: Henrik Stenson
- 2014: Billy Horschel
- 2015: Jordan Spieth
- 2016: Rory McIlroy
- 2017: Justin Thomas
- 2018: Justin Rose
- 2019: Rory McIlroy
- 2020: Dustin Johnson
- 2021: Patrick Cantlay
- 2022: Rory McIlroy
Entering the 2023 playoffs, only Tiger and Rory are multi-time FedEx Cup champions in their careers on the PGA Tour. And with the field at hand for the 2023 TOUR Championship, only Spieth and Cantlay have a chance to join that duo in their achievements.
One thing that has ballooned in recent years is the prize money, though. At the inception of the playoffs, the FedEx Cup prize money was actually not even given as a payout in cash but, rather, put into the winner's tax-deferred retirement accounts run by the PGA Tour. Now, that is no longer the case. And in 2023, the prize pool for the top of the standings is a whopping $75 million. Quite the big change.