In theory, the regular-season FedEx Cup points list, which concludes with this week’s Wyndham Championship, and the PGA Tour money list, which plays out through the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic in early November, should be relative mirror images, but as Brendan Steele is learning that’s not always the case.
Steele begins the Wyndham as the ultimate playoff “bubble boy” at 126th in FedEx Cup points, but he is 108th in earnings.
“I'm one of the guys who my money list number is a lot better than my FedEx Cup number,” Steele said today at Sedgefield Country Club. “That's always kind of aggravating. It's a little bit frustrating but it is what it is.”
The two lists largely mirror one another, like in the case of Rod Pampling who is 125th in points and 127th in earnings, but in certain cases the variation in points and cash, like with Steele, create variations. The most glaring of these variations may be Jhonattan Vegas, who is 124th in points and 100th in earnings.
A similar scenario unfolded last year when Tiger Woods missed the playoffs at 132nd on the points list and yet was 113th in earnings heading into the postseason.
Next season when the Tour transitions to a split-year calendar the top 125 in regular-season FedEx Cup points will become the primary avenue to Tour membership, but top 125 in earnings will be retained as a membership category.
According to Tour officials this would impact three to four players a year who, like Steele, find themselves outside the top 125 in points but inside the top 125 in cash. After the 2013 Wyndham Championship the top 125 in earnings will have status into all “open” events, but not exemptions into invitationals like The Players.