Book your tee times now for your final rounds at Stonybrook from 2018. 

We will be closing for the Winter hiatus on Sunday, November 4th at the end of the day.

From all the staff at Stonybrook, we would like to thank you for a great 2018 Golf Season.

We look forward to seeing you again in the Spring.

Brooks Koepka is having the kind of year he only imagined in his dreams, and he’s not ready for it to end.

In June, he became the first player in 29 years to win back-to-back in the U.S. Open. In August, he played some his best golf amid ear-splitting cheers for Tiger Woods on the back nine at Bellerive to win the PGA Championship with a record score. In a span of 19 days in October, he was voted PGA Tour player of the year and won the CJ Cup in South Korea to reach No. 1 in the world.

The trick now is to stay there.

He makes his debut at No. 1 on Thursday in the HSBC Champions at Sheshan International against a top-heavy field that includes five of the six top players in the world and all the major champions from this year.

“Looking forward to teeing it as No. 1,” Koepka said. “I think that’s something every golfer kind of dreams of and every golfer wants to accomplish. I’m looking to build on that lead, grow it, and that way I can be No. 1 for a while. The goal isn’t just to get here. It’s to stay here.”

It doesn’t figure to be easy.

He replaced his good friend and neighbor, Dustin Johnson, atop the world ranking. Johnson has his own score to settle at this World Golf Championship after tying the wrong kind of record last year when he lost a six-shot lead in the final round. Justin Rose would up coming from eight shots behind to win.

Johnson and Rose each have a chance to return to No. 1 this week.

Also in the field is Rory McIlroy at No. 5 and Francesco Molinari at No. 6.

Molinari is the only player who can make a case for having the best year worldwide. Koepka has the edge with his two majors. Molinari counters with his first major at the British Open to go along with a victory at Wentworth in the European Tour flagship event, the Quicken Loans National on the PGA Tour, and if that wasn’t enough, the first European to go 5-0 in the Ryder Cup.

Koepka and Rose are in the same group in the opening two rounds, along with Tommy Fleetwood. Molinari is playing with Johnson and McIlroy in another feature group.

The only player missing from the top six is Justin Thomas, who played the last two weeks in Asia.

The HSBC Champions is a $10 million event that starts a big end to the European Tour season, where Molinari has a lead over Fleetwood in the Race to Dubai, with McIlroy trying desperately to make up ground.

It also can be a big start for the PGA Tour’s wraparound season, which began three weeks ago.

The HSBC Champions was the centerpiece of a remarkable turnaround last year for Rose, who had a stretch of 10 consecutive finishes in the top 10. That includes his unlikely victory at Sheshan International, along with victories in the Turkish Airlines Open and the Indonesia Masters.

It eventually led Rose to reaching No. 1 in the world after a runner-up finish at the BMW Championship outside Philadelphia, though the ranking lasted only two weeks before Johnson took it back.

Now it’s Koepka’s turn.

This is the first time since 1997 that four players have spent time at No. 1 in the world, and the first time since the world ranking began in 1986 that the top four in the world have all been No. 1 in the same year.

Pressure?

“I’ve only been world No. 1 for three days,” Koepka said Wednesday. “I haven’t found too many challenges in those days.”

Johnson won the HSBC Champions in 2013, and it looked as though he would add another World Golf Championships title a year ago when he had a six-shot lead. Most remarkable about that collapse was that Johnson still had a three-shot lead going to the back nine, didn’t miss a fairway and still lost.

But he got over it quickly, winning his next PGA Tour start at Kapalua by eight shots.

Then again, no one is more equipped at handling mishaps than Johnson, who has a history of having bad things happen at big events.

“A lot of practice,” he said with a smile. “Whether I’m playing at home or out here, you’re going to make mistakes. It just happens. I think it just all depends on how you handle them and if you let it bother you.”

Johnson is playing his only event in the fall. For Koepka, it’s his final event of a year that he hopes has one more trophy.

SOURCE:  USAToday

Weekly Golf Tip

How To Play From A Divot

Is there anything more frustrating than hitting a good drive only to find your ball has come to rest in a divot? You thought you were in prime position and now you are faced with a challenging, unpredictable lie.

Ball Will Fly Lower

The first thing Scott explains is that out of a divot the ball will fly much lower. With its position below the level of the ground, you will not be able to get the club on the back, or under, the ball as much as normal, thus it will fly lower. To counter this, you should select a club with more loft to ensure you get the ball in the air.

Extend The Divot

The best approach to dealing with a ball in a divot is to imagine extending that divot. With the ball resting down, you need to trap the ball and drive your club into the ground, perhaps even doubling the size of the existing divot.

Ball Back, Hands Forward

To help extend the divot and drive the ball out of the depressed lie, you should put the ball back in your stance and ensure your hands are ahead of the ball both at set-up and impact. This position will help you drive down into the ball.

Abrupt Finish

Because of the way you will set-up up to the shot and the driving action of your swing, you will not need a full follow-through. Therefore, practice finishing short, much like a punched shot. This will again help you drive the ball and keep your hands and weight ahead of the ball.

SOURCE:  Golfalot

Ask about our LESSON SPECIAL

• 5 lessons •  ONLY $200

ONE – ON – ONE LESSONS AVAILABLE

groups & clinics are also available

Spirit Golf Academy at Stonybrook Golf Club

I have been providing golf instruction for the past 29 years. In that time, I have worked with golfers of all ages and ability. Whether your goal is to finally break 80 or simply just get the golf ball off the ground, I know that I can help improve your game.

My true passion comes from teaching the game of golf and seeing my students thrive. 

Contact Stonybrook Golf Club’s Golf Professional Tony Sbarra at 609-466-2215 to schedule lessons.

Tony Sbarra

Golf Professional at Stonybrook Golf Club.

Former Mini-Tour Player Golf Professional and PGA Apprentice.

Try this tip on the course • Book a tee time today!

WOW!  FREE GOLF!

Did you know that being a loyal customer at Stonybrook Golf Club has it’s rewards?

For every $200 in greens fees you spend here at Stonybrook Golf Club, you will be rewarded with a

FREE 18 Hole Greens Fee  **cart fees – terms & conditions apply

The more you play the quicker you earn $$

Once you reach your Loyalty Rewards limit, your voucher will be emailed to you for redemption.

Program specifics may change without notice.

Tommy Fleetwood is one of the best iron players in golf, and earlier this week he shared a drill that could improve your ball-striking, too.

Fleetwood’s road to the top of the sport wasn’t smooth sailing. After turning professional in 2010 the 27 year-old steadily improved and finally cracked the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings in 2015. A year later, his game imploded, and his OWGR cratered to outside the top 180.

So, Fleetwood made some changes.

He reunited with his former swing coach and employed his best friend as his caddie, and slowly clawed his way back. Today, he ranks 11th in the Official World Golf Ranking, was among the heroes of the victorious 2018 European Ryder Cup team, and is cementing himself as one of the game’s best players.

Fleetwood’s comeback was built largely on the back of his ball-striking — he ranked 14th and 17th in Strokes Gained: Off The Tee and SG: Tee-to-Green on the PGA Tour last season. Speaking to Sky Sports during the British Masters this week, it was the “windmill” drills that eventually proved the difference.

You can hear him talking about it below…

The best thing about this drill is that it’s really simple. As Fleetwood demonstrates, you simply take your golf posture with your arms straight. Then, hit shots focusing on keeping your arms straight.

Tommy Fleetwood demonstrating the windmill drill

You only need to hit half-shots — no swings big enough that it will force your wrists to break. The goal of the drill is to stop your hands from working independently of your body rotation. Everything’s synched up, working together, and the face remains square as a result. It’s something Fleetwood does extremely well in his swing, and it’s an easy way to improve your game, too.

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NOW thru October 31st, 2018

Weekly Golf Tip

Golf Swing Instructions for Seniors​

Golf is a game that can be played by nearly all ages. While some seniors can maintain their swings throughout their playing careers, many find that as they age flexibility is reduced, making it difficult to continue swinging in the way in which they are accustomed. By learning to make the necessary adjustments to a swing to account for a loss in flexibility, a senior can begin to get the most out of his new swing and shoot as low as possible.

Position the ball farther forward in your golf swing than normal when hitting a ball off of the tee. Setting the ball forward allows you to strike at the start of the upswing, making it easier to get clean contact on the ball.

Cock your wrists back earlier in the swing than standard. For a basic swing, the wrists cock naturally near the top as the turn dictates. A less strenuous swing calls for the wrists to begin cocking when they are about one foot from the ball, as your arms may not go far enough back for natural cocking to occur.

Maintain the majority of your weight on your lead foot. Rather than shifting weight back then driving it forward as the club is swung down on the ball, keeping a slight majority of your weight on your front foot throughout the swing ensures that you stay in front of the ball at impact.

Turn back with the club while maintaining that forward weight, bringing the club as far back as you are comfortably able. While your range of swing may not be as large as that of a pro, the variations will allow you to get the club around for cleaner contact.

Swing down on the ball and allow the wrists to release at the moment of impact, going from their cocked position forward through the ball. The snapping action will add extra whip to the swing and added power.

SOURCE:  golfweek

Ask about our LESSON SPECIAL

• 5 lessons •  ONLY $200

ONE – ON – ONE LESSONS AVAILABLE

groups & clinics are also available

Spirit Golf Academy at Stonybrook Golf Club

I have been providing golf instruction for the past 29 years. In that time, I have worked with golfers of all ages and ability. Whether your goal is to finally break 80 or simply just get the golf ball off the ground, I know that I can help improve your game.

My true passion comes from teaching the game of golf and seeing my students thrive. 

Contact Stonybrook Golf Club’s Golf Professional Tony Sbarra at 609-466-2215 to schedule lessons.

Tony Sbarra

Golf Professional at Stonybrook Golf Club.

Former Mini-Tour Player Golf Professional and PGA Apprentice.

Try this tip on the course • Book a tee time today!

It’s Ryder Cup Time!

USA vs. EUROPE

This once every two year competition pairs up the best of the best from the USA and Europe.

Are your ready for an exciting weekend in golf?

Here are the first four matches…

Match 1 (2:10 a.m.):   Tony Finau and Brooks Koepka vs. Justin Rose and Jon Rahm
Match 2 (2:25 a.m.):   Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson vs. Rory McIlroy and Thorbjorn Olesen
Match 3 (2:40 a.m.):   Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas vs. Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton
Match 4 (2:55 a.m.):   Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed vs. Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood.

Share your favorite RYDER CUP memory

 

The comeback is complete: Tiger Woods is a winner once again.

Woods picked up his 80th career PGA Tour victory but first since 2013 on Sunday, shooting a one-over 71 to finish at 11 under and win the Tour Championship by two shots over Billy Horschel.

With the victory, Woods will finish second in the FedEx Cup standings behind world No. 1 Justin Rose, who birdied 18 to finish in a tie for fourth and win the $10 million Cup grand prize. Woods will receive $3 million for second place in the season-long points race.

The win puts an exclamation point on what has been a remarkable comeback from Woods, who had spinal fusion surgery last April and was arrested for DUI with five drugs in his system one month later. Roughly this time last year, Woods said at the Presidents Cup that he wasn’t sure if he’d ever compete on Tour again. Now he has picked up a win in the final event of the season and will move into the top 15 in the world rankings on Monday.

“I had a hard time not crying on the last hole,” Woods said after the round.

https://twitter.com/PGATOUR/status/1043983162336935936

“I just can’t believe I pulled this off,” he said while fighting back tears at the trophy ceremony. “It’s been tough. Not so easy the last couple years. I’ve worked my way back, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of everyone around me.”

Woods started the day with a three-shot lead over Rose and Rory McIlroy, the latter of whom fell out of contention while playing alongside Woods on Sunday. He birdied the first hole and pushed his lead to five on the front nine by finding fairways and greens and shooting a one-under 34 on the front nine.

After a birdie on 13, Woods had a five-shot lead with just five to play, but he would bogey 15 and 16, and his advantage shrunk to two. Woods got up-and-down for par on 17 to preserve the two-shot lead coming to the par-5 18th, and the win was virtually clinched when he smashed a drive right down the center at the finishing hole.

As he walked up the green after knocking his second into a greenside bunker, scores of fans followed right behind him in an iconic spectacle.

Woods then blasted out to six feet and two-putted to seal his first win in 1,876 days. He paused for a moment after sinking the final putt before raising his arms in triumph.

Below is a hole-by-hole recap of the round, including highlights and analysis.

HOLE 18, PAR 5 – PAR, +1 FOR DAY, -11 FOR TOURNAMENT

Woods is a winner again! He split the fairway with his drive and let out a big smile after that. He would knock his second into a greenside bunker, blasted out to six feet and two-putted for the win.

HOLE 17, PAR 4 – PAR, +1 FOR DAY, -11 FOR TOURNAMENT

Absolutely massive par save. Tiger missed left with a 3-wood again and hacked a wedge over the green. He was fortunate to find some trampled-down rough and played a nice chip to about four feet. Dead-center with the par effort and he’ll head to 18 needing a bogey or better for the win.

HOLE 16, PAR 4 – BOGEY, +1 FOR DAY, -11 FOR TOURNAMENT

Well, this is getting more interesting than Woods would like. He tugged a 3-wood into thick rough and opted to hack it out with a wedge and try to make par the hard way. His third was on line but landed long and was fortunate to spin back out of the thick stuff onto the fringe. His par effort wouldn’t go and it’s his second straight bogey, and now the lead is down to two with two to play.

HOLE 15, PAR 3 – BOGEY, E FOR DAY, -12 FOR TOURNAMENT

Really lucky not to find the water, as he missed short and right of the par 3. That could have been wet for the same price. He drew a good lie in the rough, however, and was able to play a bump-and-run to about nine feet. Couldn’t get the par putt to fall and the lead is down to three, as Billy Horschel has posted nine under.

HOLE 14, PAR 4 – PAR, -1 FOR DAY, -13 FOR TOURNAMENT

The 14th is the longest par 4 on the course at roughly 530 yards, so it’s absolutely imperative to hit the fairway if you’re going to make par. Woods did exactly that, peeling a cut that found the right side of the short grass. From there he hit a laser long iron to about 15 feet before the putt went begging by on the left side. Stress-free pars will suffice right now.

HOLE 13, PAR 4 – BIRDIE, -1 FOR DAY, -13 FOR TOURNAMENT

A textbook birdie: driver down the center, wedge to 13 feet and a putt right in the middle of the cup. The lead is now back up to five—Billy Horschel is in second at eight under—and this tournament is very much his to lose.

HOLE 12, PAR 4 – PAR, E FOR DAY, -12 FOR TOURNAMENT

Tiger found the fairway with a cut 3-wood and hit a nice wedge to about eight feet, but the birdie effort wasn’t his best. It was left to right and he didn’t give it enough pace, missing on the low side.

It’s a bit of a missed opportunity, but six more pars will mean win No. 80.

HOLE 11, PAR 3 – PAR, E FOR DAY, -12 FOR TOURNAMENT

Just what he needed after the first bogey of the day. A really solid mid-iron into the middle of the par 3 green, which left a speedy putt down the hill. The birdie putt was left the whole way and rolled out to about three feet, but he brushed that in without incident. The lead is back to five after a Rose bogey.

HOLE 10, PAR 4 – BOGEY, E FOR DAY, -12 FOR TOURNAMENT

First bogey of the day comes after a wayward right drive forced Tiger to punch out with his second. The punch out rolled out a bit too far into the first cut and he didn’t judge the distance well on his third from 77 yards, hitting it 25 feet past the hole. Two putts from there and it’s his first dropped shot, and the lead is trimmed to four.

HOLE 9, PAR 3 – PAR, -1 FOR DAY, -13 FOR TOURNAMENT

Tiger hit a long-iron to the middle of the green on this 235-yard par 3. He liked that one and picked up the tee early. A nice effort from 35 feet rolls out to tap-in range, and that’s now eight straight pars after the opening birdie. His lead, which was three at the beginning of the day, is now 5. Nine more holes to go…

HOLE 8, PAR 4 – PAR, -1 FOR DAY, -13 FOR TOURNAMENT

There’s water all along the left side of 8, so it’s no surprise that Tiger bailed out right into a fairway bunker. He was able to get his second onto the front portion of the green and two putted from abouot 50 feet to keep the round bogey-free. Onward…

HOLE 7, PAR 4 – PAR, -1 FOR DAY, -13 FOR TOURNAMENT

Tiger continues to find fairways—he’s hit five of the first six—and hit an approach right at the flag, but it rolled out to about 20 feet past the hole. Another birdie effort that looked on line but finished about a foot short for another stress-free par.

Through seven holes, he’s been solid as can be: hitting fairways and greens and avoiding bogeys. Perfect gameplan when you have a big lead like this. It’s almost like he’s done this before…

HOLE 6, PAR 5 – PAR, -1 FOR DAY, -13 FOR TOURNAMENT

Bit of a missed opportunity, especially after Tiger ripped one down the middle and had just 215 into the par 5. He pulled his second shot significantly, as he was aiming toward the center of the green but hit a smother hook long and a bit left of the flag. It nestled way down in rough and he basically chunked his third, leaving it on the fringe. He left his long birdie effort short and did well to hole a four-footer for par.

Pars aren’t going to hurt Tiger too much right now—his lead is still five—but he’d be the first to tell you that he’d expect himself to make birdie from where he was off the tee.

HOLE 5, PAR 4 – PAR, -1 FOR DAY, -13 FOR TOURNAMENT

Tiger spoke after yesterday’s round about how the rest of the field would have to come chase him, and that he could make it very difficult for them by keeping a clean card. He’s doing exactly that, finding yet another fairway and giving himself a good luck at birdie after hitting wedge to about 15 feet. The putt had a chance but missed just barely to the left, prompting a reaction of surprise. Another par with a par 5 coming up next.

HOLE 4, PAR 4 – PAR, -1 FOR DAY, -13 FOR TOURNAMENT

Important par save after he missed the fairway to the right, drawing a gnarly lie in the Bermuda rough. He tried to muscle an iron from 170ish to the green but it came out dead, finding a bunker short and right of the green. It was about a 30-yard bunker shot and he splashed out to about 10 feet, then made his par effort after McIlroy missed a par putt of similar length. Really good save.

His lead remains four over Justin Rose, but he now holds a five-shot advantage over McIlroy.

HOLE 3, PAR 4 – PAR, -1 FOR DAY, -13 FOR TOURNAMENT

Tiger went with iron off the tee to play for position and executed it perfectly, finding the center of the short grass. From about 125 he went with sand wedge, flying it right over a front pin to about 20 feet. The pin was tucked right over a bunker, and both Woods and McIlroy played conservatively past the pin. It left a huge left-to-right breaker for birdie—like, 10 feet of break—and it ran out of steam short of the hole. No issues with the par putt and it’s a one-under start after three holes.

HOLE 2, PAR 3 – PAR, -1 FOR DAY, -13 FOR TOURNAMENT

Iron to the center of the green on this 200-yard par 4, leaving about 40 feet for birdie. The putt was on line but finished a few rolls short, leaving a stress-free tap-in for par.

HOLE 1, PAR 4 – BIRDIE, -1 FOR DAY, -13 FOR TOURNAMENT

Ideal start. Tiger went with driver off the tee and picked up the tee really quickly as it was right down the center. His approach was right at the flag and finished just 10 feet from the hole. He walked in the birdie effort. Couple the birdie with McIlroy’s par and Tiger’s lead is now four.

Couldn’t have asked for a better start.

The next generation of the FedExCup Playoffs includes significant changes in 2019, but nothing is more important than this particular concept:

The season-ending TOUR Championship will be easier to follow.

Starting with next year’s event at East Lake, there will be only one leaderboard. No separate FedExCup points standings. No projections that fluctuate with each holed putt. No analytics to determine who might or might not have an advantage.

And on that Sunday afternoon, there will be one champion crowned. One winner standing on the 18th green, holding up one trophy – the FedExCup. Nothing will be shared. Everything will be definitive.

Winner takes it all.

“Win the TOUR Championship and you are the FedExCup champion. It’s that simple,” PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan said Tuesday when announcing the changes.

Credit a new scoring system called FedExCup Starting Strokes that was unveiled Tuesday and will be implemented at the 2019 TOUR Championship. A strokes-based bonus system related to the FedExCup standings, players will start the opening round with scores between 10 under to even par.

It will replace the system currently in use this week (and since 2009) in which FedExCup points are reset going into East Lake. Instead of two separate leaderboards – one for the tournament, the other for the FedExCup race – the 2019 TOUR Championship will have one leaderboard for a single, decisive winner.

The main benefits? Fans will immediately understand what’s going on, no matter if they’ve followed the TOUR all season or just tuning in for the final event. Meanwhile, players will know exactly where they stand at all times.

This change also eliminates the possibility that the TOUR Championship winner might not emerge as the FedExCup winner, which has happened three times in the first 11 years of the FedExCup Playoffs. Beginning in 2019, if any of the 30 players at East Lake wins the TOUR Championship, he is also guaranteed to win the FedExCup.

“I support it,” said Dustin Johnson, the FedExCup runner-up in 2016 who enters this week’s TOUR Championship ranked No. 4. “I think it definitely would make things a lot clearer. … It would definitely be a lot more fun to watch on the telecast.”

The Starting Strokes format was one of three key announcements made Tuesday during a news conference at East Lake with Monahan and Andy Pazder, Executive Vice President and Chief Tournament and Competitions Officer. Also announced:

• A doubling of the total FedExCup bonus pool money from the current $35 million to $70 million starting next season. The FedExCup winner’s share will have the largest increase, from $10 million to $15 million.

• Among that $70 million will be a $10 million regular season bonus pool, sponsored by Wyndham, tied to the final regular-season FedExCup standings. The new Wyndham Rewards Top 10 $10 million bonus will recognize the top 10 players who earn the most FedExCup points through the Wyndham Championship, the final event of the regular season. The leader will earn $2 million, followed by $1.5 million for the runner-up with the 10th-place finisher earning $500,000.

The bonus program will provide additional drama to the regular season finale and also place a greater premium on full-season performance, thus elevating the significance of each tournament on the schedule.

Add in previously announced changes to the PGA TOUR schedule – most notably the move of THE PLAYERS Championship to March, the PGA Championship to May, the reduction of FedExCup Playoffs events from four to three, and the earlier finish prior to Labor Day — and next season promises to be the most rewarding and intriguing that players and fans have experienced.

“It’s going to be different. It’s going to be interesting,” said reigning FedExCup champion Justin Thomas, currently No. 5 in the standings.

“We have no doubt it will create a compelling, dramatic conclusion for the TOUR’s ultimate prize,” Monahan said. “… We think this is a significant step forward for the PGA TOUR.”

It’s a “seismic shift,” said the Commissioner, adding that the TOUR first started the process in early 2015 after identifying ways to improve the FedExCup competition.

The changes were the end result after extensive research and feedback was received from the PGA TOUR members, media partners and the TOUR’s 5,000-member fan council — an “important sounding board,” Monahan said. Two things kept popping up – the need for a singular focus for the season-ending event, and an easy-to-understand scoring system.

The 16-member Player Advisory Council and four player-directors were then instrumental in helping the TOUR officials shape the end result, with a format that was collectively agreed on.

“We wanted to … address a concern that we’ve had for a number of years now, which is allowing our fans to engage at a much higher, much deeper level — and that has to start with them being able to follow the competition more closely than they have previously,” Pazder said.

“We’re all accustomed to following a leaderboard week in, week out in our sport. It’s as simple as it can get. Yet at the same time, we wanted to retain much of what we’e built over the previous 11 or 12 years, which is a system that identifies a player who’s had a great year. He’s our season-long champion. So we wanted it to be something that our players embraced and fully supported.”

Here’s how the points system will work in next season’s FedExCup Playoffs:

The top 125 players in points after the Wyndham Championship will qualify for the Playoffs — that hasn’t changed (don’t forget, though, that the top 10 will earn The Wyndham Rewards Top 10 bonus).

Since there is one less Playoffs event, the progressive cut will be adjusted. Only the top 70 after THE NORTHERN TRUST will advance to the second Playoffs event, which will now be the BMW Championship. (The first two Playoffs events will continue to award quadruple points.) Then the top 30 after the BMW will make the TOUR Championship.

That’s when the FedExCup Starting Strokes kicks in – and the points go away.

The No. 1 player in the FedExCup standings will receive a 10-stroke head start going into East Lake. In other words, he will tee off for the first round at 10 under.

The No. 2 player will start at 8 under. The No. 3 player starts at 7 under; the No. 4 player starts at 6 under; the No. 5 player starts at 5 under. Players ranked 6-10 start at 4 under; players 11-15 start at 3 under; players 16-20 start at 2 under; players 21-25 start at 1 under; and players 26-30 start at even par.

“This is a unique format,” Pazder said, “and we’re very excited about it. We know our fans are going to love it based on some early feedback we’re hearing, and our players are embracing it.”

If the format had been in place this week, Bryson DeChambeau would start at 10 under; Justin Rose at 8 under and so on to No. 30, Patton Kizzire, who would start at even par.

Once the TOUR Championship begins, then a player’s score will reflect both the tournament and the FedExCup standings. That should be easier for fans – and players – to follow.

“Incredibly beneficial for our players from our competitive standpoint,” Pazder said.

While the format itself is radically different and easier to track, the ultimate outcome compared to the previous system may not be drastically impacted.

If the new scoring system had been in place since the last significant adjustments in the current FedExCup system in 2009, just one champion definitely would’ve been different – Luke Donald would have won the 2011 FedExCup instead of Bill Haas. The year before, Donald would have been in a playoff with Jim Furyk (who in reality won the 2010 FedExCup title in regulation).

The PGA TOUR has been happy with its FedExCup winners in the first 11 years and did not want to compromise the drama that unfolds at East Lake. The goal was not to change the system but simply to make that drama easier to follow at the TOUR Championship.

“You ask yourself, why those stroke values?” Pazder said. “Our objective was to assign strokes values that as closely as possible approximate the win probabilities that our current system provides, and that was something that was very, very important to us.

“We feel like we do crown deserving champions. We do have a system that creates drama — and we want to continue with that.”

In order to get close to matching those win probabilities, the TOUR worked with a leading educational institution to run a total of one million simulations.

Based on the results, DeChambeau has a 28.8 percent chance of winning the FedExCup title this week in the current system. Next season, the No. 1 player will have a 27.1 percent chance of winning in the new format. The odds of one of the top five players winning this week is 59.3 percent; next year, that percentage will increase slightly to 63.9 percent.

On the flip side, the odds of one of the bottom 15 players in the standings winning this week is 15.5 percent; next year, those odds drop to 11 percent.

“Happy to say that our math checked out,” said Pazder, who added that the strokes-based system offers the chance for increased volatility during the four rounds at East Lake.

“A greater opportunity for players to move both up in the FedExCup standings but also to move down in the FedExCup standings if they were to have an off-week,” he said. “That’s an important point here.”

A year ago, Thomas won the FedExCup title without having to win the TOUR Championship (which was won by rookie Xander Schauffele). Certainly, Thomas didn’t mind how the results panned out in 2017, and under the new system, he still would’ve won the title.

No doubt there will be an adjustment period as players get comfortable with all the changes. As Thomas — a member of the PAC who has known about the changes for a while — said Tuesday, “We’re just going to have to become comfortable with it, because that’s the way it is.”

But their basic perspective remains the same.

“At the end of the day,” Thomas said, “you still have to play great golf to win a FedExCup.”

SOURCE: PGATour