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The PGA Tour’s policy board met early last month at Bay Hill to consider a number of topics and proposals, but there was one subject the group didn’t address despite at least one interested bystander.
When the Tour transitioned to a strokes-based scoring format for the Tour Championship, beginning in 2019, there was always a concern that the winner, which is based on a player’s position on the playoff points list entering the finale (the top-ranked player begins the week at 10 under, No. 2 on the list at 8 under, etc.), wouldn’t be the player with the lowest score.
Last fall, Xander Schauffele became the first player to endure the strokes-based loss when he finished the week at 15 under, which would have been good enough for a three-stroke victory. He would also have been four strokes clear of Dustin Johnson who won the event, at 21 under, after starting the week at No. 1 on the points list (10 under).
In February, the player advisory council considered a proposal that would also award the player with the lowest 72-hole score at East Lake, as well as the FedExCup champion, an official victory. The PAC didn’t support the proposal and the measure wasn’t approved by the policy board last month.
“I think it wouldn’t be that hard to run up a parallel tournament besides, because Official World Golf Ranking gave me a win at East Lake when I checked last,” Schauffele said last month. “It’s a weird deal. It’s identified on Official World Golf Ranking and then on the PGA Tour it’s not. … I’m just kind of stuck in the middle and I just try my best.”
Schauffele was recognized by the world ranking as the winner of last year’s Tour Championship and awarded full points for his ranking (Johnson received third-place points).
Rory McIlroy won the 2019 Tour Championship with an 18-under total and also would have won the event without his strokes-based total.