FedEx Cup 2015 preview

Billy Horschel, ranked no. 45, is the defending champion

Defending champion Billy Horschel. Credit: Tom Pennington (Getty)
(Image credit: Tom Pennington)

Billy Horschel is the defending champion heading into The Barclays.

The PGA Tour's FedEx Cup begins this week with The Barclays at Plainfield Country Club in Edison, New Jersey.

Following its inception in 2007, the FedEx Cup has consisted of four tournaments in which the top 125 on the FedEx Cup points list compete. Points are awarded based on performances on regular PGA Tour events and are only avaialable to players who compete full-time on Tour.

The Wyndham Championship was this year's last event in which points could be won, with a typical event awarding 500 points for a winning performance.

A play-off format is adopted for the four tournaments, with the top 100 in The Barclays field advancing to the second tournament, the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Massachusetts.

From there, the top 70 progress to the BMW Championship and finally the top 30 from that field will compete in the final event, the Tour Championship.

The purse on offer is $35m, with the winner taking $10m. Last year, Billy Horschel won the final two tournaments to claim the title for the first time in his career. However, his late season form wasn't enough to make the Ryder Cup team, with captain's picks having already been made by Tom Watson.

The top 10 players in this year's FedEx Cup points list are: Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Bubba Watson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Rose, Robert Streb, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Rory McIlroy and Danny Lee.

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Open winner Zach Johnson is ranked at no. 11, with Phil Mickelson, winner of the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2007, at no. 51.

There are 22 players who have made the FedEx Cup each year since the first edition, including Ian Poulter, Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia and Matt Kuchar.

Jonas Blixt and Ryo Ishikawa crept into the top 125 last week, but Jamie Donaldson, Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell all miss out.

Tiger Woods needed to win the Wyndham Championship to stand a chance of making the play-offs, but his T10 finish left him out of the running to win the FedEx Cup, something he's done twice before.

Will Medlock graduated from UEA with a degree in Film and Television before completing a Masters in Sports Journalism at St Mary's in London. Will has had work published by The Independent and the Rugby Paper.