Tour Championship 2019: Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele tied for lead after Round 1

Written By Thomas Lott
Justin Thomas
Getty Images

The 2019 Tour Championship is underway, and we're telling you, this new scoring system is going to take some getting used to.

After Round 1, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka are tied for the lead at 10 under for the tournament, but they are tied despite Schauffele shooting the best round of the day at 6 under, Koepka shooting 3 under and Thomas finishing even par.

The leaderboard stands like this because of a new scoring system which gives leaders in the FedExCup standings a lead going into the Tour Championship. Due to Thomas' win last weekend at the BMW Championship, he sat at the top of the standings. As a result, he began the tournament at 10 under. The other players started as follows:

  1. Justin Thomas -10
  2. Patrick Cantlay -8
  3. Brooks Koepka -7
  4. Patrick Reed -6
  5. Rory McIlroy -5
  6. Jon Rahm -4
  7. Matt Kuchar -4
  8. Xander Schauffele -4
  9. Webb Simpson -4
  10. Abraham Ancer -4

So by virtue of the new scoring system, despite Thomas' round of even-par 70, he remains in a tie with Koepka and Schauffele. He was able to make a birdie on the final hole to move to that number, so he does deserve credit for that.

In the past, the scoring for the Tour Championship and the FedExCup was as follows: any golfer inside of the top 5 of the standings going into the Tour Championship would win the FedExCup with a victory. Now, the leader after the BMW Championship has an advantage.

So, it's a little confusing this year, but if someone plays well they will be rewarded like Schauffele and there is pressure on the leaders to follow up good performances. Thursday, it was all about good performances with Schauffele, Rory McIlroy and Matt Kuchar.

Those three players used rounds of 6 under, 4 under and 4 under, respectively to move to 10 under, 9 under and 8 under. All three sit within two shots of the lead with a chance to win going into the weekend.

Hideki Matsuyama also used a round of 4 under to sit at 7 under for the tournament and all alone in seventh place. Paul Casey also shot 4 under to sit at 6 under in a tie with Jon Rahm for eighth.

It was a confusing start to the week and that's to be expected with the new format, but all in all, it's a close tournament with plenty of players in contention going into the second round and that's all the PGA Tour can ask for.

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