MEDINAH, Ill. – Patrick Reed's victory on Northern Trust Sunday highlighted the very true truth about the volatility of the FedEx Cup playoffs: One win is worth a lot more than any other win, including major championships.  29-year-old Reed has been winning for the first time since capturing the Masters in 2018. The title of 50th place in the FedEx Cup standings – which means his place in next week's tournament is almost certain – Reed broke the standings with a win with his 1 shot over Abraham Ansser second behind Brooks Koepka, who qualified for the BMW Championship this week at Country Club Medinah.
His win was 2000 points – 1500 more than JT Poston received for taking down the Windham Championship a week earlier.
To put it really in perspective, the win brought 200 more points than Tiger Woods, Koepka and Gary Woodland, won ̵
Wins in the regular season are worth 500 points, with 550 points to be won by winners of World Golf Championships and 600 by major winners. But after the playoffs began, the North Trust and BMW provided much more room for variability.
Another way to look at it: Reed moved one place ahead of Rory McIlroy, who has two wins this year, including the players championship, and 13 top-10s. Reed's lone win was Sunday and he has four top-10s.
Although the PGA Tour describes the FedEx Cup as a "race of the season", burning is currently making a huge change. That said, last year's FedEx Cup champion, Justin Rose, did not win any of the four playoffs (down to three this year). This means that being near the top of the standings entering the playoffs is also beneficial.
Who has the most to lose this week at the BMW Championship?
Years ago, the Bridge to Tour Championship consisted of an event outside Boston that was one of the 100 best players in the FedEx ranking through the Northern Trust tournament , followed by BMW. The Boston event is eliminated (it will return to the New York area tournament as the first Fed Cup playoff event), which means the top 125 of the North Trust have been allocated directly to the top 70 for the BMW Championship this week.
The unobstructed event at # 3 of the Country Club Medinah course (the site of the PGA Championships in 1999 and 2006, as well as the 2012 Ryder Cup) will determine the top 30 who advance to the Tour Championship.
In addition to securing the opportunity to play for huge financial gains next week in Atlanta ($ 15 million for overall FedEx Cup winner), there is a huge incentive to make the top 30 for those who want to get seats in the big ones championships next year.  Tournament Championship qualification guarantees a Masters invitation and exceptions to the US Open and The Open. This means it's a big week for the likes of Sung Ja Im (26th), Harold Warner (29th), Andrew Putnam (30th) and Jason Kokrak (32nd). None of these four players have ever played in the Masters.
Putnam ranks 30th in the FedEx Cup standings, which would give him the final place in the tournament if he can stay there. Joaquin Nieman secured the 70th and final place in the 66th round of the BMW Liberty National, which moved him to 30th place and earned him 92.5 points, finishing Adam Schenk with two points. Schenk made a lush start on his own, shooting 67 to finish 24th after Week 84 began.
Hamals (each time)
Four players moved into the 70's on the North Trust, with Warner making the biggest jump, from 102 to 29, thanks to a draw for the third this past week. Troy Merrit (72 to 59), Wyndham Clark (90 to 58) and Nieman (74 to 70) are the others.
The four fell out: Sergio Garcia, Danny Lee, Matthew Wolf and Kevin Strelman.
Who has the most to win this week at the BMW Championship? And why is Toddie Fleetwood's caddy looking at me like that ?!
Garcia (72nd) is among the players who saw the end of his season at Liberty National as he missed the cut. Others who did not progress were Wolf, Brandon Grace, Buba Watson, Danny Willett and Henrik Stenson (he did not play the North Trust).
A runner-up finish in the North Trust made Abraham Ansere move from only the top 70 to 67th to eighth place in the standings, which guarantees that he will advance to the tournament championship. This will mark his first appearance in the Masters. He will also return to the US Open and The Open next year. Anser, 28, is set to become the first player in Mexico to win the PGA Tour after Victor Regalado in 1978.
The Ram Threat
John Ram had a lead in the back nine before meeting for a tie for third in the North trust, but he was on a strong plan as of late. He has four straight top-11 finishes on the PGA Tour, including two third-place finishes. He placed fifth in the standings behind Koepka, Reed, McIlroy and Matt Kuchar.
The Spy Factor
Jordan Spie's 67s was his best final year result and was aided by another great day by the Greens. He only needed 21 runs, tying his career best. It was a fight for Spieth for the better part of this year, but he joined the mix a few times late, and his sixth-place finish moved him from 69th to 44th in the FedEx ranking, a 25-point jump. He will need another grand finale to advance to the tournament, which he missed last year for the first time in his career.
There will be a NEW FedEx Cup Leader this week. Who will be ?! I will tell you.
Whether Tiger Woods is healthy enough to compete in Medina is yet to be determined. He retired after the first lap of 75 in the North Trust with a slight inclination, but would have been squeezed hard to make the 36-hole cut had he not been injured. Woods will need 66 or better in the second round to advance. But all points would be useful, and now Woods pays the price for a light summer of golf, which saw him earn points only at the Memorial in early June and the US Open.
After winning the Masters, Woods was 13th in points. He came out on the 28th, heading for the North Trust and then fell another 10 spots, heading for the BMW on the 38th.
To qualify for the BMW Championship – which all players will earn points for – Woods will need a good week. According to the PGA Tour, Woods is projected to need a solo finish in 11th or better to move to Atlanta, where he won his 80th PGA Tour title last year.
The Tour designs the range of points to qualify for the Tour Championship to be 1,280 to 1365. Woods has 1,003 – or 177 below the minimum. If the minimum is all it needs, finishing in the top 18 will do it, but this is far from certain.
After this week's BMW Championships, the top 30 go on to the tournament championship, in which they will play in a new format designed to crown the only FedEx Cup Winner.
Instead of zeroing points, the leader – now Koepka – will start the tournament at 10 under par. Who is second – currently Reed – will start at 8 under. Each player will have a "Grade Score" up to the 26th to 30th rankings, which will start at even par
. Instead of trying to gauge how many points will hit a player at the top of a FedEx ranking, this will be clear from the table of tables in relation to par. But there will be no separate winner in the tournament, as it was last year when Woods won his 80th PGA Tour title.
The FedEx Cup Winner will be credited with officially winning the PGA Tour. But for the purposes of official points for the World Golf Rankings, players will earn points based on their 72 holes.