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PGA Tour Championship 2019: Who's playing, new FedEx Cup point system, how to watch and more

Here's how cord cutters can watch the final PGA tour event of the season.

Brooks Koepka

Brooks Koepka is third in the FedEx Cup standings and will tee off at the Tour Championship at 8-under par.

AR / Getty Images

After golf's four majors, the most prestigious event in the PGA tour is the PGA Tour Championship, which concludes the FedEx Cup Playoffs and the PGA season. Only the top 30 players qualify for the Tour Championship, which this year features an entirely new point system to ensure that whoever wins the Tour Championship will also be crowned the FedEx Cup Champion. 

The Tour Championship gets underway on Aug. 22 at the East Lake Golf Course in Atlanta with an elite field of the world's 30 best golfers. Here is the cord cutter's guide to watching the final PGA tour event of the year.

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2019 PGA Tour Championship schedule

  • Round 1: Thursday, Aug. 22
  • Round 2: Friday, Aug. 23
  • Round 3: Saturday, Aug. 24
  • Round 4: Sunday, Aug. 25

Wait, what are the FedEx Cup Playoffs?

The FedEx Cup Playoffs feature three events -- all played in August. The Northern Trust in Jersey City, New Jersey earlier in the month, the BMW Championship in Medinah, Illinois this past weekend and the Tour Championship in Atlanta this week. Only the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings qualify for the Tour Championship. 

After winning the BMW Championship, Justin Thomas sits atop the standings, followed by Patrick Cantlay, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy.

Is Tiger playing?

Nope, there will be no Tiger this week. Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship last year but didn't qualify this year, finishing at no. 42 in the FedEx Cup standings.

What's this new point system of which you speak?

The past two years, the winner of the Tour Championship did not end up winning the FedEx Cup, which led to an awkward ceremony where someone just lost a golf tournament but still had the most points to be crowned the FedEx Cup champ. 

This year, after the first two FedEx Cup events give us our field of 30 for the Tour Championship tournament, you can throw the FedEx Cup points out the window. The field will begin the Tour Championship with different scores -- not everyone will start at even par. The points leader will begin the Tour Championship at 10-under par. Second place will start at 8-under, third at 7-under, fourth at 6-under and fifth at 5-under. The next five in the standings will start at 4-under, the next five after that at -3 under and so on until you get those ranked 26 to 30 teeing off at even par.

With this scoring system, whoever wins the Tour Championship will also become the FedEx Cup champion.

How can I watch the Tour Championship?

You'll need the Golf Channel for the first two rounds and NBC for the final two rounds over the weekend. You can access the Golf Channel and NBC with a cable or satellite subscription, and you can also watch NBC for free with an over-the-air digital antenna. We have a few, cheap suggestions for the best indoor antennas.

Here's the broadcast schedule:

Golf Channel

  • Rounds 1 and 2 on Thursday and Friday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. PT.

NBC

  • Round 3 on Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT.
  • Final round on Sunday: 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. PT.

Online or streaming

NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app will have live streams of the Tour Championship. To stream the tournament online, you will need to log in with a pay TV account. If you don't have a pay TV subscription, you can livestream the race with a live TV streaming service. All of the services listed below carry a live, local feed of NBC, but not all of them necessarily carry it in your area. See the information on each service below for details.

Other stuff to know about live TV streaming services:

  • You'll need a solid internet connection.
  • You can watch any of them on TV as long as your smart TV has the service's app. You can also watch on your TV using a media streamer, such as a Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV or Chromecast.
  • You can also watch on an iPhone, Android phones, tablets and PC browsers.
  • You can sign up and cancel anytime, no contract required.
  • All of them offer free trial periods, so you can sign up to watch and then cancel.

Note CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.

Sling TV's $25-a-month Blue package includes NBC, but you'll need to spring for the $10-a-month Sports Extra add-on to watch early round coverage on the Golf Channel. (Sling Blue is currently discounted to $15 a month for the first month.) Click here to see if you live in a market that offers NBC.

Hulu with Live TV costs $45 a month and includes NBC along with the Golf Channel. Click the "View all channels in your area" link on its welcome page to see which live, local channels are offered in your ZIP code.

PlayStation Vue's basic $50-a-month Access plan includes NBC, but you'll need the $55-a-month Core plan to watch early round coverage on the Golf Channel. You can see if a live feed of NBC is available in your area here.

YouTube TV costs $50 a month and includes NBC and the Golf Channel. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see if a live feed of NBC is available in your area. 

FuboTV costs $55 per month and includes NBC as well as the Golf Channel. Click here to see if you live in a market that offers NBC.

DirecTV Now's basic $50-a-month Plus package includes NBC, and its $70-a-month Max package adds the Golf Channel. (DirectTV Now will soon be rebranded at AT&T Now.) You can use its channel lookup tool to see if a live feed of NBC is available where you live. 

Originally published on Aug. 16.
Update, Aug. 19: Adds standings after BMW Championship.

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