FedEx Cup leader Justin Thomas is not interested in the increased prize money for this year's championship, insisting his focus is on becoming "the best player that ever walked the planet".

In the new format, Thomas starts this week's season-ending Tour Championship on 10 under par, giving him a two-stroke lead over second-placed Patrick Cantlay at the top of the standings.

As well as the alteration to the tournament set-up, the prize pot has also changed, with an increase from $10million to $15m for the winner.

Yet despite this considerable rise, Thomas, who is bidding to win the FedEx Cup for a second time in three years, is not motivated by the money on offer.

"This week is not going to change my life - that's unbelievable, because it's an extremely substantial amount of money," he told a news conference.

"How FedEx has stepped up to take care of us players is crazy, it's unbelievable. Ten years ago, I wouldn't have thought that was possible.

"But I'm not going to change the way I live my life if I win that. Money has never driven me, I hope it never will.

"I play to win trophies and win championships and be the best player that ever walked the planet. That's all I play for. Money is a great consolation and a great thing to have.

"It's bizarre; I've never had a putt on a last hole of a tournament where I'm like: ‘Man if I make this, I finish solo second, versus if I miss this, it's a three-way tie for whatever' - a $500,000 putt.

"Whereas I go and play a money game at home and this putt is for $200 on the last hole and I have to physically give my friend $200? That makes me nervous.

"I'm not saying I don't have a rush out here. But that's fun. This is fun, too, but that's different.

"I don't know, I'm sure there is a form [amount] of money that might get me to say that, but I truly don't think that way or play that way."

Giving further evidence to his claims, Thomas admitted that his previous FedEx Cup triumph in 2017 felt like a consolation prize after failing to win the Tour Championship in the previous format.

He is determined to make sure the same does not happen again this year, too.

"One hundred per cent, yeah, it would irk me," he said. "There are world ranking points on the line. I want to beat everybody every week I play.

"Going into this week in 2017, there was only a couple of people who had won six times in a year and I wanted to be one of those people. I was p***ed, to be perfectly honest, that I didn't win.

"I think a lot of people were shocked and a little upset at how I handled just winning the FedEx Cup and $10m, but I was like: 'I just lost a golf tournament by one'. I should have won the tournament, I had a great chance.

"In the grand scheme of things, it was still a great year, my best to date, but my competitive nature is never going to be okay losing by one even if I get a consolation - a really, really good consolation at that."

Tiger Woods admits missing out on this week's Tour Championship is a blow, but nothing will take away special memories of when "all hell broke loose" during last year's triumph.

Despite winning the Masters in April, for his first major title in 11 years, the 43-year-old has not produced the consistency required to finish in the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings.

Woods is joined on the sidelines by Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day, among a host of star names who will be absent from the East Lake action on Thursday.

A $15million top prize is on offer, but it was not about the money for Woods last year as he won by two shots for his first tournament win in five years.

Back injury strife had raised concerns over whether Woods would ever again be a contender, but he carried off the trophy on an emotional Sunday in Atlanta, and used that as a platform to build towards the Masters.

Now though, Woods has to suck up the pain of failing to make the elite field.

"It was disappointing not to make it," Woods said. "Last year culminated in a great win, and it turned into what happened, I'm sure, at Augusta, because I was able to prove to myself that I could win again.

"I had come close a couple times and wasn't able to take it over the line, and finally I was able to do that.

"And now I didn't qualify for that event, to go back there, and I wouldn't say quite defend it, but at least be a part of it and play in it. I wasn't able to do that.

"So yeah, it is frustrating. It is disappointing. But that's the way it goes."

Woods was speaking in a teleconference looking ahead to the Presidents Cup in December, when he will captain a United States team in Australia. He has not ruled out playing in the match, too.

Should he find anything close to the form that made him a winner at the Tour Championship 12 months ago, Woods would be an asset to any team.

As he approached the 18th green on the final round at East Lake, enormous crowds flocked behind the American, energised and eager to see Woods polish off a famous victory.

"It gives me chills almost every single time I see it," Woods said. "At the time, it didn't seem like that because I didn't really look back. I only looked back a couple of times over my right shoulder."

Speaking on the PGA Tour website, Woods recalled how "everyone just busted loose behind us and all hell broke loose".

"I got on the green, I looked, and I'm like, Holy cow, there's a lot of people out there," he said.

Rory McIlroy was partnering Woods in the final round but fell away from contention and the Northern Irishman found appreciating the unfolding story alongside him to be difficult.

But he recalled looking back up the fairway as Woods tapped in to win and said the scene "was unbelievable".

"Everyone was so happy for him," McIlroy said.

"People need external things to make themselves happy and remind themselves of the good old days or whatever, and that’s what it was like; Tiger was winning a golf tournament, and it was the good old days."

United States captain Tiger Woods has not ruled out playing at the Presidents Cup, saying the final decision would be his.

Woods will lead USA against the International team in Melbourne in December as they chase an eighth straight Presidents Cup win.

Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson headline a star-studded USA outfit, but Woods may yet choose himself as a captain's pick.

"My job as the captain is to put together the best team possible and try and put together the best 12 guys," the 15-time major champion told reporters on Monday.

"That's what I'm trying to do. We'll be going through the whole process of having open communication with our top eight guys and my vice-captains.

"That is something that we will certainly talk about, whether I should play or not play. Ultimately, it's going to be my call whether I do play or not as the captain.

"But I want to have all of their opinions before that decision is made."

Woods has struggled since winning the Masters in April, missing two cuts and withdrawing from the Northern Trust as he failed to qualify for the season-ending Tour Championship.

He finished 13th in the Presidents Cup standings for USA, behind the eight qualified players – Koepka, Thomas, Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar and Bryson DeChambeau – and Tony Finau, Gary Woodland, Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed.

Tiger Woods will have to make do with watching the Tour Championship on television after he failed to qualify for the PGA Tour's season-ending event.

Woods needed to finish 11th or better at the BMW Championship to make sure he would be inside the top 30 in the FedExCup points table, guaranteeing a place in the field for next week's finale.

However, successive one-under rounds left him with too much work to do over the weekend, meaning he will not be able to defend his title at East Lake.

The 15-time major winner ended a five-year wait for a tournament win at last year's Tour Championship having at one stage slipped to as low as 1,199 in the world rankings.

"Last year culminated in a pretty special moment for me and would've been nice to go back there, but I'll be watching the guys on TV," Woods said after his final round at Medinah, a course where he has twice won majors.

Woods had given himself hope of keeping his 2019 season alive with a 67 in the third round, only to finish up on in a tie for 37th on six under after signing for a score of 72 on Sunday.

"It was a little bit frustrating that I didn't have the short game I needed to make a run," he said. "I made too many bogeys around the greens.

"I had it two under par early and was giving myself at least an outside chance of getting to my number. I felt like if I shot six under then I might have moved on."

Despite having to watch the Tour Championship from afar, Woods was able to reflect positively on a year that saw him win the Masters at Augusta.

"[It was] very special to win my 15th major and get my fifth jacket," he told the PGA Tour. "The rest of the tournaments I didn't really play as well as I wanted to, but at the end of the day, I'm the one with the green jacket."

Justin Thomas will take a two-stroke lead into the Tour Championship at East Lake after the format change for the season-ending tournament.

Thomas claimed a three-shot win at the BMW Championship on Sunday, moving top of the FedEx Cup standings.

Instead of a points reset for the Tour Championship, players will start on different scores – with Thomas top of the leaderboard before the event begins on Thursday.

Here is what the leaderboard looks like after the BMW Championship, featuring all 30 players who qualified.

-10: Justin Thomas
-8: Patrick Cantlay
-7: Brooks Koepka
-6: Patrick Reed
-5: Rory McIlroy

Top 5 in the #FedExCup heading into @EastLakeGC:

1. @JustinThomas34 
2. Patrick Cantlay
3. @BKoepka
4. @PReedGolf
5. @McIlroyRory  pic.twitter.com/8SjEvALxfh

— TOUR Championship (@playofffinale) August 18, 2019 -4: Jon Rahm, Matt Kuchar, Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson, Abraham Ancer
-3: Gary Woodland, Tony Finau, Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama
-2: Paul Casey, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, Rickie Fowler, Kevin Kisner
-1: Marc Leishman, Tommy Fleetwood, Corey Conners, Im Sung-jae, Chez Reavie
E: Bryson DeChambeau, Louis Oosthuizen, Charles Howell III, Lucas Glover, Jason Kokrak

Justin Thomas closed out his first win of the year with a three-stroke victory at the BMW Championship on Sunday.

Thomas made waves at Medinah with his record-breaking round – a 61 – on Saturday and the American backed it up.

The 2017 US PGA Championship winner carded a four-under 68 in the final round to get to 25 under, winning the tournament and moving top of the FedEx Cup standings heading into the Tour Championship.

The win was Thomas' 10th career PGA Tour title and it came with some impressive shots.

He had a string of birdies through his back nine, four through his last eight holes, to help keep the rest of the field at bay.

Thomas held off a red-hot Patrick Cantlay and Hideki Matsuyama, who both matched or shot their lowest rounds of the week.

Cantlay finished solo second (22 under) after nine birdies helped him to a seven-under 65. He was mere inches away from putting even more pressure on Thomas but just missed an eagle putt after driving the 15th green.

Matsuyama had the lowest round of the day with a 63 to jump into third place at 20 under. The 36-hole leader had set the previous record at Medinah before Thomas broke it on Saturday, and got back to form on Sunday.

He was mistake-free through the front nine with five birdies and matched that after the turn. However, a bogey on the par-four 16th stopped Matsuyama from besting his low round of the week.

Tony Finau finished in fourth place at 18 under while Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker tied for fifth at 16 under.

Corey Conners and Lucas Glover both placed seventh at 15 under and Adam Scott and Kevin Kisner rounded out the top finishers in a tie for ninth at 14 under.

As far as excuses go for potentially missing a tee-off time, Phil Mickelson's reason for the fourth round of the BMW Championship was pretty fair.

The five-time major winner was facing the prospect of missing his allotted slot of 11:52am local time at Medinah on Sunday after the hotel he has been staying at was struck by lightning.

That caused a fire at the establishment and an evacuation of the building, leading Mickelson to ponder whether he would make it on time as he was without his clubs.

"How's this for crazy? My hotel was struck by lightning, I was on [the] top floor, we were evacuated and the place is on fire (only thing of mine on fire this week)," Mickelson tweeted.

"I can't get back into my room and may miss my tee time because I am without clubs and clothes."

Fortunately, emergency services were swiftly on the scene and Mickelson confirmed his belongings had been salvaged safely meaning he was scheduled to play.

"EMT's were awesome! I'm going to make it. Turns out my clubs acted as a fire retardant. Lucky me."

Earlier on Sunday, the BMW Championship's official Twitter account had issued a weather update to fans amid storms in the Chicago area.

Sunday's round will likely be Mickelson's final of the season due to his projected standing of 49th in the FedExCup rankings.

Tiger Woods needed a low number, and he got it during the third round of the BMW Championship thanks to a five-under-par 67.

After Woods, a two-time FedEx Cup champion, shot 71 in each of the first two rounds of the tournament, he was languishing towards the bottom of the pack.

At a time of the year when FedEx Cup points can make or break a season, Woods was in need of an improved performance on Saturday.

And at Medinah Course number three, Woods was finally able to put together a bogey-free round highlighted by five birdies.

Woods was hitting the ball as well as he could have, recording his ninth career bogey-free round in the FedExCup Play-offs.

Hideki Matsuyama broke a course record as he claimed a one-stroke lead after the second round at the BMW Championship.

Matsuyama sizzled at Medinah Country Club, where the Japanese carded a nine-under-par 63 to top the leaderboard on Friday.

In the second tournament of the FedEx Cup play-offs, Matsuyama was flawless with his putter – nine birdies highlighting a bogey-free round in Illinois.

Matsuyama birdied five of his opening nine holes and closed the day by gaining back-to-back shots as he improved to 12 under at the halfway stage, ahead of American pair Patrick Cantlay (67) and Tony Finau (66).

Ranked 33rd prior to the event, Matsuyama is projected to move up to second with victory and he said: "I wish I knew why I putted so well today.

"But I was happy that a lot of them went in. As they went in, you start gaining more confidence and as your confidence builds, more putts go in, too."

This was just Matsuyama's day and a statement after Justin Thomas and Jason Kokrak tied the course record of 65 in the opening round.

Thomas followed up his course-record performance with a solid 69 to be 10 under through two rounds, while Kokrak (73) dropped into a tie for 21st at six under.

Former world number one and 2012 champion Rory McIlroy posted a second-round 67 as he improved 14 positions to 11th, alongside Kevin Tway (67), Tommy Fleetwood (66) and Kevin Kisner (68) at eight under.

Four-time major winner and US PGA Championship holder Brooks Koepka is seven shots off the pace following his 71, and he is joined by Northern Trust champion Patrick Reed (71).

Star names Jordan Spieth (71), Jason Day (71) and Justin Rose (73) are tied for 40th at three under, a shot better off than Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson.

Woods – a two-time BMW Championship winner – is in serious danger of missing the trip to the Tour Championship after carding back-to-back 71s.

Only the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings will qualify and Woods is projected to finish 45th.

Justin Thomas carded an impressive seven-under 65 to take a share of the lead after the opening round of the BMW Championship on Thursday.

The 2017 US PGA Championship winner is atop the leaderboard alongside fellow American Jason Kokrak at Medinah Country Club, where the pair equalled the course record.

Thomas finished his day with seven birdies and no bogeys, while Kokrak dropped just one shot but added an eagle to finish his day in a tie for the lead.

A wrist injury saw Thomas struggle earlier this season, including missing the cut at the U.S. Open.

But he has been good as of late as he finished tied for 11th at The Open and in the top 12 or better in each of his past four tournaments.

"It's weird," he said, via the Golf Channel. "Yeah, I mean, it's been an odd season just because I've missed three tournaments. But the difference with this season and any other season is I'd won.

"I'm playing every bit as good as I have any other year this year, for sure."

Thomas is sitting pretty in getting to the Tour Championship at East Lake next week, starting 15th in the FedEx Cup standings and now projected to be top.

Kokrak needs a good performance after starting 32nd – with the top 30 progressing – and is now projected to be third.

A shot back of the leaders is a group of five – Jim Furyk, Joel Dahmen, Lucas Glover, Brandt Snedeker and Patrick Cantlay.

World number one Brooks Koepka, Justin Rose and Jon Rahm all opened with four-under 68s, a shot better than Rory McIlroy.

Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods need to climb the leaderboard to reach the Tour Championship.

Spieth carded a two-under 70, while Woods opened with a 71, the duo projected to be outside the top 30 in the FedEx Cup as things stand.

Tiger Woods says he played "quite well" after coming through nine holes unscathed at Medinah on the eve of the BMW Championship as he eyes an East Lake return.

The 15-time major champion withdrew from the Northern Trust last week after being troubled by a mild oblique strain during his first round.

Woods feels in better shape as he bids to move up from 38th on the FedExCup points list to inside the top 30, which would give him the opportunity to defend his Tour Championship title next week.

Asked about his condition, the Masters champion said: "Way better. It was nice to take those days off. I had to just let it calm down and get a bunch of treatment on it. I played nine today, the front nine and quite well. 

"I took the back nine off, chipped and putted quite a bit and it definitely didn't feel like it did on Friday.

"Like I've said before, the forces have got to go somewhere. Unfortunately, when I'm making the kind of tweaks and changes to my swing, it's like a new body part is aching. I can't play around with the back like I used to, and things flare up.

"I've had to make tweaks all year trying to ease the stress of my back while still playing and unfortunately I haven't done a very good job of that and when I have, I've hit the ball quite well.

"I was really excited about what I was doing at Liberty [National], I made some nice changes and obviously I didn't feel very well on Thursday."

Woods is determined to ensure he does not miss out on the season-ending tournament in Atlanta, where he ended a five-year title drought 12 months ago.

"Trying to be explosive, have enough rest time and training time – that has been the biggest challenge," he added.

"This is no different. I am trying to win this tournament, just like anybody else in this field, and I'm trying to get to East Lake and get to the place where a lot of things changed for me last year - hopefully I can make that happen."

Bryson DeChambeau insists he is trying to improve the pace of his play and is determined to be "part of the solution" after criticism at the Northern Trust.

Numerous clips shared on social media last week showed DeChambeau taking several minutes to line up shots in New Jersey, with playing partners Justin Thomas and Tommy Fleetwood apparently disinterested.

The video footage prompted outrage from many fans and fellow professionals, with Eddie Pepperell calling DeChambeau a "single-minded twit" - comments he would later apologise for.

DeChambeau initially stated such criticism was unfair and suggested the caddies were largely to blame for the pace of the game.

But the 25-year-old was more apologetic as he posted on Instagram and insisted: "I will do my very best to improve my pace.

"Slow play affects the quality of the game for both players and our fans and I've always had the utmost respect for my playing partners, including JT and Tommy," he wrote.

"I'm constantly trying to improve and I will do my very best to improve my pace. Golf is my passion and livelihood. It's my responsibility to help improve the game to be more enjoyable for all.

"Pace of play has been an issue for golf at all levels for a long time, and I'm committed to being a part of the solution, not the problem.

"I want to be a good representative of the game and the @PGATour and I looking forward to working with the TOUR and fellow players to find a solution to slow play."

Following last week's tournament, the PGA Tour confirmed it would review its pace-of-play guidelines.

Eddie Pepperell has apologised for calling Bryson DeChambeau a "single minded twit" on social media after the American was criticised over his slow play at the Northern Trust.

DeChambeau took over two minutes to play both a 70-yard pitch and a putt from inside 10 feet, which he missed, during his second round at Liberty National in New Jersey on Friday.

Pepperell was among the professionals to criticise the world number eight, who kept playing partners Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Thomas waiting as he lined up his putt.

The Englishman tweeted: "Just look at Tommy and Justin, both looking completely bored. Slow players do this to their playing partners making the game less enjoyable. Problem is, the unaffected single minded twit in this instance, doesn't care much for others."

DeChambeau defended his approach in response to the backlash, stating he has been unfairly targeted.

The PGA Tour confirmed they will review their policy on the pace of play but Pepperell has admitted he crossed the line.

He tweeted on Monday: "Seems my comment regarding Bryson's slow play has garnered plenty of attention and I just want to sincerely apologise to Bryson for being personal and referring to him as a 'twit'. That was unnecessary and something I shouldn't have said."

Jason Day is searching for a new caddie after he elected to part company with Steve Williams.

Regarded as the world's most successful caddie, Williams has worked alongside the likes of Peter Thomson, Greg Norman and Tiger Woods - whose bag he was on for 13 major victories between 1999 and 2011.

Williams had caddied for Day in six tournaments since June's US Open, with the former world number one missing the cut in two of them, including the Open Championship, and securing just one top-10 result.

Day has now decided to end his spell with the 55-year-old, a decision he says was not taken lightly.

"Parting with Steve was a mutual decision and not an easy one to make," Day told AAP.

"He is the ultimate pro; it was a real learning experience being exposed to a caddie who has achieved what Steve has. He has worked with the best."

Day, whose preference to use analytical data seemingly clashed with Williams' more traditional approach, added: "It was a disconnect of old school and new school.

"Steve has become a friend and I have a lot of respect for him. I thank Steve for everything he taught me."

David Lutterus will caddie for Day at the upcoming BMW Championship. The Australian is 50th on the FedEx Cup standings and will need a strong result in order to qualify for the season-ending Tour Championship.

Williams was previously reported to have been the highest-paid sportsperson in New Zealand when he was carrying Woods' bag.

The PGA Tour has confirmed they will review their policy on the pace of play following criticism of Bryson DeChambeau at The Northern Trust.

DeChambeau was roundly criticised by fans and players alike for taking more than two minutes to play both a 70-yard pitch and a putt from inside 10 feet, which he missed.

Clips were shared on social media emphasising the American's slow play at Liberty National in New Jersey, with Ian Poulter, Rich Beem and Eddie Pepperell joining fans in denouncing DeChambeau's speed.

Justin Thomas - one of DeChambeau's playing partners on Friday - said after the round: "The slow people know who they are, and they just need to play faster."

The PGA Tour has now responded, confirming they are to review their guidelines.

Their current pace-of-play policy only addresses players whose groups have fallen out of position, but the PGA Tour will now assess whether to expand the regulations to encompass players whose groups are in position. 

"We know that the individual habits of players when they are preparing to hit a shot can quickly become a focal point in today's world, and our players and fans are very passionate about this issue," said Tyler Dennis, the PGA Tour's chief of operations.

"We have leveraged our ShotLink technology to provide every player with a pace-of-play report that they can access which breaks down the varying parts of their game and gives feedback on the amount of time on average that the player takes to hit a particular shot.

"We are currently in the process of reviewing this aspect of pace of play and asking ourselves is there a better way to do it?

"We think technology definitely plays a key role in all of this and we are thinking about new and innovative ways to use it to address these situations."

When asked about his slow play, DeChambeau claimed it was down to caddies and other players, adding he felt attacked by the responses on social media.

"A lot of it [slow play] is [down to] the caddies. A lot of it is the other players," DeChambeau said. "They don't care about walking fast. I play a different way out there.

"I take my 40 seconds that's allotted, sometimes over, absolutely. Totally agree. It's maybe five per cent of the time.

"But I'll tell you that it's really kind of unfortunate the way it's perceived because there's a lot of other guys that take a lot of time. They don't talk about this matter and for me, personally, it is an attack and it is something that is not me whatsoever."

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