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St. Jude Championship tees off PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler is the favorite to win the Tour Championship. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI
1 of 5 | World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler is the favorite to win the Tour Championship. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 10 (UPI) -- The Top 70 players in the FedEx Cup playoff standings will tee off golf's postseason with the St. Jude Championship on Thursday in Memphis. Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are among the favorites.

The 72-hole tournament, to be held at TPC Southwind, will run through Sunday. Coverage will air on Golf Channel and CBS.

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"I'm really proud of what I've done so far," Rahm told reporters Tuesday. "I'm looking forward to keeping it going in the playoffs."

The 70-player field represents a major change from the previous format, which included 125 golfers.

That move will result in more prize money for the top finishers and should increase the competitiveness of the postseason, which does not include LIV Golf participants.

The winner of the first tournament in the three-legged PGA Tour playoff system will receive $3.6 million and 2,000 points in the FedEx Cup standings. The Top 50 players from the field will then compete in the BMW Championship from Aug. 17 to 20 in Olympia Fields, Ill.

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The Top 30 players in the standings will then advance to the finale, the Tour Championship, which will be held Aug. 24 to 27 in East Lake, Mich. The player who holds the FedEx Cup standings lead will start that tournament at 10-under par.

The other 29 players in the standings will start the tournament with progressively fewer starting strokes, including second place at 9-under and third place at 8-under.

The Tour Championship winner will claim an $18 million prize.

Scheffler, the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, is the overall favorite to win the 2023 Tour Championship. He entered the 2022 Tour Championship as the standings leader, and held a 6-stroke lead after 54 holes, but shot 3-over in the final round, allowing McIlroy to clinch a victory.

He sits in second in the 2023 FedEx Cup standings, behind first place -- and the No. 3-ranked Rahm.

No. 4 Patrick Cantlay, No. 6 Xander Schauffele, No. 5 Victor Hovland, No. 14 Tyrell Hatton, No. 22 Tommy Fleetwood, No. 12 Jordan Spieth and No. 23 Collin Morikawa join Scheffler, Rahm and McIlroy (No. 2) as favorites to win the Tour Championship.

Rahm, Scheffler and McIlroy will tee off together in the first round at 10:26 a.m. EDT Thursday on hole No. 1 at TPC Southwind.

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No. 77 Thomas Detry, No. 72 Taylor Montgomery and No. 87 Davis Riley will tee off in the first group at 8:50 a.m. Thursday on No. 1.

No. 25 Justin Thomas, who missed the FedEx Cup playoffs cut line, No. 39 Adam Scott and No. 1,154 Tiger Woods are among the notable non-LIV golfers not in the field for the St. Jude Championship.

Temperatures are expected to be in the 80s and 90s, with rain forecast this week in Memphis. The 7,243-yard course features many water obstacles, with hazards coming into play on 10 holes. Golfers also will navigate narrow, tree-lined fairways and need to avoid nearly 100 bunkers as they battle elite competition.

St. Jude Championship

All times EDT

Thursday

First round coverage from 2 to 6 p.m. on Golf Channel

Friday

Second round coverage from 2 to 6 p.m. on Golf Channel

Saturday

Third round coverage from 1 to 3 p.m. on Golf Channel, 3 to 6 p.m. on CBS

Sunday

Final round coverage from noon to 2 p.m. on Golf Channel, 2 to 6 p.m. on CBS

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