How To Fix The FedExCup
By Snyper on 9/27/10
Matt Snyder is an opinionated* golf enthusiast from Pennsylvania. He coaches at the high school level, molding the minds and swings of our next generation. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and opinions of Matt in the comments. Don't hold back- because Matt won't.

The final event in the FedExCup season is finally over. Jim Furyk, who I love, ended the "playoff season" with a victory in the Tour Championship. With his victory this week, he also won the FedExCup and $10 million. His reaction made it clear that he was pretty pumped about his season-ending performance. However, you will have to look long and hard to find many fans of golf that were equally excited. Let’s face it, the race for the FedExCup is just about as exciting as watching paint dry. Golf lends itself to big events that last one week, not weeks and weeks of playoffs that other sports tend to showcase. Nobody, and I mean nobody, has been following the FedExCup standings and sitting on the edge of their seats to see who would win it this week. Instead of pretending that they were, the PGA Tour needs to recognize that fans only care about weekly events. If they want to keep the attention of the fans until the end of the season, then give us that big event at the end of the season like every other sport does!
Nobody, and I mean nobody, has been following the FedExCup standings and sitting on the edge of their seats to see who would win it this week.

Football has the Super Bowl, MLB has the World Series, and the NHL has the Stanley Cup. As major sports fan who loves golf, I want a Super Bowl for golf! Is that wrong? Look, I don't care about the FedExCup anymore than the next guy. Sure, I like the majors. But the majors do not excite me like one, big, winner-takes-all event! That end-of-the-year thrill is what we are missing on the PGA Tour.

Here is how I propose we fix golf's problem. At the end of the season, instead of some stupid want-to-be playoff system, we have a Super Bowl of Golf. One event with a huge purse comprised of all the money that is now being wasted on the FedExCup. The Super Bowl of golf will include only the top 20 players on the PGA Tour money list for the current season. The Tour is always begging guys to play in more events, so players must have played in a minimum of 12 events during the season to be eligible. There will also be four spots given to players outside the top 20. Those spots will be awarded based on fan voting. When golf fans attend any PGA Tour event, they will have a chance to cast a vote for any player in that event to attend the Super Bowl of Golf at the end of the season. The highest four vote getters to finish out of the top 20 still get to participate in the event. Gee, there’s an idea. Create a system that actually involves the fans! That’s just one more element that the major sports all have but golf is still missing.
I love Furyk for a lot of reasons. He’s got a unique swing, he’s the picture of poise and class, and he’s a hometown Pennsylvania guy!

Anyway, back to the details of golf’s Super Bowl. There will be no cuts in this event, as all 24 players will play four rounds, Thursday through Sunday. The winner will earn a substantially larger amount of money than the second place finisher as well as his choice of tee times on the first two days of every non-major event that he attends in the next season. All players who qualify for and participate in the event will get paid. However, the purse will be substantially higher for the top ten finishers. I'm still working out the exact percentages!

Congratulations again to Jim Furyk for winning both the Tour Championship and the Cup this year, but I wish I was more excited. I love Furyk for a lot of reasons. He’s got a unique swing, he’s the picture of poise and class, and he’s a hometown Pennsylvania guy! All that being said, I wish I were more excited about the conclusion of this season. If the PGA Tour follows my lead and organizes a real season finale, it will be huge! Fans are begging for something to look forward to at the end of the season that the top players will actually take seriously. This is it! Give the players what they want. They want to play against the best, for a lot of money, and on a big stage. So advertise the heck out of it, get the fans involved, and put up some cash. Problem solved! I'm getting excited about it already! You?


* Matt's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of oobgolf.

photo source


[ comments ]
TeT says:
Sorry its good golf and with a small field I get to see basicaly all the players.. No probs with it here...

Its fine, your above system is kind of lame... You forgot the play in golfer from the Nike tour. You know the match play where the top hooter tour guy plays the top nike tour guy for the 21st spot..

sorry try again, its lame...
9/27/10
 
Banker85 says:
sorry not so much Matt.

I don't have a problem with the current system, even though there was absolutely no excitement this year. It is all realative i guess. maybe cause Tiger didnt play? I think the fedex cup does offer some room to make things interesting its just it didnt work out this year. Good for Jim though. I am sure that also wrapped up POY award.
9/27/10
 
birdieXris says:
yea i'm not so much interested in this one.
9/27/10
 
tennesseeboy says:
I agree with the others, the idea is lame.

Golf already has a Super Bowl as far as I'm concerned. It's called the Masters.

I love playing golf and when I'm not playing I enjoy watching it on TV, but nothing is going to make golf exciting enough to compete with football come September.
9/27/10
 
Kurt the Knife says:
sry.
total poo.
9/27/10
 
KVSmith59 says:
a true superbowl: everyone on the money list, first two rounds at different courses until the numbers are knocked down to a normal weekend tournament size, winner take all. Then everyone has a chance for the big bucks.....
9/27/10
 
Backquak says:
My idea of a fix is to have a match play event to finish the season. A double elimination event would be awesome and the top seats getting a buy the first round, no consolation prize, the double elimination would take care of that. the fan picks could be cool, say 1 fan pick for each bracket. Winner gets the Tour Championship. The Fedex Cup (or Player of the Year award cause that's what it is) could be given based the season earnings, every event is worth the same points except the majors, which should be worth double points, and if they want to give more points at the end to keep the players playing, OK
9/27/10
 
homermania says:
I'm just glad the winner of the Tour Championship is the winner of the FedEx cup. It's anti-climactic when the FedEx winner is not in contention for the final tournament.
9/27/10
 
DoubleDingo says:
What a dweeb!
9/27/10
 
bducharm says:
I hesitate to comment here because I might get flamed - guys, just Matt's opinion! Don't really think name calling is appropriate. I too do not agree with Matt - at least he's thinking out of the box! This is a tough one to crack! The 4 majors are definitely the highlight of the golfing season. And when it's a Ryder Cup year, that too comes to the forefront. The FedEx Cup is too contrived to matter. Sure, there are 10 million reasons for the players to be interested. I don't care how rich you are - $10M is $10M!!! Furyk's payday yesterday ($11.35M) was pretty darn nice. Not a whole lot of fan excitement though.
9/27/10
 
TeT says:
@DoubleDingo: Save Dweeb for those you know.. It was easy to poke at his idea because I thought it was lacking, but its still just an idea, the guy contributes some great stuff with a healthy dose of opinion... Besides did you not learn about name calling in preschool along with the rest of us?
9/27/10
 
falcon50driver says:
I'd like to see a golf superbowl, but it should be populated by performance not a popularity contest. Who would be the voters?
9/27/10
 
bducharm says:
@merlin - I wouldn't care who the voters were just so it's NOT like the BCS!!!!
9/27/10
 
cjgiant says:
I liked the outside-the-box thinking, even though the voting aspect had more marketing involved than player skill. However, he did state he was trying to get more fans involved. To be honest, I don't think you are going to find a good "playoff" system in a sport that involves multiple teams/players per event (racing fans may or may not disagree).

However, what lost me this year is that I was more into college and pro football. I am not sure how you could change the situation given that.
9/27/10
 
mjaber says:
I agree the Fedex Cup needs to be fixed. Too complicated. I like Gary van Sickle's idea of using PAR.

www.golf.com/golf/tours_news/article/0,28136,202
9/27/10
 
Backquak says:
@mjaber, that could work, simple yet exciting and based on performance in the play-offs, but does the rest of the season go out the window, they play themselves in to the top 125 and reset to even par and play from there or do they get a stroke for their position in the top 125?
9/28/10
 
Backquak says:
I guess at the beginning of the play-offs, they could give the top seat a stroke lead and 2nd-10th start a stroke behind,11th-30th start 2 back, 31st-70th start 3 strokes back, 71st-100 start 4 back, and 101-125 start 5 back
9/28/10
 
Banker85 says:
I like the idea of Par vaule better then the points system they slapped together. Atleast that way we could watch and know where everyone stands. This would make it impossible to miss a playoff tournament and still move on. I think they would have to do no cut until each event is over, sending a smaller field out each week.
9/28/10
 
mabowen says:
It seems like you are ignorant about the current system, b/c it is pretty much a superbowl. Your idea is worse, sorry.

The points players build up during the season are just a means of qualifying the top 30 players for the playoffs. They changed it this season so that if any of the the top five players win the Tour Championship, they take the Fed Ex cup. I think you could argue to extend that to the top 10 to make it more "winner take all." The biggest problem with the current system is the lack of hype. The majors are the superbowls of golf as far as most are concerned, but they are just single events. But, It is a new system (since 2005) so I think as it will gain popularity. And, $10 mill is pretty damn good. The first prize for all the other majors is $1.35 mill. (Maybe that's why Furyk look so happy).
9/28/10
 
mabowen says:
It's really not that complicated en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FedEx_Cup
9/28/10
 
windowsurfer says:
How about: Four days of match play late in fall. Sweet sixteen Thursday with the top 10 money winners on any tour, the four major champs, the US Amateur champ and one wildcard player selected from anywhere in the world by the golf writers association OR the wildcard could be determined by a Wednesday one-day open qualifying stroke play tournament - winner gets the wildcard spot. Four seeded opening round groups of four with the winner of one of the majors in each. If major champs are also in the top 10 money list (likely) or if one player has one more than one major that year, then that opens up slots for as many of the next highest money winners as required to make an opening day field of 16. Friday is the Elite 8, Saturday the Final 4 and Sunday is the Superbowl of golf in an all-the-marbles match spec-tac-u-lah!

I'd play it on a US rotation of classic courses, like the way the Open is set-up.

I can hear Jim Nance's over-the-top solemn and reverant intonations already . . .
9/28/10
 
cjgiant says:
Match play is a totally different game than these guys play all year (except the Accenture). Yes it is more "other-sport" playoff-like, but you wouldn't suggest that the NFL switch it's rules for the playoffs, would you?

Even if you played medal head-to-head, it's still different. And I don't think you get more fan involvement, and coverage of two golfers on a course is not good TV, IMO.

After reading all of the posters' good points, I think I officially decided I probably can't be swayed to watch the "playoffs" more than I would any other tournament like I do the majors. The fact that good players are in the field will usually drive me to watch, not the stakes. That said, the players probably care, and that can drive the strategy and quality of golf, which is good.
9/28/10
 
Duke of Hazards says:
Forgotten here is the fact that the $35 mil combined purse is highly dependent on a long, extended advertisement period over the 5 week playoff period. Not sure on what deal Federal Express cut w/ PGA, but they're not going to fork over that kind of money without deep and prolonged advertising infiltration in all of the media outlets. So if you whittle it down to 1 'winner take all week', you can cut the purse down to the $7 or $8 mil that is typical of any top flight tourney, then you're basically at square one (the 'old' Tour Championship (top 30)), which no one really cared about and which is why they invented this thing.
9/28/10
 
Duke of Hazards says:
Let me also add that the Majors are what they are because of the long and storied history behind them, all of the collective 'moments' that when added over time, create tradition and legend. Was the 4th Masters as eagerly anticipated as this years' 74th Masters? No, because there wasn't that body of history to look back on. So give the poor FedEx Cup a break (although I kind of despise the recent trend to name sports venues and events after corporate sponsors) and some time to marinate.
9/28/10
 
windowsurfer says:
Duke: "if you whittle it down to 1 'winner take all week', you can cut the purse down to the $7 or $8 mil that is typical of any top flight tourney"

Good point. It occurred to me later that the winner take all Sunday might be postponed for a week to let the pot boil and drive ad revenue. But you gotta admit, having all those major winners, plus the amateur champ and the top money winners plus the nothing-to-lose wildcard all in the same "cage match" has a certain Magnificent Seven meets Rocky quality that TV would gobble up. Just sayin.
9/28/10
 
windowsurfer says:
Wise comments cjgiant. I'd say this: match play too different? Two words: Ryder Cup. Plus, the various formats of golf are pure - a dramatic and historically based aspect of golf that is unique and well -- cool. Also, it could be argued that the match play format gave a not-so-subtle-and-much-needed boost to the US Am champ, who will have just won his title that way.

As for the not compelling TV point . . . aren't those sooper exciting tournament playoffs basically the same deal? Plus, this sets up an 18-hole manno-a-manno Phil vs Tiger showdown that would make even the most staid network exec, ahem, uh . . . *moist*. TV coverage might pick up at the eighth hole or so, to make the viewer experience more concentrated.

Cue Nance: "Here we are at storied Merion, where the Hawk made par on the 36th hole with that famous one iron to force a Monday playoff . . ."
9/28/10
 
dbrake0 says:
Put a fork in it. Nobody cares
9/29/10
 
Banker85 says:
until next year.....
9/29/10
 
golf maniac says:
I think the interesting part of the Cup was that so many people could win it even though winning the tounament was not essential. I saw Furyk at the Deutch Bank putting green trying out that 'new' $39 putter. Fluff kept switching putters with him and Furyk was also talking to Kuchar and i assume they were discussing putting technique. Quite enjoyable to watch.
10/1/10
 
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