Thursday, November 15, 2007

Another FedEx Cup (Lack of) Overhaul Review

This time, from Jason Sobel over at ESPN.

The highlights?

Sobel doesn't like the break in between the end of the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship next season. I'm not sure what he would want the PGA Tour to do since the PGA of America sets its dates for the Ryder Cup in a normal timeframe and expects the PGA Tour to work around it because the Ryder Cup is a whole lot more popular and culturally important.

Sobel offers this paragraph up as an explanation:

Granted, the tour was in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation here, but if the Tour Championship is supposed to be its Holy Grail (and remember, the tour isn't the governing body over the Ryder Cup or any of the four majors), then it shouldn't take a backseat to anything else.
The Tour Championship never has succeeded in being a Holy Grail type of event. Usually, it has been a throwaway until this season. Its history is taking a backseat - to other sports, other golf tournaments, players' kids and wives. The Tour Championship is used to that. If the players most likely in the hunt for the FedEx Cup on the American side are in the Ryder Cup, can you guess which they'll leave off the schedule given the choice?

Still, Sobel then has a precursor statement about the Ryder Cup that should explain why the Tour Championship takes a backseat to the Ryder Cup.
Meanwhile, the Ryder Cup -- without dispute, a much more popular event than anything in the FedEx Cup -- will steal away some luster off the season-ending event, in effect relegating its status as the big prize at season's end.
Moving on...

Sobel didn't like that the points system was not altered for 2008. Everyone agrees on that point, except the arrogant Tim Finchem who is quoted as saying he basically ignored all of the advice from players, fans, and media on the subject. Among the crowd of critics, many have said that the Tour should just use the money list. Sobel goes off the board though with this suggestion:
Our suggestion? A tourney win is worth 50 points, second place gets 25, third place 20, fourth place 17, fifth place 16, etc., down to 1 point for the 20th-place finisher. Those outside of the top 20 are shut out. This not only makes the points list more decipherable; it also places some merit in the difference between finishing 18th and 23rd, creating more drama further down the leaderboard.
That'll never fly with the rank and file, and as we have talked about here many times, Tim Finchem must appeal to them. In concept, it's not too bad of an idea. You know why it's not bad? It's not original. The Champions Tour's Schwab Cup uses the same concept, except for Top 10 finishers.

Sobel was also on board with disliking the idea of revisiting the situation in February and removing deferred payment for the top 10 finishers in the FedEx Cup.

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