Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rule 78 Implications: FedEx Cup Edition

In doing some thinking about the Rule 78 situation this season, it has dawned on me that the PGA Tour is speaking out of both sides of their mouth. It was recently blogged and linked on this site that the PGA Tour is likely to make significant rule changes to the points structure of the FedEx Cup at a meeting in February.

Those rule changes are to be done in an effort to create a more volatile shift in the standings between Playoff events, and to aid mediocre players that had all but zero chance of backing into the final few events of the Playoffs. (Cause gosh darn it, they deserve it.) The proposed change, as has been leaked, is that points variations could come in the order of nearly 2000 points per position on the leaderboard. It is a drastic change compared to the variations today of between approximately 1 and 1800 points depending on the position.

Now we have Rule 78 coming into play. Under Rule 78, players that do not make the "playing cut" will be awarded last place money AND FedEx Cup points but will not have an opportunity to improve upon their position on the weekend.

Guess which two playoff events have a cut? That's right! The Barclays and the Deutsche Bank Championship - the first two events and the two that offered little to no opportunity for mediocre players to play their way into the third and fourth playoff events, which had no cut.

Can you imagine the anger of a PGA Tour player that is teetering on the edge of elimination from the playoffs and winds up getting bounced because they didn't make the playing cut at Westch...er, Ridgewood or TPC Boston?

What is more important to the Tour - speedier play on the weekends at the US Bank Championship in Milwaukee OR not having a sham situation in their highly touted playoff?

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