How To Fix The FedExCup
By Snyper on 9/27/10
Matt is an opinionated* golf enthusiast from Pennsylvania. He coaches at the high school level, molding the minds and swings of our next generation. His column will appear each Monday on ClubSG. 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 SkyGolf.
[ comments ]
I actually disagree. I like the system they have created and I know I was excited about it. I was pulling for both Dustin Johnson and Jim Furyk and was nice to have a few weekends to see how they both did. Had it been one week, anyone can perform well during one tournament but this leveled things and ensured that those who performed consistently well over that time period were rewarded. Maybe I'm the exception but I really enjoyed it and wouldn't change it.
Sorry Matt, but you didn't convince me. The "new" structure you proposed doesn't sound ALL that different. I think the PGA needs to do a better job of explaining how the FedExCup works first before they think about changing it. I think if more people understood how the points worked (so the casual golfer would understand) it would help build more excitement.
How do fans impact the playoffs of any other sport? You can't vote a wildcard into the NFL Playoffs or NBA Playoffs. Fans can't decide who pitches game one in the World Series. Am I missing something?
I believe any change to the system should involve match play. I feel match play is much better for TV and the fans. Also, you cannot have the big finale during the football season. Get it over with in late August. Otherwise, golf will continue to get crushed in the ratings.
Ron Cosmero says:
As we were watching the final hole, everyone in the room still didn't know if Furyk won the tourney..... that he WON the Fed Ex Cup! I like the match play format, it would make it worth watching.
John Pond says:
I sure like Jim Furyk and agree that he is a worthy winner. This year’s FedEx Cup was more interesting than any previous. There were more opportunities for a winner from the final day. How about a "regular season" of the points accumulated up to the last four tournaments of the year? The last three tournaments would be used to whittle the field down to the final 64 (instead of 30). Then, as in the Accenture (from Wikipedia)......The Championship (final tournament)would be a single-elimination match play event with the 64 players seeded according to their accumulated FedEx points. All matches leading up to the final match are 18 holes, while the final match is 36 holes. In addition, the losers of the semifinal matches play an 18-hole consolation match for third place. The five-day, six-match tournament begins on Wednesday, with a match per day through Friday. The quarterfinals and semifinals are played on Saturday; the finals and third-place match conclude the tournament on Sunday.
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