…would anyone notice?
What was the PGA Tour thinking? Following the emotion and dramatics of the Ryder Cup this week, the PGA Tour closes its season with, perhaps, the most anticlimactic golf tournament in the history of this beloved sport. Not since Old Tom Morris wiped the floor with Willie Park has a golf tournament been so decided before the first tee shot.
I know these guys couldn’t predict that Vijay would run away with the FedEx Cup title. But I don’t understand why the Tour took the week off before the Ryder Cup. What we have now is an already unappealing Tour Championship, with an already decided playoff champion, following three of the most incredible golf days in recent history.
Any luster the Tour Championship might have had is now lost because it was preceded by such an incredible and historical event. This is like Pearl Jam opening up for Kenny G. Seriously, what the crap is that all about?
What the PGA Tour needs to do is two-fold:
First, on Ryder Cup years, don’t schedule the Cup before the Tour Championship. I don’t care how dramatic they believe this playoff system might be, it has no chance of holding a candle to the Ryder Cup. Casual interest in golf wanes, and wanes quickly, as soon as the Cup ends.
And, second, scrap the current Tour Championship format. Start the playoffs as normal, with the first three tournaments narrowing the field down to 32. Then take the final 32 and make it a match play tournament for all the marbles.
Does the Ryder Cup not prove the popularity of match play? Instead of this watered down, BCS-like formula, what if the FedEx Cup came down to a head-to-head match between Tiger Woods and Anthony Kim, or Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson? How much more interesting would that be?
This playoff system is inherently uninteresting. They absolutely need to spice it up. Match play would do just that. Keep the tournament at East Lake. Add two more players to make it 32. And let ’em go at it one-on-one. That is the only way to make this playoff system interesting.
Get a clue, Commissioner Tim Finchem. Get a clue.