Saturday, October 18

Finchem on Fixing the FedEx Cup

Tim Finchem

THE FIRST TWO YEARS of the FedEx Cup have been a bit like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. “This porridge is too hot. This porridge is too cold.”

And now PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem is searching for “this porridge is just right.”

Following are excerpts from the commissioner’s PGA Tour blog, which address his three key objectives.

“I arrived in Ponte Vedra early this morning from a meeting in Las Vegas, Nev., with our Player Advisory Council, where we discussed potential revisions to the FedEx Cup in 2009. Based on feedback we have received from players, sponsors, media and fans over the past month, as well as our own preliminary review, we have three key objectives for improvements in 2009:

• The Playoffs should build towards a climactic finish, meaning the FedEx Cup should be decided at THE TOUR Championship.

• The FedEx Cup competition should culminate in a dramatic way, meaning a reasonable number of players should be in strong contention to win it at THE TOUR Championship.

• THE TOUR Championship field should consist of the top performers in the Regular Season in addition to players who have excelled in the Playoffs.

“I believe we can achieve these objectives while maintaining the essential structure of the FedEx Cup, including the four Playoff events.”

I agree with the objectives. But can the formula be tweaked to absolutely ensure the desired outcome? I wonder.

−The Armchair Golfer

5 comments :

Mr Business Golf said...

I don't believe it can. There are too many variables to place the Fed-Ex cup as a true Tour Championship. First, everyone who qualifies needs to have played the same amount of events. Playing just the four majors and qualifying is not fair for the journeymen who play in every event to qualify... That is just one variable to the equation that will reach the goals the PGA is after with this event...make the top players play the same amount of events as the others and then lets see who wins.

lancer said...

If it cannot be fixed, I can almost guarantee you that there won't be a FedEx Cup after one more year. That's too much money to generate no more excitement than it has thus far. Presumably, the people putting up all the money want the maximum return possible on their investment and they surely aren't getting it now.

The Armchair Golfer said...

It is a ton of advertising for FedEx, though. Think of how many times you hear and see the name throughout the entire season. I don't know how you calculate the worth of such things, but I tend to think FedEx is a shrewd marketing bunch that is benefiting from the exposure.

14 STIX said...

There's nothing more dramatic than match play. I don't see why they can't keep the Tour Championship for the top regular season performers (separate from the playoffs) and make the final event of the playoffs a 64 player match play field. The current format is too similar to the regular season. Finchem should look at copying the most successful playoff model in sports - the NCAA basketball tournament...and match play is the closest thing golf has to it.

Andy Brown at GolfSwingSecretsRevealed.com said...

Haha, Loved the analogy in the beginning! Sits quite aptly on the situation we have at hand. I said it last time around and I say it again, although the format they have in hand quite frankly does not deserve an honourable mention the fact that the chaps in Ponte Verda have shown the willingness to put their hand up, accept the mistake and try and rectify it is quite commendable.

Most of the players seem to believe that the format deserves to be hurled away and no wonder then the Tim Finchem has come back and quite happily listed out so many of the apparent flaws in the system. One can only guess how much more the players must have cribbed and expressed their disapproval for the existing format.

But like you rightly point out it isn’t going to be easy for these guys to ensure the desired outcome. For one, they should pray desperately that no one dominates through the season because if that happens then what is the point in having many people in contention for the ‘best golfer of the year’ category if one man has outclassed the field repeatedly through the year. After all, with the kind of season Vijay had this year, it would have been unfair if Villegas had succeeded in pipping him at the post.

Lets see, there’s going to be some serious brainstorming taking place this Christmas at Finchem House. We will just have to see what is the outcome of the entire activity.