Friday, December 10

U.S. and UK Professors Team to Improve FedEx Cup

CAN THE FEDEX CUP be fixed? It’s a question that presumes the PGA Tour points race is flawed or lacking, which I believe is a widespread view. To be honest, I haven’t spent much time thinking about it. I accept the FedEx Cup for what it is.

I do know the PGA Tour has tinkered with the FedEx Cup structure over the years to both reward good season-long play and create an exciting playoff run that gives more than a few players a chance to take home the Cup and $10 million. How well the tour has achieved that balance is an ongoing debate.

Now I’ve learned from a recent email from the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) that academia is at work on a study to ratchet up the excitement in the FedEx Cup. They write:
With controversy stirring about the shortage in excitement generated by the PGA TOUR’s FedEx Cup, two professors on opposite sides of the Atlantic have come up with a provocative recommendation about changing the format to amplify the excitement in the Tour Championship.

“A Proposal for Redesign of the FedEx Cup Playoff Series on the PGA TOUR” by Nicholas G. Hall of Ohio State University and Chris N. Potts of the University of Southampton in the UK will appear next year in our professional association’s journal.
How about that? Ohio State and University of Southampton in a true bicontinental effort for the good of golf. I’m heartened. Maybe there is hope, after all.

I was told an advance copy of the study is available, and I’ve foolishly requested one. I say foolishly because it will surely be a scholastic tome with math in it, way over my head. I may have to assign it to one of you.

−The Armchair Golfer

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