Any Enthusiasm For The Fedex Cup?

So now we move into the Tour’s post season. Although I’m as big a golf fan as there is, I’m having a hard time generating any internal enthusiasm for the FedEx Cup Series. In spite of the huge purse, and the strong fields, it really doesn’t feel to me like anything special.

Perhaps it’s the lack of history. Part of the fun of the Majors is appreciating the relationship between past and present. Tom Watson won at Turnberry in 1977; his 2009 run at the title on the same course had unmatched resonance. The last time the PGA was played at Hazeltine, Rich Beem held off Tiger to become a surprise winner; this year Y.E. Yang also produced a surprise. And so it goes.

Of course, it could be argued that the FedEx Cup will develop that sort of history over time. But I doubt it. I have no faith that the FedEx Cup will have any permanence. I certainly don’t expect it to outlast the current deal—even if another title sponsor were to be found (the Google Cup? the Chase Manhattan Cup?). The PGA Tour has shown no commitment to its own history, tossing aside old friends in favor of newer, more glamorous ones. As soon as someone offers a bigger purse for a different format, the Tour will drop it just as it dropped the Western Open and other old friends.

I also suspect that I’m blasé because the whole concept of a playoff series in golf just doesn’t feel right. Perhaps it’s because there’s no immediacy—an impression given by top players who have taken a week off in the middle of the series. It’s impossible to imagine the Dallas Cowboys taking a week off in December because they’re tired (The Lions, on the other hand, take weeks off starting in September).

And the Tour has so manipulated the playoff formula that it doesn’t really have the feel of a playoff anyway. They seem to have the points fixed so that a player can’t cruise into the title by avoiding the cut line—as Vijay did— but the imperative still is to keep the marquee players in it until the end. In real playoffs—seeding and byes aside—each team has an equal chance at the title. Imagine a league setting things up so that one or two teams would cruise into the semifinals regardless of how they did in the games leading up to the quarters.

I’m hoping that this is the year the Tour finally gets it right—that it comes down to the wire with four or five players needing to win on Sunday to take it all; and with no one merely needing to make the cut, leaving everyone else playing for second. I’d really like to see some golf excitement after the Majors.

So what about you? Do you have any enthusiasm or hope for the FedEx Cup?

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7 thoughts on “Any Enthusiasm For The Fedex Cup?”

  1. Evidently you haven’t watched the Cowboys play in December lately!

    Sarcasm aside, you make a good point. Why watch if the winner is predetermined? As a matter of fact, I neglected to watch the PGA on Sunday (after watching all day Friday and all day Saturday) because I just figured Tiger would win and I couldn’t stand another 6 hour broadcaster tigasm. By the same token, I didn’t watch the last tournament last year because it seemed the cup was already won – before the last tournament started.

    So very little interest for me and even less enthusiasm.

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  2. I agree.  If they want to get real, how about a Labor day “Union Cup”, for the people that brought us the weekend.  The PGA players themselves can fund the pot, and it should be played as a round robin at the site(s) of the old name tournaments of the past. A tribute to golf history, and the working player, instead of the usual Bank crowd.

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  3. “broadcaster tigasm” – that’s a new one.  I like it.

    I have no enthusiasm for the fed ex cup.  I think the fact that they keep tweaking the format shows that it’s a cheesy idea to begin with.  And I agree with everyone who says that in a real playoff when you lose you go home.  I have always thought the Charles Schwab Cup on the Champions Tour is more exciting and it’s just a points race to the end of the season.  No additional playoff or anything. But then I think it’s the players that make it fun, not the format.  On the Champions Tour you had the battle between Loren Roberts and Jay Haas that ended with Roberts missing a five foot putt (of all things for the Boss of the Moss) and it cost him a huge chunk of change.  Contrastly, the first year of the Fed Ex Cup you had Tiger.  Blah.  The second year – Vijay who coasted.  Blah. Even if you had a battle between Tiger and Phil, or Tiger and Padraig, or Tiger and Vijay or Tiger and anyone else, it would still be blah.  And finally, who really wants to see a rich golfer win $10 Million? I’d rather watch Q-School.  That’s an intense competition and while only a player’s card is on the line (compared to $10 million), it’s still a player’s chance to make history on the PGA tour by winning a prestigious tournament or a major.  I bet anyone would trade a Fed Ex Cup and the $10 million for a Masters jacket.

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  4. Interest? Little. Enthusiasm? None.

    One reason is that football season will be on the way.

    Another—maybe stepping on a hornet’s nest here—is that it’s as useless as the NASCAR Winston (or whatever) cup. Towards the end of that season you’ll hear that driver X has to finish 25th place (or simply finish the race) to win the cup.

    As I understand the FedEx cup, it’s the same way for golf.

    What sort of playoff is that?

    Then look at the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS and NCAA football, division D-1A aside. You win a game (or a series) against an opponent or you go home. The competitor who WINS the last game wins the championship.

    Does the FedEx cup work like that?

    I’m not sure a playoff works for golf’s economics.  Would, for example, the PGA be satisfied to end the event with 3 events if that’s all it took for a player to accumulate N points required to win?

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  5. Very little interest in the FedEx Cup here. Perhaps the PGA should find a good promoter or two and get them to tweak it.

    Reply

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