With no Tiger and no suspense, ratings for Sunday’s Tour Championship finish had an overnight rating of 1.8, down 54.5% from last year’s 3.3.
It’s too bad, since the Sunday finish itself was quite exciting.
But it’s probably reflective of a general disinterest in the whole thing. For most sports fans, the golf season largely ends with the PGA Championship. Soon after that, college and professional football begin, and the nation turns it’s weekend attention to the gridiron.
That’s why I’ve previously suggested that the Tour’s best move would be to hold the Tour Championship on the West Coast, or in Hawaii so the four event can be held on four weekdays in prime time. They could hold it Monday through Thursday (yes, the first round would conflict with Monday Night Football, but that’s far less problematic than having the final round conflict with a whole slate of NFL games).
The Tour’s also got to fix the points system. It’s clearly broken, since Vijay was able to win the $10 million check simply by showing up for the final tournament. Perhaps they should add more weight to the points earned at the Tour Championship.
And finally, I think they’ve got a bit of a identity issue. The Tour Championship is intended both as a prestigious tournament on its own, and at the same time is the culminating event for the season long points race. So Villegas can win the Tour Championship, but not go home with the big prize. At the same time, Vijay can sleepwalk through the final rounds, and still win the FedEx Cup.
That’s too confusing for me. Even though I know better, I still have the feeling that the Tour Championship IS the FedEx Cup. So in the back of my mind, I wonder how you can lose the Tour Championship and take home the big check.
I’d love to know how they’re going to fix this.
It needs fixing.
Update: Meanwhile, golf writer Lorne Rubenstein savages the FedEx Cup.