Since “final” technically means final, it’s not wrong to use that word to describe the three tournaments that end on August 28 in Atlanta. The obvious meaning, however, is that the absolute in this context means the greatest.
As for history? Like I said: Oh, please.
History is made in Grand Slam golf, not in the incredibly lucrative non-historic playoffs but ultimately (pun intended) – or, for that matter, in the highly lucrative and overrated players’ tournament.
For the record, I Such as Qualifiers – at least in the form of individual tournaments. In 2006, after Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson made it clear that they had no interest in playing the Tour Championship in November, Commissioner Tim Finchim came up with a brilliant idea: He convinced FedEx to pay for a four championship playoff and moved it. Tournament tour through September.
Money talks – even for wealthy athletes. Instead of coming home after the four majors and waiting for pre-holiday fairs with guaranteed upfront money, the players showed up for the playoffs. The first winner in 2007 was Woods. He refused to kiss the FedEx Cup, but showed up to play, and that was all that really mattered.
However, there was a problem with the system, and even though the round had been tweaked and tweaked, it didn’t get it right. In fact, despite all the money and the hype, qualifying is basically a scam. Not on the players, who cash huge checks in the first two weeks and brutal checks in the third week, but on the audience.
It starts with a points system, designed to make both week-to-week qualifiers and regular tournaments seem more important than they are and majors less important.
The tour is not responsible for majors. They are dominated by Augusta National Golf Club, American Golf Association, Royal and Ancient and PGA of America And the You have separate TV deals. This is why winning a weekly PGA Tour event is worth 500 FedEx Cup points and winning a major tournament is only worth 600.
Ask the player how much it is to win a Specialty compared to the Weekly Event. They will tell you that it is at least five times as important. Brandel Chamblee of the Golf Channel told me several years ago that winning a regular tour was probably worth about $3 million over the course of his career, and a major was probably worth close to $30 million.
Let’s be conservative and say that specialization is five times as important. This means that winning a Major should equal 2,500 points – not 600. The Tour also awards 550 to the winner of a number of events, including the three star-hosted players and tournaments: Tiger Woods event in Riviera; Jack Nicklaus Event, Memorial; and Arnold Palmer’s Late Bay Hill Championships.
The weekend championship in Memphis awards the winner 2,000 points, as does next week’s event in Delaware. In other words, according to the Tour, winning the first two playoff events equals more than three times the victory in a major tournament.
There’s a lot of money at play here: $15 million in each of the first two weeks and $44.75 million split between the top 10 Tournament winners, in which the winner received $18 million.
You might point out, that doesn’t sound crazy compared to the guarantees being paid by LIV Golf Series, the Saudi Arabia-funded startup, but it’s still Many from money.
The Tour responded to LIV in two ways: suspending players who took Saudi petrodollars and ran, and increasing their payouts to dizzying levels. This year there will be a $50 million Player Impact Fund which will be split among 10 players – wait for it – for being popular on social media.
In addition, prize money goes up across the board. The Players Championship portfolio will reach $25 million next year thanks to new TV broadcasting contracts.
But as with LIV, all that money can’t make tournaments as big as they are or as big as the promoters want them to be. LIV is a set of 54-hole exhibitions that are played for Monopoly money. The qualifying events on the PGA Tour are more legitimate — 72-hole events that golfers have to work their way up to.
Furthermore, individual tournaments can be just as attractive as any non-major tournaments. Last year’s match in Caves Valley between Patrick Cantlay and Bryson Deschamps – Won on the sixth hole by Cantlay – It was a great theater. Same for Sunday’s championship, won by Will Xalatores in the third round of the playoff.
In many ways, the playoffs accomplished what Finchim hoped they would: It kept the big players playing and fans interested in watching after the major tournaments ended. This was not the case. Players were only interested in the ridiculous season when they got the money up front.
The playoffs changed that. However, that wasn’t enough for the tour, which insists that its TV partners act as if a major tournament is always decided, especially in players, when in fact there is a lot and a lot of money at stake.
FedEx has spent a lot of money since 2007 in the playoffs and in the round. Corporate sponsorship is at the heart of everything the Tour does. Washington – the nation’s capital – does not hold an annual event. why? Because no corporate sponsor is willing to fund a tournament here.
The Tour has changed match regulations more often than most people change their socks. When Vijay Singh snatched victory in the FedEx Cup this week Before Tournament Tour In Year 2, the Tour changed the system. When Bill Haas entered the podium after winning the Tour Championship in 2011 and asked Finchim, “Who won the FedEx Cup?” ‘I did,’ replied Wench shyly, ‘it was time for another change.’
Three years ago, the tour adopted what is essentially the member-guest format. The points leader starts the Tour Championship at 10 below par, and everyone starts behind him, all the way to 30th place.
Last year, Cantlay started at the age of 10 and shot 269 for the week in Atlanta. Three players played better than him, but Cantlay’s start made him the winner. This is a bit like a team winning the Super Bowl despite outsmarting the goals because they started with a 14-0 lead.
How does all this work? First, give the majors the focus they deserve. An easy fix, but the tour hates doing it.
Another easy solution: If you want to call it qualifiers, make it a real qualifier. After the regular season is over, start everyone from scratch. Next year, only 70 players will participate in the playoffs with 50 players advancing to the second tournament and 30 to the Tour Championship. The tour—and TV networks—live in fear that a star won’t make it to Atlanta. Rory McIlroy missed the cut last week in Memphis. NBC doesn’t want him to miss the next two weeks.
The only player really driving the ratings is Tiger Woods, and his days of making the playoffs are over. So make it a real competition with everyone who is eliminated.
History still isn’t possible, but at least we’ll get a real hero when all is said and done. It’s been 16 years. It’s time to fix this once and for all.