Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This Week in Golf

TOUR Championship - This week is the culmination of the PGA Tour Playoffs. The top 30 on the final FedEx Cup point list after three weeks of playoff events will compete at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. The winner of the TOUR Championship takes home $1.35 million. However, the winner of the FedEx Cup Playoffs gets a $10 million prize. Mathematically, all 30 players in the field stand a shot a winning the FedEx Cup, but for #30 John Senden to win the whole thing, Tiger would have to finish dead last while Senden places first in the TOUR Championship. The possibility that has most of the golfing world excited is the opportunity for any of the top 5 on the points list to control their own destiny. If Tiger, Stricker, Furyk, Zach Johnson, or Heath Slocum wins the tournament this week, that player then takes the $10 million prize along with it, no matter how the other players in the top 5 finish this week. Most analysts are excited about that part of the new Playoffs format. There is still a lot of tweaking to be done to the three year old Playoff system. If Tiger finishes second to Furyk or Johnson, many, including Woods, will be up in arms because neither of those two players won any of the previous three Playoff events. However, we could also see Tiger finishing in seventh place in a Geoff Ogilvy win, and Tiger still take home the FedEx Cup. I do not believe the Playoff points formatting will ever be perfect or even good, but I do like the PGA Tour Playoffs for the sole reason that it brings the Tour's best players together at great venues for big money at the end of the season when we didn't used to see them play. The $10 million grand prize and FedEx Cup add some interest, but no one will remember 30 years from now who won the FedEx Cup in 2009. They will look back on Kenny Perry at Augusta, Tom Watson at Turnberry, and Y.E. Yang at Hazeltine. Tim Finchum cannot replace the majors no matter how hard he tries to push his creations, such as the World Golf Championship Series and PGA Tour Playoffs. For my third pick in a row, I choose Tiger Woods to win at East Lake this week, where the rain has nearly flooded the course. And as my sleeper, I will keep an eye out for David Toms, who always plays well in the Atlanta area. The coverage of the TOUR Championship will be carried by our friends at NBC.


  1. I set my watch to "This Week in Golf".

  2. What odds do you give Stricker? I may well turn away from the NFL on Sunday if Steve still has a shot going into the back nine.

  3. Stricks is seven shots back, tied for 21st after the second round. I would watch the Bears beat the Seahawks if all you care about in golf is Steve Stricker. However, an interesting storyline is possible if Harrington and Woods are still close and in the final pairing on Sunday.


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