Monday, August 20, 2007

Who cares if Tiger skips The Barclays

I've been trying to work myself up into an indignant lather over Tiger Woods blowing off the first of the four FedEx Cup play-off tournaments, this week's The Barclay's. Can't do it.

I know the PGA Tour is seething over the news. For crying out loud they've spent millions trying to get fans interested in the FedEx Cup. A few readers have sent me angry emails, accusing Tiger of being a lazy lout.

I don't see it that way. Tiger's absence is bad news for The Barclay's tournament organizers who are trying to sell tickets, and it's bad news for the Golf Channel and CBS, who draft off his popularity. But bad news for me and you? Why? I don't see it.

The way I figure it, Tiger is just spotting the field a one-tournament head start and making it a little more interesting for himself. You know, while the cat's away, the mice will play. Let Phil and Vijay and a few others grab a few early freebie points while Tiger is sleeping. Let the golf puditocracy wring its hands over whether Tiger can come back from this points hole he has dug for himself.

I'm betting he can. I'm betting Tiger returns to action at the Deutche Bank Championship next week, win's that, maybe finishes Top 10 at the BMW Championship the week after at Cog Hill outside Chicago, then wins the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta.

Game over. Tiger wins the first FedEx Cup. What else is new?


Anonymous said...

You are damm right. Period

steve said...

Upon reflection, I think this is TW's way of saying that the playoff system needs major tweaking. He could have finished last in the WGC and PGA and still finished first in the FedEx Cup points list and he’d be no worse off to start the FedEx Cup because all of the season’s points get wiped out and reset, based on where you finished. What if he wins 3 or 4 majors in the future? Where's the advantage if the points get reset for the playoffs? He could skip them altogether. Does he really need a 10M annuity at age 65?

steve said...


Tiger Woods had amassed 30,574 points in only 13 events. His lead over second-place Vijay Singh (23 events and 19,129 points) was 11,445. With the re-seeding, Tiger's lead has been shaved by 10,445 points. His lead over #144 Jeff Gove was shaved from about 29,000 to 15,300, a difference of about 14,000 points.

Let's suppose Vijay Singh wins all four playoff events. He'd blow Tiger Woods out of the water in the FedExCup "Playoffs," win the $10M annuity and that hideous trophy. Vijay would end the year with six victories (one more than Tiger), but would also be major-less in 2007 (he even missed the cut in a few majors). Would his year have been "better" than Tiger's? I think not.

The situation is not even that extreme: if Vijay Singh finishes second in every tournament and Tiger finishes third, he'd win the FedExCup over Tiger with only two victories to Tiger's five (and a major).

I wrote about this last year in an article called "FedExCup: Failure from the Start?":

Tim Finchem was once fond of saying that "the FedExCup is going to incentivize the top players to play often and play well."

But the FedExCup system doesn't offer incentives; it offers communism. The FedExCup does not "incentivize" top players to play more frequently because any lead they build up will be knocked down by the re-leveling of the seeds. It doesn't encourage the rabbits and journeymen on Tour to play any more frequently than they do already in attempts to slide into the top 125 - it only encourages them to play better during three particular events.

Anonymous said...

ivlljnvThe Fedex Cup is not worth straining your energy after the regular season golf tournaments....not for an 'Annuity prize'. Most of the top players win that much money in a saeaon's play.
None of the playoffs is a "Major".
Fans of football and baseball will be watching those games instead.
Tger Woods ,to his credit is playing it smart. Yhe Fedex cup playoffs do not do any golfer any favor..on the contrary Tiger's record should already entitle him to have the Fedex Cup. Why do they rest the points won on the regular season...hard won over a much longer time period. GO Tiger.The Fans are with you. They aint showing up at the make a point.

Anonymous said...

Not only does the Fedex cup playoff
full of holes, it does nothing for a golfer to put in 4 consecutive weeks of intense play after the regular season of more important tournaments. The Annuity Prize is a joke. Most golfers would rather play in the Senior tours than sit around for the Fedex annuity.
Worst of all...the hard work golfers put in by golfers during the regular season amassing points
will not count for the Fedex Cup.
Some change will be done to chsnge
this sad state of Fedex Playoff events...I predict. Meantime I'll just wait till Tiger Woods plays in a tournament.

steve said...

The points system and the 144 qualifiers for the first event and 120 for the second event are absurd. I predict next year there will be seedings giving the top 5 byes(if they so desire) into the second event and more points so that they don't get surpassed in the first event by someone who was a non winner during the regular season. Stricker had a decent year but he didn't win. Winning on tour should count for something in the seedings, right Joe?