Date: September 25, 2012
Author: Luke Elvy / Golf Australia

Luke Elvy blog: is the FedEx Cup delivering?

Did Brandt Snedeker s FedEx Cup victory leave you a bit empty? Did you feel that while he played brilliantly to win the Tour Championship, he wasn t the best player in the playoffs? Regardless of your answers, the fact we are even asking those questions means there is something fundamentally wrong with the current system. If the best player doesn’t win the bonus $10 million then it needs to be reviewed. Hall of Fame golf writer Dan Jenkins summed it up best when he tweeted The FedEx Cup is like the USA winning World War I and World War II, then losing to Greenland. Rory McIlroy deserved to be the FedEx Cup champion. Despite a poor final round at East Lake, he was undoubtedly the best over the four events. For starters he won two of them, only the resetting of points heading into the Tour Championship allowed Snedeker to snatch the cash. The PGA Tour likes to promote the FedEx Cup as a season-long points race then why does the person who wins the last event end up with the Cup? At least Snedeker was fifth heading into the Tour Championship, last year Bill Haas was 25th. Lets compare their seasons – Snedeker won twice, was runner up at The Barclays and tied 3rd at The Open. McIlroy won four times (including the PGA Championship), finished 2nd twice and was third at the WGC at Doral. I understand the PGA Tour wants it to come down to the winning putt, it needs to have the $10 million on the line to justify the sponsorship from FedEx but golf isn t like the AFL or NRL and the playoff system doesn’t quite work. Winning the Tour Championship doesn’t necessarily mean you re the best player overall. Let s give credit where it s due- the season-long points race to make the playoffs works. The elimination from 125 to 100 to 70 to 30 also gets the thumbs up. It’s just the finale that needs tweaking. The PGA Tour has an abundance of money, why don t they pay some mathematical genius to devise a better equation so the true winner gets the lion s share of the FedEx Cup bounty. Professional golf seems fixated on 72-hole stroke-play events – why? Maybe it s time for some variety. If they need it to come down to the last putt then perhaps players, based on their position in the points standing, (not the leader board) get eliminated at East Lake after 18, 36 and 54 holes respectively. It d leave a small number of players to duel it out on Championship Sunday. Say the top six players in the points standings (not the leader board) make it through to final day – we d need another maths equation here to reset the points so it s fair drop the bottom player (in the points) through six holes, the next after the 9th, 12th & 15th so you re left with best two players of the playoffs going toe to toe over the final three holes. This is something I just made up on the spot, I m sure it needs fine-tuning but it d certainly build more drama and tension. If I can come up with that in five minutes what could a room full of intelligent people come up with over the next three months? For the fans sake, I hope its better than what we saw this year. Aussie success Congratulations to Victorian Cameron Percy who confirmed he ll be heading back to the PGA Tour next year following a tie for second at the WNB Classic in Texas. The 38 year-old s had a very competitive season on the Web.Com Tour and deserves his promotion. It’s his third runner up result for the year and sixth in his Secondary Tour career and while I know he was gutted not to get the win, this is a fair consolation. It’s another achievement for Jason Day s mentor Colin Swatton who also coaches Percy. With Day and Chalmers already on the PGA Tour all Swatton needs is for Michael Sim to continue his comeback and all of his pupils would be on the main tour. And what about this for a bounce back, Golf Australia s rookie pro Stacey Keating claimed her maiden Ladies European Tour win a week after she was disqualified from the RICOH Women’s British Open. Keating was left gutted at Royal Liverpool when she was DQ d for signing an incorrect scorecard but is now buzzing following her sudden-death playoff victory over German Caroline Masson at the Tenerife Open in Spain. I ve probably had the worst week of my life and the best week of my life in the last two weeks. the 26 year-old from Sydney said while giving special thanks to mentors Karrie Webb and Karen Lunn. After leading through 36 holes, Nikki Garrett Tied 4th. Luke Elvy recently returned from the United States covering the PGA Tour. He will host the Australian PGA Championship coverage for ONE HD in December and writes exclusively for Golf Australia. His views do not necessarily represent those of Golf Australia. Follow him on Twitter – @elvisgolf