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    Kindle Edition

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Writing And Videos

Don't worry about your caddie. He may be an irritating little wretch, but for eighteen holes he is your caddie. ARNOLD HAULTAIN



The Donald Takes Plainfield By Storm!

The Star-Ledger's Steve Polti with a wonderful recap of Donald Trump’s whirlwind visit to Plainfield CC during the Barclays final round? The occasion?

A meeting with the other Don...Finchem. And a little campaigning.

Anyway, Polti's piece (thanks reader Jeremy) is a keeper from beginning to end. The setup...

I have seen some unusual things on a golf course, including Tiger Woods returning to professional golf at the Masters after his made-for-the-tabloids sex scandal. Nothing tops this for sheer insanity. The best golfers in the world were lining up putts for a $1.4 million prize, but the bigger galleries were formed around the businessman and reality TV star who suddenly is the frontrunner for the Republican party's presidential nomination.

And make no mistake: He loved every minute of it. An impromptu security detail of six Edison police officers surrounded him, but Trump made it clear that he wanted no special "inside the ropes" access that would take him away from the people. He wanted to be seen.

"This is an affirmation," he told me. "People want our country to be good again. This is a great affirmation. You see it. Not a heckler in the whole group out of thousands of people."


Photo Caption Fun: The Donald And The Great One

There's a superb photo gallery accompanying Steve Polti's most enjoyable Star-Ledger column on Donald Trump taking The Barclays by storm.

While most of the photos were pretty self-explanatory, I just felt like this caption on John Munson's image didn't quite tell us everything:

Donald Trump and Wayne Gretzky watch Dustin Johnson on the 14th hole during the final round of The Barclays golf tournament at the Plainfield Country Club.

Don't get me wrong, it works, but I feel like we, as fans of the Star Ledger, might be able to do better...


LOL: Jason Day Could Ascend To No. 1 This Week

The best player on the planet right now actually has a chance to get the algorithm's attention at this week's Deutsche Bank Championship. Why is this funny?

Because we could be in for a lot of discussion, speeches, thank yous and cutting of bonus checks for one of the three lads vying for the typically-six-weeks-behind "World No. 1" label.

Anyway, Rex Hoggard explains how Day can pull a Keen Ice and come flying down the lane while American Pharoah and Frosted were outdueling most of the way. Hint: Day needs to win this week, not that this is a reach given the courses power bias, his affinity for TPC Boston and the way he's playing.

Brian Wacker touched on this and five other things from Sunday's Barclays, where Day dominated.

“Really trying to manage that has been tough. But over the years it's starting to become a lot easier. The last six weeks, they've been crazy. U.S. Open, The Open Championship, you mix that in with three other wins. The good thing about it is it's not over. I have this great momentum going into next week to a course I absolutely love. It's only positive stuff moving forward from here.”'s Jason Sobel notes how Day suddenly makes winning look easy after having done so little of it up until this year, where he has four victories.

Entering the current season, Day had competed in 151 PGA Tour events and won only twice. For most players, the "only" qualifier in that sentence wouldn't be applicable. That type of victory ratio throughout a career will keep any player employed at the game's highest level and, yes, extremely wealthy.

Hoggard says the difference may be in the lag putting. The stats back him up.

Maybe a more detailed explanation would be dramatically improved lag putting, like when Stenson gave Day something to look at on the leaderboard on Sunday, moving to within two strokes with back-to-back birdies at Nos. 13 and 14. Your new FedEx Cup front-runner answered by rolling in 61 feet of birdie putts at the 14th and 15th holes.

On paper it would explain how Day, who hasn’t ranked outside the top 30 in strokes gained-putting the last five seasons, is second on Tour in putts outside of 25 feet this year, converting 10 percent from that neighborhood.


Rickie Fowler & Jordan Spieth Scout Baltusrol Because They May Not Get Another Opportunity 

With next July's PGA Championship starting just 10 days after The Open Championship, Barclays cut-missers Fowler and Spieth wisely headed over with their caddies for a game at Baltusrol, site of 2016's final major.

Thanks to Joel Beall for the heads up on what may be about their last chance for a scouting mission before the PGA, which speaks to the madness that is next summer's schedule.

Missed cut pillow fight round today at Baltusrol but still some good action from @rickiefowler

A video posted by Jordan Spieth (@jordanspieth) on Aug 29, 2015 at 2:22pm PDT

A little @PGAChampionship practice round today with @jordanspieth and our tour loopers

A photo posted by Rickie Fowler (@rickiefowler) on Aug 29, 2015 at 2:50pm PDT



Video: Brian Harman's Second Ace In One Round

Brian Harman's second ace of The Barclays final round came at the 228-yard 14th. Two in one round! Harman posted a 68.

The video:

To put in perspective how rare the feat is, Golf Central put together this graphic:

And in case you still can't believe it, here's how the scorecard looked...

According to Melissa Blanton at, the last to record two aces in one round was Yusaku Miyazato at Reno in 2006. There's a Final Jeopardy stumper.



Sangmoon Bae's Military Plight, The Good And The Bad

The good news? The 54-hole co-leader at The Barclays could win and not lose his PGA Tour exemption when he starts fulfilling his Korean military service reports Jason Sobel at

Sobel writes:

According to an amendment that has already been preliminarily approved by the policy board and is scheduled to be ratified next week, Bae's exempt status would receive an extension following his military service. In other words, when he completes his duty, he won't need to reclaim his playing privileges.

The bad news for Bae? Even if he wins, the Presidents Cup as a captain's pick--he's currently 25th in points--is unlikely unless Captain Nick Price wants to be a total rebel. I saw you go Nick, pick him as a statement to the host country, then replace him if he can't go.

Rex Hoggard on Bae and the other intriguing elements going into Sunday's final round.

Bae is scheduled to report for his mandatory 21 months of military service next month after losing a legal challenge last month in South Korea. Without a significant policy change, his participation in the matches doesn’t seem likely.

“I'm not sure if Mr. Nick Price is going to pick me. I'm definitely going to go back [to Korea] after the FedEx Cup,” said Bae, who is currently 25th on the International Presidents Cup point list but can move into the top 10 automatic qualifiers with a victory on Sunday. “[Military service is] mandatory in Korea. I have a little mixed emotion. I have to go and I have only a few tournaments, and I will play really hard and work really hard.”

Bae and Jason Day are paired again Sunday and the drama of Bae's situation, along with the incredible showing of a heartbroken Ryan Palmer, actually threatens to overshadow the playoff points permutations. I know, shocking.

The highlights from Saturday at Plainfield:


Video: Phil Tries The Backwards Shot In Competition!

The definitions of success will vary I'm sure, but I'd say that it was a success in that he did go backwards and almost got the ball out of the bunker. No doubt some will insist that he had to hit the green to make this work.

Phil Mickelson says he used the shot once in competition at the AT&T National Pro-Am, but this is the first attempt caught on video.

Either way, unlike the past ones, including this one I got at Muirfield, the effort was a noble one for Mickelson at the 2015 Barclays, 18th hole, third round.

The clip:


Playoff Pressure! Bubba Aims At Tent; Jordan Goes Home

You can literally see the playoff vibe at Plainfield.

In the form of large, Impact font lettering along the fairway, just in case you forgot these were playoffs where algorithms rule!

That's the good news for Jordan Spieth, who misses his third cut of 2015 but is still very much alive in the FedExCup points race despite stepping on his ball. Reinforcing just how vital these playoffs are, Spieth put new irons in the bag this week, reported Jonathan Wall (and noted by's Brendan Moehler).

The 36-hole leader, Bubba Watson, apparently doesn't care much for Plainfield due to the blind shots, so he's aiming at tents and not worrying if he moves the ball. He's also using driver on holes where the play seems iffy, but the strategic tactic is to secure a few of the next shot.

Kevin Maguire on the tent play:

The two-time Masters champ said previously this course just doesn't suit his eye. Blind shots, of which there are many on the classic Donald Ross design, are difficult for Watson and he is an extremely visual golfer.

"The reason why I hit driver is to make the hole visually better for me on the next shot," Watson said.

Asked about his hole after the round, Watson simply gave the answer that many a weekend golfer would after making a par in a non-traditional.

"There's no pictures on the scorecard," he said.

But it doesn't really matter because the golf should still be fun. Example 4.5 million of how much more fun golf is when the ground game matters, Jason Day style at Plainfield's superb 7th hole:

Aug272015 "Breakup & Makeup: The Bromance Between PGA [Tour] Golfers and Caddies" 

Cameron Morfit at files a fun look at the on-again, off-again bromances of certain players and their luggage handlers.

I'm exhausted just trying to keep up with Vijay and his various loopers.

Although Singh and Tesori promised each other that their second partnership wouldn't revert to the way it was, old habits die hard. Having amassed six wins in their first collaboration, they raked in six more the second time around. The bad news? Singh, as driven as ever, was still dragging Tesori to the range on their off weeks.

"After another year and a half, I quit," Tesori says. "[Going back] was a decision I never liked. I did it for the money, the notoriety and the respect, and none of those were the right reasons. Jerry Kelly was top 30 in the world at the time, we'd done the 2003 Presidents Cup, and he was treating me well. It was something I said I wouldn't do again. When it's time to split up, it's time to split up."

Except, of course, when it's time to get back together.


Industry Leaders On How They Fell For The Game, Golf's Future

Jim Achenbach at goes to various golf industry leaders to ask how they fell for the game and where they see it going.

While there are no breakthrough revelations on how these interesting and intelligent people would help the sport going forward, I consider it a breakthrough that not one saw it as the job of governing bodies to create new consumers for the various companies who stand from growing the sport.

I enjoyed this most from Dave Schnider, president of Fujikura USA.

About the game’s future, Schnider compares golf to music.

“When I was growing up, I would never listen to Frank Sinatra,” he said. “Now I do, because it’s really good quality art. In the same way, I think kids will come to the game of golf. I think it will have another resurgence because it’s a fabulous game that can be played for a lifetime.

“I truly believe this in my heart. More players will come to the game because of what the game represents: good people, smart people, men and women who appreciate golf.”

And I believe he's right.


Another Course Bites The Dust; A Dozen We'd Like To Have Back

Imran Ghori in the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports that the Pete Dye-branded Moreno Valley Ranch, once home to a Nike Tour event, closed its doors on August 25th.

The course goes to auction September 1st with an openign bid of $3.6 million for the 27 holes and clubhouse.

On the sad topic of lost courses,'s Jason Scott Deegan looks at a dozen shuttered golf courses that we all regret having seen gone to seed.


Bubba Thrives On A Tighter, Shorter Course!

He's the most talented, creative and fearsome player on the planet when he wants to be. So it never surprises when Bubba Watson plays well, it only surprises when he decides this is the week to put his mind to it.

Plainfield has a lot of rough and is not thought to be a course you'd overpower, but Bubba used his driver a whole bunch to open with a 65 in The Barclays.

Rex Hoggard on Watson's unlikely low round from the Spieth-Day-Watson grouping Thursday morning.

Although it’s taken the better part of 36 years, the player one national magazine recently featured under the headline “Bubba: Why we love him and why we don’t” has learned to embrace the rub of the green.

In the age of the “we” generation it is conversely refreshing that Bubba is still an old-school “me” kind of guy.

When Spieth talks about a golf shot or a decision it’s always a group, “We've gone about our business the way we wanted to,” the 22-year-old said earlier this week.

Conversely, Watson often appears alone on an island of his own making. One outlook isn’t better than the other, just different.

“I had some issues growing up where I was very angry at the world and at the golf, and so I've tried to get better at that,” Watson said. “Over the past few years, I've grown up, I guess you'd say, and my thinking, my processes, either I'm getting better as a person or I'm just tired of hitting bad shots on the golf course. So I'm thinking better.”

Embracing Plainfield and all its quirkiness may not exactly have the look and feel of a hard self-examination, but for Bubba it’s an indication that he’s at least interested in improvement and that’s a start.

At least on Thursday. He can always change his mind, sadly.

Though as Helen Ross noted, it was love at first site for Bubba at Plainfield so the man-boy genius might stick around. Works for me!


Correction: Koepka Did Earn Presidents Cup Points

I know how the Presidents Cup dynamics are constantly in your hearts and minds so it is with my deepest apologies for passing along incorrect information. It regards Brooks Koepka's non-member days not counting toward his Presidents Cup standing. I regret not having fact checked the blog post I linked to.

In fact, Koepka is credited with Presidents Cup points dating back to start of the qualifying period, the 2013 BMW Championship

However, I do stand by the rest of my views that the PGA Tour needs to reconsider how it treats "non-members" who make the playoffs but don't make the playoffs, and consider the long term ramifications on college golf if there is a view that players can't finish the school year without harming chances of making the playoffs of either tour. (WGC winner Shane Lowry could have been part of the venting too, but I'm more concerned by the route from elite college player to tour.)



Playoff Fever: Plainfield! Plainfield! Plainfield!

Let's be honest, no one cares about the playoffs unless points resets are your thing, which is why we at least have our Fantasy League (with prizes from Avis and Callaway!) to keep us company. Two top players are limping in if they're playing at all (Hank Gola reports), Rory McIlroy is sitting out the first round and it'll be tough to top the 2015 majors.

But we have Plainfield for this week's first playoff event, The Barclays! This means two weeks in a row of Donald Ross designs, and as we saw last week at Sedgefield, there is something about those green complexes, the strategy and the intimate scale of the old style venues that makes for great tournament energy.

In 2011, Plainfield was soft from a wet summer and then was made even more forgettable by Hurricane Sandy.

This time around, the course is said to be in amazing shape by the PGA Tour's advance staff, the hurricane's are staying away and this Donald Ross masterwork should be a lot of fun to watch this week.

Ran Morrissett's Golf Club Atlas review is several years old but he makes the key point that this is one very special use of a property with more standout Ross holes than just about any course he created.

Gil Hanse has overseen restoration work here, with more tweaks in advance of this year's event at holes 15 and 16, as Tripp Isenhour reveals in this video report. The 18th will be driveable again, as Isenhour explained in this Golf Central report.

Coverage begins Thursday on Golf Channel at 2 pm ET, but those who've signed up to the PGA Tour's streaming option can start soaking up playoff tension at 8 am ET.


Video: The Story Of Plainfield's Wes Mensing

Tim Rosaforte looks at the short but prolific life of instructor Wes Mensing, who died in January at 27 but left his legacy at Plainfield (site of this week's Barclays) and beyond with his many students.

The moving and beautifully told 8-minute feature:


Met Open's 100th Is Underway...

While the Barclays plays out at Plainfield, the MGA's Met Open is playing its 100th event at Winged Foot, with the final round set for Thursday on the recently restored East Course. You can view the scores here heading into the final round.

Bill Fields
reviews this important event and its remarkable history in this New York Times piece.

But the Met Open endures: It will be contested this week over 54 holes at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., in a celebration of the tournament’s rich history as one of the oldest in the United States.

The 100th edition of the event — once a marquee tour stop and still one of the country’s strongest regional competitions — will begin Tuesday morning with a field of 138 on Winged Foot’s East Course, designed by A. W. Tillinghast and recently restored by Gil Hanse.

“It’s our flagship tournament,” said the three-time Met Open champion Darrell Kestner, director of golf at Deepdale Golf Club in Manhasset, N.Y. “There are so many really good players in this area. The event is played on classic courses that have stood the test of time and is basically run like a tour event.”

The MGA has put together videos commemorating the 100th, including a tribute to Winged Foot.


Eisenhower Medical Takes Big Hit In Post-Hope Classic Years

Bill Dwyre of the LA Times says there are no bad guys in this saga, but he goes into great depth on the backstory behind the evolution of the Bob Hope Classic to the Humana Challenge to the CareerBuilder something or other.

In the years since Hope's passing and the Clinton Foundation's $1 million annual take, the Eisenhower Medical Center has seen its once sizeable annual donation fall to almost nothing, or nothing.

Dwyre writes:

For a long time, as Hope wanted, the Eisenhower Medical Center was the main financial recipient of the Bob Hope Desert Classic. It stayed that way when it became the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.

The hospital can hardly complain too loudly if, indeed, its piece of the pie has dwindled since Humana and the Clinton Foundation came to town. Since Hope put his name on the tournament in 1965, the Eisenhower Medical Center has received $34.7 million from it.

In 2013, it received zero. Last year, it received $225,000. This year's allotment is scheduled for November, with no guarantees.

Foster says that, in the beginning, "Eisenhower was a pleasant little hospital and we were fairly vital." He also says, "We have not been as successful as we want to be in recent years, raising money for the hospital."

The numbers are interesting. Amateur slots for the tournament are down to 156. Foster says the reduction from past amateur revenue is about $1 million. The Clinton Foundation has an annual guarantee of $1 million, confirmed by Foster. The current annual shortfall of the Eisenhower Medical Center from the golf event is $1 million.


Reviewed: The Woods Jupiter

Josh Sens at does a nice job balancing restaurant review with scene setting anecdotes and caps it off with a sighting of The Man of the moment in Jupiter.

A snippet:

I squeeze my way up front, through a scrum of silver foxes and platinum blonds. The scene is moneyed Florida in microcosm, as if a nightclub mated with a country club. Many of the men look like Ted Bishop. Many of the women have that new-wife smell.

“Think he’ll be here tonight?” I ask the bartender, a comely twenty-something who, like all the staffers, wears sports attire adorned with swooshes. Hers: a Nike golf skirt and black Nike top. Natalie Gulbis would play her in the movie.

She cups an ear. I repeat the query.

“Who’s he?” she answers coyly, and hands me a margarita that’s only a shade smaller than the Claret Jug.


PGA Tour Fantasy: Playoff Fever! 

Yes, it's a PGA Tour fantasy that there is playoff fever as we prepare to begin the four-event get-rich scheme. But I'm talking about PGA Tour Fantasy Golf Driven By Avis.

It's not too late to join our league for the four FedExCup events, so get busy!

Here's how it'll work: join the league this week or be in the league already, and we'll have a drawing for a 1-day rental certificate.

Four weekly winners of the FedExCup events will receive 1 day rentals from Avis.

Most points from the overall wins an Avis two-day rental certificate and the new Great Big Bertha from Callaway, while second place wins an Odyssey putter.

The game is ShotLink-based and designed to emphasize every shot counting. You pick four players, two alternates each week. Simple as that, though if you want to dig in on stats and do some extra homework, you can. The system will send you an email to remind you about filling out your lineup.

Here's the league, so sign up now and we'll get through these playoffs...together. As a league.


Why Is The PGA Tour Eating Its Young?

Longtime readers here know why we're hearing strange stories of budding young talents finding themselves stifled, but for those who are perhaps outraged by Martin Kaymer losing his PGA Tour membership or Patrick Rodgers having no place to go or Brooks Koepka unlikely to make the Presidents Cup team on points or Ollie Schniederjans missing status by a shot, here's a recap of how we got here.

The PGA Tour was in danger of losing four fall events because they were following the "FedExCup playoffs" and essentially became "Fall Finish" events for those attempting to retain tour cards. If that didn't work out, the players had Q-School to look forward to as one more chance to retain a card. The system worked well while also allowing those on the outside hope of living the dream. 

Yet to save these precious four fall events and add new ones (growth! bonuses!), Tim Finchem and the PGA Tour Policy Board came up with the idea of wraparound golf, a neverending schedule putting an end to the tour's traditional, highly functional January-November calendar.

Setting aside the oversaturation issue resulting from year-round play and the peculiarity for general sports fans of starting a new season after the prior one ends, the greater issue was always the impact on "fresh blood" playing opportunities. As other sports wish they could stave off immature players not quite ready for the show (think NBA), golf is seeing players develop at a younger age like never before. The LPGA has just had its second 17-year-old superstar quandary to deal with, and like never before, male golfers are developing at younger ages and with shocking ability when coming out of the NCAA golf system.

Yet the avenue for these capable young talents has been made nearly impossible by the schedule realignment and a change in membership policies that seeks to protect existing members while making a path to the PGA Tour more difficult than ever. The only thing unfortunate about Jordan Spieth's rise was his ability to make people forget that he left school in December and through hard work, some luck (as Karen Crouse quotes him noting this week) and a great amount of skill, made it past the unfortunate barriers erected by the Tour's schedule change. 

Since Spieth's emergence, we’ve seen elite college golf talents like Peter Uihlein and Brooks Koepka try the European Tour route and while both have had moments, Koepka had a few more at just the right times. He then rode his way into some PGA Tour events by cracking the world top 50, played just well enough, and made it to the PGA Tour as a "member." But it was far from easy and a few shots here and there could have the American still playing in Europe with his buddy Uihlein. As it stands, Koepka should be on the cusp of making the Presidents Cup team on points, but because of the "membership" situation in 2013-14, is missing out on key points.

Soly at No Laying Up lays out why this happened to Koepka and understandably wonders how the PGA Tour could do this to a player it needs.

Sadly, Koepka’s case is a minor blip compared to the embarrassing situation involving Patrick Rodgers (Stanford) and the unfortunate luck of Ollie Schniederjans (Georgia Tech). Both are immensely talented young American college golf-grads whose clubs will be collecting dust the next few weeks because of the entire debacle that is Tim Finchem’s wraparound schedule.

You may recall that Phil Blackmar wrote eloquently about how the end of Q-School would close the door to emerging talents, and with the recent situations involving Rodgers and Schniederjans, the reality has become painfully obvious. I wrote last year about Rodgers and what it would take for him to get to the tour, yet even as well as the Stanford graduate has played, it's still not been enough to get him into the almighty playoffs. Membership in the club should not be a playoff priority, accomplishments should.

Steve Elling explains at GolfBlot how Rodgers "is facing a two-month break, because he’s ineligible to play in either series, despite being a member and having secured a PGA Tour card for 2015-16." Elling talked to Rodgers' agent Brad Buffoni, who is understandably amazed that his client earned a card and a spot in the playoffs of either the PGA or Tours, and yet won't be.

He finished inside the top 125 in FedEx Cup points to secure his status going forward, but since he was playing as a non-member, he remains ineligible for the FedEx Cup playoffs and the millions in bonus money on the table.

“A rule change that certainly needs review and discussion,” Buffoni said. “Hopefully, the tour will address this situation going forward, as players of Patrick’s caliber have proved in limited starts that they can compete successfully and deserve the chance to advance to the playoffs.”

Because of a new rule change instituted this year, Rodgers, 23, likewise can’t play in the Tour series, either, though he began the season on that tour, won in February and sits at No. 23 on the points list. (The top 25 at the end of this week earn PGA Tour cards for next season.)

Remember kids, the next time the tour tries to play up how young and hip they are, just keep in mind how they treat their young.

Oh but it gets more painful: Ollie Schniederjans.

Ryan Lavner lays out at in excruciating detail how the former world No. 1 amateur who finished 12th in The Open at St. Andrews, then contended at the Canadian Open and stayed in school before turning pro, missed his chance to keep playing playoff golf by a stroke. And an unlucky one at that.

Playing on sponsor exemptions this summer, he began the week with 99 non-members points and basically needed to make the cut in Greensboro to continue his season. (The equivalent of a T-66 finish would have been enough.) After an opening 71 in easy conditions, he was 4 under for his second round and safely inside the cut line when he lined up his second shot on the ninth hole, his 18th of the day. He caught a flier from the first cut, his ball sailed over the green, and he had no shot to get the ball close. The bogey capped a Friday 67 and put him on the cut line at 2 under.

Schniederjans looked safe for the weekend – and for a spot in the Finals – until Roberto Castro, another Georgia Tech alum, stuffed his final approach to a foot in the last group of the day. That single-handedly moved the cut back to 3 under, and Schniederjans was out.

But there’s more: Erik Compton withdrew prior to the start of the third round, citing a sore left ankle. Had he withdrawn before the end of the second round, the 36-hole cut would have moved back to 2 under and allowed 19 players – including Schniederjans – to move on.

“I was devastated,” he said. “I was crushed.”

Now, instead of a shot to earn his PGA Tour card through the four-event series, he has three weeks off and no status on any major tour.

It is not Finchem's fault that Ollie had bad luck or that Patrick didn't win the Wells Fargo instead of finishing second.

No, it's Finchem's fault that he could not envision so many negatives than positives from the move to wraparound golf or the consequences of ending Q-School as a direct avenue to the PGA Tour. And it's certainly his fault if more college golfers start following Spieth's bold plan of leaving school in December instead of June after the season and graduations have played out.

(This state of affairs is especially worth remembering when the tour tries to align itself with NCAA golf, even as it tries to send well-developed collegians to their feeder tours whether they need the developmental golf or not.)

The incongruity of the current schedule was largely created in the name of growing purses and keeping the playoffs on network television at the expense of common sense on many fronts. This unfortunate change will be the legacy of Finchem's term, especially if he stays on past 2016 to protect his vision of a playoff structure that remains as he envisioned: bloated, ill-timed as a sports event on the heals of majors and oddly discriminatory toward budding stars who--how dare they--choose to finish out the school year.

Which is why it is imperative that 68-year-old Finchem retire in 2016 and pave the way for his hand-chosen successor to imagine a better way, particularly at a time when the game desperately wants to nurture its young, not hold them back.