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Sunday
Nov122017

Of Course Bernhard Langer Didn't Win The Season Long Charles Schwab Cup 

The dreaded "reset" reared its ugliest and most comedic head yet by depriving Bernhard Langer of the 2017 Schwab Cup.

On the list of hideous crimes this one will not  register and Langer's amazing season will not in any way be minimized by a ridiculous algorithm or playoff points reset. However, for a sponsor like Charles Schwab, an association with a goofily rigged competition should not be allowed to continue. Unless Schwab wants to stand for rewarding distant-second excellence.

A season-long points race loses credibility when a player has 16 top-10s, 21 top-20s and 7 wins in 22 starts (including the first two playoff events and 3 of 5 majors!), but fails to beat someone whose playoffs went like this: T47, T27, 1.

Will Gray at GolfChannel.com pointed this fun fact out:

This is Sutherland's first tournament victory since his lone PGA Tour title at the 2002 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. It marks the first time since 2013 that someone other than Langer won the season-long trophy on the over-50 circuit.

My favorite stat of all from Kevin Casey at Golfweek:

Overall, Langer fails to capture the Schwab Cup despite a season that included more wins than his last two Schwab-Cup-winning campaigns combined.

That's not fair to Kevin Sutherland. After all he won...once. The last event.

There is one positive for the PGA Tour: with the FedExCup avoiding any major points reset drama this year, the Schwab takes over the Reset Cup mantle.

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Reader Comments (39)

Should be renamed the Langer Cup for one...

Like the FedEx was tough to figure out what was going down on the last day. Isn't the intent to create a Super Bowl type day?

FedEx and Schwab don't work
11.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul
Did the NFL regular season lose credibility when 9-7 Giants beat the undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl?

Did the MLB regular season suffer when Minnesota and St Kouis won World Series with barely winning records over vastly superior regular season teams?

Did the college basketball regular season lose credibility when NC State and Villanova beat vastly superior regular season teams Houston and Georgetown in the NCAA championship?

I’m not a big fan of this system or anything but every sport produces playoff winners that are nowhere near the best for the entire season.
11.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGriffin
All sports have playoffs that produce winners that are nowhere near the best for the entire regular season.
11.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGriffin
Griffin,

If the 9-7 Giants finished T-47 in the Wild Card game, they wouldn't have won the Super Bowl.
11.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTremendous Slouch
Maybe karma at work with those anchoring putters not getting the silverware.
11.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMatthewM
Slouch,

I guess one could argue that the t-47 was the equivalent of a bad first quarter and his performance this week finished the postseason. Like I said I’m not a fan of this but it’s kind of silly to attack it for this. Should Golden State have not even had to compete in the post season two years ago when they set the all time regular season win record?
11.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGriffin
so, we want
1) no playoffs
or
2) Langer to be declared winner before last event (if there is a playoff)

Seems people were griping that the FEDEX isn't a true playoff a few years ago when it was over before the final?

So what we REALLY want is no "playoffs", persimmon woods, wound balls, smaller purses, and no professional golf after summer ends.
11.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterP Thomas
The biggest difference is that the top 5 going into the CME have all won at least twice this year;
but there are few Hall of Fame points at stake
(One for the Vare and one for Player of the year) Also who will finish #1 in Rolex Rankings. There is practically a 3 way tie in the just published RR. Live TV for LPGA instead of recording. My Giants are starting over after this season and after each SB: strike, Gulf/Parcells, 9/11, Recession/Plax, Sandy
11.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPG
No playoffs would mean going back to the way things used to be- the money list.Playoffs now in golf mean big bucks. It's a different game. BTW, Euro soccer does it the old fashioned way- no playoffs. The regular season is it and counts. There's something to be said for simplicity.
11.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteven T.
Harks back to the 1949 Post Office Cup that Ed Furgol stole from Sam Snead at Biltmore, seems like yesterday
11.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterM Sizzle
Kevin finishes 3rd anyway on money list. Only 2 guys ahead of him are the the two guys who don't 'anchor'. Langer and McCarron aren't even on tour without that silly putter. Take your 3 and 2 million respectively and count your blessings my 6 year old putts better then both of them.
The Schwab Cup and FedEx Cup generate interest because of a big check. That said I can only envision games between teams (as in baseball or basketball) or matches between players (as in golf or tennis) when one mentions "playoffs." (Well, that and Jim Mora.)
If an award for best overall season performance based on all the (virtually all stroke with an occasional match play) events is desirable, measure the results of each event with points and give a trophy and check to the guy with the most points at the end. Of course, then the last tournament has no more importance or impact than the others.
I find the current system of resets in FedEx and Schwab very artificial, and if someone did not get a large stack of greenbacks for the artificial system I would not pay much attention to it.
Please. The only people flustered are the media. Why should John Q. Public even care if the players don't gripe about the format? But I don't know for sure because I missed the presentation. Did a "deprived" Langer, in a fit of anger, stomp his feet? Doesn't sound like he did:

"It was meant to be playoffs," Langer said. "Everybody in the field was given a chance to win."
"I have to pinch myself," Langer said. "Just got to be really grateful and thankful.

Chi-Chi was right when he said the Senior Tour is a combination gold mine/retirement home.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
The fedex and schwab cups are money making ventures. They are an ugly stain on the great game of golf. If they have to exist then make them partially fair at least. If there are 3 play off events then winning 2 of them must in anyones reckoning, makes them the rightful champion
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterAndy J
Kevin Sutherland won a golf tournament and a made up 'playoff'. Langer had one of the greatest seasons ever. I don't think BL has any regrets.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBDF
Langers entire season is tainted by his intentional anchoring of the long putter, so this is a good result him not winning the (time honoured) CS Cup.
The Senior Tour, every toonament director gives out the pin number to the nearest ATM machine to all the entrants. There is no limit to how much you can withdraw. Bernhard happened to be the first in line most of the time.

Chi Chi nailed it....

DM
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterDick Mahoon
Wait a minute. All this griping about how the FedEx Cup isn't a true playoff, and now this outcome is labelled a joke? I always respect a difference of opinion as long as it's consistent, but the only consistent factor we get here is complaint.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
PLAYOFFS! with the winner of same being the champion. Or not. Take you pick. But really, aside from the several people here and the families of the principals, who could possibly care who won the Charles Schwab Cup? And with that, I'm off later this week to follow Ernie Els in a gallery of 37 at the RSM. Life is good!
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Why anyone would watch that tour is beyond me.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterWorthington
Worthington -

maybe getting more eyes since The Donald has instructed his followers they aren't allowed to watch football on Sundays?
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterOuttatime
The Fed-Ex Cup, the Schwab Cup, the Race to the CME Globe, and the Race to Dubai all have one big thing in common - HYPE to
promote something that doesn't need promotion. Professional golf is great without these phony "races." The same problem exists with
the so-called "majors" for the PGA Champions tour and the LPGA. There should be no more than three 'majors" for the Seniors -
the US Senior Open, the Senior PGA and the Senior Open. For the women, they should have the Women's US Open, the Dinah Shore
(thats right, remember that title) and the British Women's Open. Instead, these two tours tout FIVE "majors" each. What a joke.
Too much HYPE.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Shults
But aren't we forgetting about all the excitement the race for the Schwab Cup generates?
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGreg
First off Sutherland is one of the best guys on the Senior Tour. And is a deserved champion of the Phoenix tournament. That said, the champions tour’s system is seriously flawed when a player can be crowned the “season-long” champion after going 0-20 in the regular season, then post a T27 and T47 in the opening two legs of the so-called “playoffs.” The annoyance I think is the the non-stop promotion and marketing of the “season-long” modifier.

They should really switch it to a true “playoff” with the top 72 players qualifying, and a reset at the beginning of the three-event series. This way you have a clear delineation betwen regular and playoff seasons.

To avoid a Vijay Singh scenario, where the champion wins before the finals, increase the points for each of the three tournaments so mathematically a player entering the final, even if they’ve won the first two, would have to at least show up and post say a top 20 or so.

Further, for a scenario where the golfer of the final event were to overtake the golfer who won the first two legs, he would also have had to performed well enough in the first two legs to secure enough points (say two top 10s, not a pair of finishes outside the 25).
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Smith
Remember when the New England Patriots was undefeated until the last game. I can't remember, but surely the NFL awarded the Lombardi trophy to Brady and the boys because they had dominated all season long, didn't they?
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterConvert
The Senior Tour is like a tree falling in the woods. No one cares/hears it until someone blogs about it. Complete waste of time.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterReaper
The year long "cup" races are marketing gimmicks to try to hold the attention of the limited tv fans golf has. I went to the event yesterday mainly to see the course setup and see some of the older pros display what is left of their game. Golf is lucky that with a few tweaks an older pro can still drop a 62 like Couples did. And the guys who qualified for the event have put in the effort, as much as their bodies allow (Couples) to keep their games sharp. Just don't confuse this type of show with the highest level of golf out there. It doesn't mean it isn't worth watching. I followed Couples and Kelly with a few shot by The Mechanic since he was one group ahead. All of them hit some really good golf shots, including short game shots that displayed real talent. The course was setup to allow scoring but the players still had to hit the shots. It was a fun way to spend a few hours during a perfect weather day and see what the best over 50 crowd still has left- but the cup race is just a gimmick.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered Commentermunihack
Agree with David Shults about the majors. Why people bitch about anchoring/non anchoring is beyond me. I putt well conventionally, the insides of my upper arms are anchored against the side of my body, a lot more anchoring than Langer who has part of his forearms against his chest. I have tried the Langer method for the hell of it and found it frikkin impossible to even hit the hole most times! Anyways the guy could prob fashion a branch off a tree and win tournaments putting with it if you give him a few weeks to perfect it, he has putted every which way apart from standing on his head. Amazing player. And its a scandal he has not played ryder cup for over a decade.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterAndy J
The Senior Tour is a bore most of the time...only Dalys win got me interested and part of that was seeing Jack, Lee and Gary bunt it around.
Sutherland winning some stupid made up format is perfect.
Live by the gimmick, die by the gimmick.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered Commenterjjshaka
The irony is the "points system" is there to help ensure a "name" player wins!
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterRandall
Isn't the idea of a playoff to eliminate teams/players in the early rounds? Why not start the Schwab Cup with 50 in the first event, then eliminate 20, then eliminate 14 more in the second event and have 16 for the final event? Nothing against Sutherland but a T47 in the first event means elimination to me.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteven T.
FedEx, Schwab, Presidents, Solheim don't work.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterFC
Three tournament aggregate. Eliminate half every tournament.

Leader after each week wins that leg

Build a big lead??? Good for you!
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSpoilt
Langer cheated all year, he didn't deserve to win. Glad an American won
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterOle Tom Morris
Apparently the fool known as Grayson Murray thinks this tour doesn't matter anyway.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterReaper
Wouldn't it make sense to have the Schwab Cup winner be the lowest aggregate score over the 3 playoff events? Maybe you get a bonus -2 for winning the final tournament?
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterRob C
Hey Tremendous Slouch If Kearse didn't smear pine tar over his helmet then the Giants would have been back to T-47 instead of SuperBowl champs.......Patriots should have been 17-0 that year.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterDave
Dave,

Kearse made the catch that would have gone down as probably the greatest in NFL history if Pete Carroll had handed the ball to Marshawn Lynch on the next play in Super Bowl 49. I believe it was David Tyree who made the helmet catch, setting Eli on the path to becoming the worst player ever inducted into Canton.

Convert, et al.,

The NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL seasons are not cumulative. The 2007 Patriots argument seems like a great rejoinder until you spend more than half a second thinking about it. Jeff Smith has it exactly right -- dump the "season long" modifier and everything makes sense again.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTremendous Slouch
The player with the highest earnings wins. PERIOD.
11.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterStanley

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