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Friday
Sep222017

PGA Tour Considering Shocking Plan To Emphasize Entertainment And Clarity Over Current Playoff Conclusion

I'm getting ahead of myself here because, after all, Doug Ferguson's AP report on the possible FedExCup playoff change wil be taken to the players for feedback. You know, the same players who said 72-holes of stroke play is the only way for Olympic golf to be presented.

Still, the possibility of a playoff shakeup is exciting. Sure, Steve Sands will have to retire the white board and algorithm writers may protest a Sunday finish that is straight-stroke play, but we'll deal with that when it happens.

ShackHouse listeners know I floated two scenarios this week, including an algorithm-driven elimination system that whittles the field down after 36 and 54 holes.

And while I think that would be great fun, especially by injecting life into Tour Championship rounds other than Sunday, the scenario Tour officials are considering makes more political sense. In other words, it will hurt fewer feelings.

One concept being explored is staging the Tour Championship, handing out a trophy, and then the top FedEx Cup finishers playing the next day over 18 holes to determine the winner.

That's a long way off from becoming a reality, and it includes feedback from the players. One area of dissent is that the current system works fine.

Fine=draws ratings in the mid 1's consistently!

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Reader Comments (25)

From The Fried Egg email this morning: "In order to win the $10 million prize that goes with the Playoffs, Stanley would need players in the top 5 of the standings to struggle." I thought this was the PLAYOFFS! The Tour Championship! But if you win Sunday, you might still not be the champion, depending on what came before the PLAYOFFS! The ridiculosity, it burns.
09.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
It is not compelling or interesting for fans despite what the Golf Channel/PGA Tour radio/ Pravda tell me. I am not for the gratuitous hot takes, but golf reporting/analysis is simply horrid. Hard to have the debate of which player is more awesome/great guy over and over, followed by how awesome the Tour and great each tournament is. Polly Anna would not get a job at these outlets for being too negative.

Hard to believe the players would think we would need change when the checks keep cashing and they are told how great they are over and over.

Meanwhile, go look at pro sports elsewhere: entitled guys whose personality is only exposed when they tell you how much they don't like you.

Professional sports in general are heading down a precarious path. Golf is not far behind. Ask the Euro White pants where they play before throngs of...billboards. But yes, Ian Poulter, keep being a jerk to volunteers, caddies, fans, and think the world revolves around you and your chav car collection.
09.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMJR
Yep, KLG. Stanley would have better odds taking the three casket test to win Portia. The creme de la creme are all the Tour, sponsors and the media are interested in. And nothing screams it louder than resent points.
09.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
The FedEx Cup is a joke, there's majors, invitationals and regular events. Anything else is televised darts.
09.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterM Sizzle
Who do you fancy in the Max Hopp v. Mark Webster match tonight?
09.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterWayne Mardle
I think that pretty well says it all. No reformatting necessary, just drive a stake through it.
09.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterFC
Fed Ex Cup is a total snooze fest. Sadly there are now only two tournaments in the year that have any distinction from the all of the others that are drive and wedge fests. The Masters, because of its history and the back nine, and The (British) Open because it's virtually the only event all year that gets weather and forces the players to play shots (I'd like to put that last word in italics), like all the players did in the 80s/90s when the ball didn't go so far. I'd like to put the US Open in there too and would if it went back to sadistically hard course set ups but right now THE EGO aka Mike Davis has totally lost the plot and the event current has no distinction from any other tour event. Do what you like to the Fed Ex Cup, no one except the players with their eye on the money cares.
09.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterRob S
Good motorsports analysis, digsouth. It's expensive all around, but one thing the NHRA has over Nascar (and golf for that matter) is three-second races and the most accessible athletes in sports.
09.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn
Why not tighten it up to the top 20 and then make the whole TC for the 10 mill ?
09.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
My crazy suggestion
Start with the 30 in the TC. Do a cut after each round with the final round playing for the $10 million.
Starting the first round, 1st place starts at scratch
2nd and 3rd starts with a 1 stroke penalty.
4th and 5th starts with a 2 stroke penalty.
6th through 10th starts with a 3 stroke penalty
11th through 15th starts with a 4 stroke penalty
16th through 20th starts with a 5 stroke penalty
21st through 25th starts with a 6 stroke penalty
26th through 30th starts with a 7 stroke penalty

Play the first round with the stroke adjustment and after the round, eliminate those who are 25th through 30th. Playoff to determine who moves on if tied.
After the second round (cumulative score of first two rounds plus stroke adjustment), cut down to the top 18.
After the third round, cut to the top 8.
Final round could be a shoot out with a reset of scores, or cumulative score over the four rounds if you want to reward the golfer playing the best that week.
09.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPD
Explain to me why this is not 72 holes for the TC ending on Saturday and 36 on Sunday (aggregated with the 72 hole score) for the FC alone?..

I think FedEx puts something in excess of $30M for this deal...and nobody knows what it is.
09.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJS
@M Sizzle be careful when dissing darts.

"Televised darts is popular in international markets like the United Kingdom, where Sky Sports produced more than 1,000 hours of coverage in 2015. In fact, the World Darts Championship was the most-watched, non-soccer event on Sky."

http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2017/07/10/Media/Sports-media.aspx?hl=sports&sc=0

I'm pretty sure that in 2015 Sky was still the primary avenue for broadcasting the European Tour golf events...apparently darts was more popular.
09.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterC.H.
Suffered through fifteen minutes viewing on Friday. Seemed like one commercial for each televised shot. Add in the extrapolation madness, cooing baby images, constant promos, formulaic commentary etc. and it was time to go for a walk to clear my head of projected finish scenarios.
09.23.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCaperman
I can barely stand to watch the regular tour these days..golf coverage is so fawning of this group. and it was tiger before them. Johnny seems to be only one challenging the conventional wisdom but his approach comes off wrong. They will not acknowledge that 360 yard drives and 175 yard gap wedges are not good....they just sit in ahh.....I rather watch seniors or LPGA gals slow play each other.
09.23.2017 | Unregistered Commenterwookie
LOL...I must be the only one enjoying these "playoffs" ...Great golf!! Don't change a thing.Also, for gods sake dvr it and fast forward through commercials and fluff/architect segments...
09.23.2017 | Unregistered Commentermarmooskapaul
The only thing I'm rooting for this weekend is to have someone clearly unworthy of winning it all, win it all.
Go Stanley, Casey or Simpson.
09.23.2017 | Unregistered Commenterjjshaka
I find it funny that the Tour is even mulling having just the very top players in a one-round shootout for the big money.
We had that beginning in 1962, albeit over 36 holes. It was called the World Series of Golf. $50 grand to the winner. What's new is old.
09.23.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGolden Bell
That fact that talk of changing how these boring playoffs are played each year only shows the whole concept was a bad idea anyway you look at it.
09.23.2017 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
There's a PGA Tour playoffs???? Since when?

Damn. So what have I missed?
09.23.2017 | Unregistered CommenterDude LeBowski
Without the Fedex Playoffs we would never have had the fun of DTF arguing that Billy Haas was better than Jason Day.

Kudos to Fedex.

With slightly greater seriousness, under the pre-Fedex system the TOUR had a Tour Championship that meant very little (i.e., the winner of that event may still not have had the best year). Now, we have same outcome (i..e, that no one really *wins* the season) but the players get a sweet bonus check.
09.23.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
Why don't we have the Masters in one day ? Or maybe take the top 5 and make them run back through Amen Corner, but only using 3 clubs each ? The Tour Championship should decide the 10 million, the only issue is if you should play it straight up, or rank the players in some fashion like they do now. And it is for 4 days, that is how championships are decided in Golf last time I checked every other significant championship.
09.23.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
There are two options:
Option 1: Straight-Up Tour Championship - 100% Reset
Tour Championship needs to be straight-up tournament. No one cares about your regular season once you get to the playoffs, yet golf, for some reason, continues to weight the regular season.

For those who would argue that this punishes the stars who succeeded during the season and could result in a Cantlay vs. Hoffman Final pairing on a Sunday....so be it. It would still mean more drama that there is now. Secondly, they would still get the advantage in terms of getting to the Tour Championship, as they would effectively be protected from not getting the invite into the Tour Championship

Option 2: Play the Tour Championship not against par, but against FedEx Cup Rankings.

The pro's of this, is that your actual score on the course against Par is no longer even relevant. What matters, is your FedEx Score. It might end up a little too confusing, but what this would do is ensure, that the only thing that matters in the final tournament is the FedEx Score, and therefore, a guy like Stanley, who led after Round 1, would not even be in consideration in terms of who is leading the Tournament, since he would NOT be in the lead at all.

The benefit of this is that it avoids this dual scoring situation we have, where one person wins the tournament and one wins the Fed Ex. The problem, is that scoring is really difficult to report, as everything is projections etc....
09.23.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrad
I do not have a problem with the ''two winners'' being different, though I still feel it would be better to have the Tour Championship as one event, and the FXCup as another. Just because. No other reason.
09.24.2017 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
None of this stuff has worked. The World Series of Golf, The Grand Slam of Golf, etc., etc.

The golf year is over, as numerous posts here will attest. As well as Kisner's 'coptering to a football game on the eve of FedEx finale.
09.24.2017 | Unregistered CommenterFC
If the goal is to end on Labor Day, why not 72 holes for the tour championship and a 36 or 27 hole shoot out for the fed ex cup. I like 3 9 hole matches on Labor Day for the fed ex cup
09.24.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMark

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