Tim Cronin lays out a devastating case against moving the Western Open to September. Makes you wonder if anyone at Tour headquarters gave this much thought.
Mark Bradley in the Atlanta JC points out a key distinction between NASCAR and the Tour, and why this proves that the "FedEx Cup" probably won't work too well.
The big golfers --- Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh --- pick and choose. A NASCAR driver runs every weekend. Jeff Gordon can't skip a race just because he feels a little peaked. He can't because the folks at DuPont, the company bankrolling his car, want their logo displayed before 100,000 spectators plus another hefty TV audience every time the green flag waves. Estimates put the cost for a primary sponsorship in a Nextel Cup team at upwards of $15 million. When you spend that kind of money, you expect the maximum return on your outlay.
The FedEx Cup is designed to make the Big Names play more, but will a series of end-of-season tournaments capped by a fabricated "championship" alter the schedules of guys who adjust their calendars to prepare for the four majors above all else? Consider: Ted Purdy has played in 34 Tour events this season; Woods and Mickelson have played in 21 apiece.
As has been noted, NASCAR is different from other sports. It has its Big Event --- the Daytona 500 --- at the start, and then everything else is geared toward the Chase. The Chase works because Gordon and Earnhardt wanted badly to be part of it but missed the cut, not because their attentions were elsewhere.
"Do I fully understand [the FedEx Cup]? No," Ben Crane said. "But the commissioner [Tim Finchem] has a history of doing great things for the Tour."
Still, Tim Finchem doesn't control golf. Tiger Woods does. And Woods, when asked Friday if he'd consider playing five or 10 more events a year to accommodate the FedEx Cup, looked at the questioner as if he were nuts. "I don't know if my body could hold up," Woods said. "I've never played in more than 21 events."
And there's your answer right there. Gentlemen of golf, find yourselves a different gimmick.