In an interesting twist, though a player might have won a half-dozen tournaments early in the year, the point totals will be reset before the four championship series events. Those atop the regular-season points list will be seeded higher and assigned a new total based on his standing, but all 144 players who qualify have a mathematical chance of winning the $10 million bonus.
"If the New York Yankees win 115 games and win the American League East, they have to start all over," Finchem said. "It's a very volatile system, where a lot of players go into it with an opportunity to win."
After the first three championship series tournaments, the top 30 players in playoff points advance to the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
Whether fans will embrace the changes remains open to question. The LPGA adopted a points component this year as a means of qualifying for the season-ending ADT Championship in West Palm Beach -- which also will feature a huge payout -- and nobody has said much about it.
I really disliked the Butler Cabin ceremony at Augusta. I always felt that the best thing to do would be to go right to the public presentation of the green jacket, with emotions still at a fever pitch and all the people and a national TV audience there to see it. To go inside the flower-infested catacombs of the Butler Cabin and watch the club chairmen perform the ceremony they were helpless — really let the air out of the balloon. One year Hord Hardin asked Bernhard Langer how he pronounced his name. Another year he asked Seve how tall he was. I would watch this with my face in my hands, but the club wouldn't have it any other way. Oh, well. FRANK CHIRKINIAN