144=Quest For The Card Demise?

fedexcuplogo.jpgOn the comments thread following Commissioner Finchem's teleconference last week, reader Chuck wrote:

...allowing 144 players in the playoff is an admission that there will not be a 'fall finish' or a 'quest for the card', as was originally planned. Guess they can't get any sponsors...

Though they do have a few California events lined up, is Chuck right?

Are the 144 player fields in the "playoffs" a sign that the post-playoff events have little future?

Or are the 144 player fields genuinely a result of the Tour's desire to make it possible for anyone to win "the Cup?"

Either way, I just can't figure out what the purpose of the season points race is when 144 players make these playoffs, with the meaning of the season points diluted?