"Somebody's going to be leading the FedExCup tonight, and it's not going to be one of those two guys."

Yes, this is what it's come to. Mickelson and Woods aren't at Kapalua, therefore they are behind in FedEx Cup points.


That was a highlight of Tim Finchem gracing the media center at Kapalua for an impassioned exchange...well, actually, a really boring press conference.

On the FedEx Cup:

Everything tells us that we are on the right track, and we are just excited to get this first one down and get our fans an actual list of points, which is going to begin the process of bringing people into recognition of what the FedExCup is all about.
Please name one article not on PGATour.com or TheGolfChannel.com that raves about the FedEx Cup concept, please.
The last comment I'll make, and I'll be happy to take your questions, is simply to congratulate and thank the Golf Channel for their efforts this week. We knew about their plans. We have worked closely with them over the last year, but I think they have done an outstanding job in bringing resources, the number of cameras and new technology, and I'm particularly pleased with the effort they have made with player interviews. We've got a lot of first-time winners here, players who need their story told. We need to get them in front of the fan base, and those interviews are real important.
So we think they have done a fine job this week.

Was it me or were the interviews the worst part of the telecast? Not because of Rich Lerner, who is making the best of a situation, but because the players just are not very interesting?

Asked about the Tiger-Phil no-shows...

You know, as I said at THE TOUR Championship about the same phenomena at THE TOUR Championship, sort of disappointed about that, but let me make two comments.
One is that your question goes to the future, and I'm focused on the future, but I'm also focused on the FedExCup right now.

Uh huh.

The future, in my view, has a lot to do with the new schedule. And we're not going to know until this time next year how that really plays out. We are still in the -- certain decisions have been made about scheduling the last few weeks and this week are still a part of what 2006 was about from a scheduling standpoint.

Oh that makes sense.

On the other hand, you know, and I don't want to sound like I'm trying to sugarcoat things, because I'm not. I am disappointed, and to your point, having a smaller press core here and less eyeballs because Tiger Woods is not at an event is not something that's a positive any week he doesn't play.

But having said that, let me just make also another point, which is that somebody's going to be leading the FedExCup tonight, and it's not going to be one of those two guys.

Wow, this is why he gets the big bucks! What a revelation.

Q. Why was there a conflict with the Sony Open and the Wendy's Champion's Skins Game? They are both being played on the same weekend, Saturday and Sunday.

Oops, that wasn't on the list of pre-approved questions. Where's Ric Clarson?

RIC CLARSON: Wendy's Champions Skins Game is traditionally played on the Super Bowl weekend, and some of the television windows that were available were not available for 2007 only, in order for that event to continue, we needed to move it to this coming weekend, which did put it on the same weekend as the Sony Open.

We did talk to the Friends of Hawaii Charities about it as a one-year situation, and we've already assigned dates to that event for the organizers to start working on their television packages. We wanted to keep the events going and showcase the tomorrow Champions Tour players, different islands, different air times. And while it might fragment a tad of the media core here in Hawaii for it, but we thought over the long haul, it would be best to be able to maintain that event.

Fragment a tad of the media core here. Translation: the scribblers from the Hawaiian papers are going to have to decide what they are going to cover.

Q. With such enthusiasm on the staff's part about the FedExCup, and interest in educating and so forth, I was out there so much that when Vijay came out here and was asked about it on Thursday, he said was tired of listening to it and went on to compare it to the Presidents Cup. At what point do you scale back the full core press on FedExCup promotion, and at the same time still keep people educated on what it is?

Somebody's tired of the uh, branding. 

COMMISSIONER TIM FINCHEM: Well, we could promote it, you know, none, or promote it five times as much, and that really wouldn't be what affects you guys asking Vijay questions.

I think what he said was he was tired of answering questions about the FedExCup.

Q. It could have been anything with us, too. (Laughter).

COMMISSIONER TIM FINCHEM: And there is a lot of questions about the FedExCup because everyone wants to know what they think, and that's a good thing.

Vijay has been pretty, consistent starting with last year, about his enthusiasm for the FedExCup. The fact that he individually determined that he had said that enough, that's his prerogative, and it doesn't have anything to do with our promotion plans. We think we're on the right course in terms of explaining to fans what the FedExCup is, and we will continue to do so.

I think the thing about the FedExCup -- somebody asked me the other day, or I saw a comment, that perhaps it was complicated. I'll just say, I think it's the perfect thing. I mean, it's very simple. It's very, very simple. You get points, the guy who gets the most, wins.

Very, very simple?

Now as a fan, you could settle for that amount of information, and you could watch each week, the standings, and wait to see who gets the most points, and you might be satisfied with that. Based on our research and what we're seeing in terms of inquiries, there's a lot of fans that want to know a lot more.


They want to know, you know, how many points are distributed, where they are distributed. They want to know -- they want to know how a player's schedule relates to point accumulation. They want to know how the intervals and the seeding react to a player who is 10th or 15th or 18th on the list having a chance to win.

And so I think that that's probably true in every sport. If you take all of the fans and put them on a grid, they want to know varying degrees of detail about statistics or the competition.

Putting the fans on a grid? These guys are good!

At its core, the FedExCup is a very simple process, but we are going to see people spend a lot of time and energy trying to figure it out. And you'll see the television commentators as we get into the season, if Player X birdies this hole, he's on this par 5 in two; if he two-putts for a birdie, he'll pick up X number of points, and he'll move from sixth to fourth or more. So you'll see a lot of that during the course of the season.

And won't it be life changing for us fans.

I think it's going to be a year, really, until the Playoffs are fully played out before people really do have a sense of it. Sometimes I rely on my wife, Holly, as a barometer, and she was extremely interested in the golf week article that laid out different scenarios of point distribution. She said, her reaction was, "This is fascinating how this could play out."
First it was his dad and now the wife he cites for market research. Kind reminds you of someone else, doesn't it? Actually, that other guy doesn't even listen to his dad.
We hope people are fascinated. But I think everything dramatically changes tonight when we have a leaderboard, we have points distributed, people will know how many you get for winning. That's going to be clear on into the season.

Amen brother. I can't wait to study where we stand with 30+ weeks to go.

Q. How do you define success then? At the end of the year when you're trying to figure out to change it or not change it, what would you measure as success, to say, this succeeded, so there's no reason to change it?

COMMISSIONER TIM FINCHEM: Well, let's say that we got to a point where a player was seeded first, won the tournament, the first playoff event, and the next eight guys have all missed the cut and this guy was sailing -- it was almost inevitable that he would win. Our models tell us that's not going to happen. Well, let's suppose it did. Then we might want to change the intervals. We might want to reduce that size of the interval.

Key word today: interval.