Leaks On First FedEx Cup Tweaks

Golfweek's Rex Hoggard has the scoop on the changes under consideration, one of which sounds excellent, the other I'm not so wild about.

During an Oct. 16 meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., commissioner Tim Finchem told the 16-member PAC that the FedEx Cup, which he proclaimed a “success” in its first year, needed only “minor tweaks” in 2008. Sources told Golfweek.com one of those possible adjustments would be reducing playoff fields; the other would be altering the schedule so that the FedEx playoffs and the Ryder Cup Matches (Sept. 19-21 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.) would not be staged in five consecutive weeks.

Instead, under one proposal, top competitors would play the first two playoff events (The Barclays, Aug. 21-24, and Deutsche Bank Championship, Aug. 29-Sept. 1) as scheduled, have a week off, play the third playoff event (BMW Championship) and then the Ryder Cup. The Tour Championship, now scheduled for Sept. 11-14, would be moved to Sept. 25-28, on the heels of the Ryder Cup.
Okay, that's a winner. That off week should make it tough for guys to skip an event. Should. 
Among the changes for ’08, the Tour is considering reducing the number of players that qualify for the circuit’s four-event “playoff” series. The proposal presented to PAC members was to trim playoff field sizes to 120 players for The Barclays (144 were eligible this year); 90 for the Deutsche Bank Championship (from120); 60 for the BMW Championship (from 70); and the traditional 30 for the Tour Championship. That’s a reduction of 64 total spots from this year’s playoffs.

The trim from 144 to 120 is a no-brainer, but I don't know about you, but I'm growing bored with all of these limited field events, their typically lackluster finishes and reduced playing opportunities. Granted, Tiger's partially to blame for being so much better than everyone and blowing away those limited fields, but I'd vote for leaving the other field sizes as they were while ramping up the point system volatility.

Hoggard also details the first rumored drug policy penalties:

The Tour’s anti-doping policy is expected to have plenty of teeth. According to one PAC member who wished not to be identified, potential punishments for positive tests would be a $5,000 fine for the first offense; a one-year suspension for a second positive test; and a lifetime ban from the PGA Tour, and presumably all members of the Federation of PGA Tours, for a third strike.

The proposed anti-doping legislation announced late last month has  universal support among i the game’s  governing bodies. A positive test and resultant punishment would apply to all of the game’s major championships, as well as on all of the world’s primary tours.

Included among the Tour’s “model prohibited substances and methods list,” are anabolic agents, such as testosterone, as well as beta-blockers, which diminish the effects of adrenaline and narcotics.