"Phil's imagery is interesting"

Tim Rosaforte looks at what appears to be a developing theme: elite player dissatisfaction with the details surrounding the deferred compensation package for the FedEx Cup.

The confusion stems from the tour's business plan of taking $19 million of FedEx money, adding it to their pool of resources (which according to former policy board member Tom Pernice Jr. includes $16 million from the tour's retirement fund) to make a total of $35 million -- with an eye-popping $10 million to the winner. "[The message] the tour wants to get across is that [the playoffs are] more about winning the FedEx Cup than the money," Pernice said. "But they've made it a money issue [by making the prize money] deferred."
Some players -- Davis Love III and Jim Furyk, most notably -- have been outspoken proponents of the deferred payment idea. The griping has come as a surprise to tour officials. Tour executive vice president Ty Votaw explains that the deferred plan went through all the proper channels, from the PAC to the board of directors, which includes both players and four leading businessmen. Votaw also noted that Woods, Els and Mickelson were asked for their input during the process (although a representative for one of the Big Three told Golf World that the tour received some opposition and not support for the deferred concept).

"Phil's imagery is interesting," Votaw said. "We could still roll out $10 million in a wheelbarrow. The difference is the $10 million is being deposited into an account. An annuity is different. The $10 million starts growing the day it goes in."

As compelling as the idea of cash is for the average fan, Votaw and players like Joe Ogilvie are able to make a compelling case that the deferred compensation is great for the rank and file players. What I'm not understanding is why the elite players like Mickelson and Woods may be so against it. Unless they are simply looking at this from a fan perspective and realizing that "deferred compensation" is a lot less sexy than cash.

This is interesting...

As for Pernice's claim that a portion of the $35 million came from the retirement fund, Votaw told Golf World the FedEx payout, which includes $32,000 for last place, was part of the tour's overall budget. "I'm not going to get into sources of revenues, but there's an allocation of resources that takes place, and that takes place every year," he said. "Our job is to create as many economic opportunities as possible for our players."


Says former policy-board member Olin Browne, "It's a lot easier to tuck the money in a safe corner rather than hand somebody a check. It stands to have much greater value down the line. In the meantime, nobody's on the hook for the cash. It's in there somewhere. It's on the books. But I don't know the whole thing seems a little convoluted to me."