Strap in, here comes the spin...
PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem said, “As we have previously discussed, we feel that the FedExCup in its inaugural year was very successful, and we did not feel the need to make significant changes to its essential structure. But because of significant feedback from players and fans asking for more volatility and an increase in the number of players in the hunt at THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola, we are making two adjustments that we feel will result in an even higher level of fan excitement and interest as we move into and through the Playoffs.”
You'll be shocked to know they did not take my advice, but instead, are just adding to the points permutation tedium for another year:
A narrowing of the gap between players’ point totals at the reset going into the Playoffs. For example, the gap between the 1st and 2nd ranked players was 1,000 points at the reset last year. That gap has been reduced to 500 points this year, with similar reductions being made all the way down to 144th place. (See Attachment for specifics).
The number of FedExCup points available at Playoff events has been increased by 2,000 additional points per finish position. For example, a 3rd place finish was worth 3,400 points in 2007; it is now worth 5,400 points. In essence, players who play well will move up more dramatically than in 2007. (See Atttachment for specifics. Note: For rounding purposes, the points increases at THE TOUR Championship will differ slightly from the first three Playoff events).
And this means?
The effect of these two changes will be some improvement in a player’s ability to make substantial gains in overall position based on excellent play in the Playoffs, while also increasing the number of players who will have a shot at winning the FedExCup.
If these two changes had been in place for the 2007 Playoffs, for example, the effect would have been to increase from six to 12 the number of players with a mathematical chance of winning the FedExCup, and instead of only four players with a realistic chance of winning, there would have been six.
Well, at least they confirmed that only four had a chance of winning last year.
And now for the new cut policy:
Under the amended regulation, the starting field will still be reduced to the lowest 70 professionals and ties after 36 holes. However, should the 36-hole cut total more than 78 professionals, there will be a second cut to the lowest 70 professionals plus ties at the conclusion of 54 holes of tournament play. Players not advancing to the final round of play will receive their appropriate share of the official prize money in accordance with their respective positions. The change is effective immediately, beginning with this week’s Honda Classic.
In other news...
An increase in the field size at the Memorial Tournament from 105 players to 120, in keeping with the Board’s intent to stage all invitational events with a field size of no less than 120 players. The change is effective with the 2008 event.
Following two additional years (2008 and 2009) at Grayhawk Golf Club’s Raptor Course, The Fry’s Electronics Open will move in 2010 to the Fry’s Electronics-owned course called The Institute, located near San Jose, California. Upon its move to The Institute, the event will be renamed The Institute Championship and will become an invitational event with a 120 player field.
And invitational in the fall? Hmmm...interesting.
And should someone decide to take out Stephen Ames if he dares to win again...
The LG Skins Game eligibility has been slightly modified to address a situation where the defending champion or leading money winner is unable to participate. Under the new regulation, a floor of 5th place on the prior year money list has been implemented, and if a player among the top 5 places on the money list is not available to complete the field, the field will then be completed with an additional player of the host organization’s choosing.