Alan Shipnuck likes the new playoff points system:
The much-hyped playoff format that sportswriters love to hate is off to a rollicking start. Besides the buzz of Sergio's sudden death, there are Ryder Cup spots up for grabs and the new points system has created a lot more more week-to-week excitement. Bottom line: don't ever bet against Finchem.Meanwhile John Hawkins levels a verdict in this week's Golf World, and seems to have agreement from a member of the Tour policy board:
When the tour's Policy Board began reviewing the first FedEx Cup finish in late 2007, it came up with two primary objectives: create dramatic movement in the standings and make the superstars play in all four postseason events. Thus, the decision was made to turn up the dials on everything that would encourage volatility.
The problem? Almost everyone ignored the fragility. Singh earned 11,000 points for winning the Barclays -- just eight players reached that total in the entire regular season. You want crazy? A solo third at one of the first three playoff tournaments pays 5,400 points, which is more than Trevor Immelman, Woods, Padraig Harrington (and Harrington again) got for each of their major championship victories earlier this year. Simply making the cut at Ridgewood was worth 2,098, almost 400 points more than Rich Beem got for a solo third a week earlier in Greensboro.
Seriously, folks, you can't make up this stuff. "We went overboard," acknowledged policy board member Joe Ogilvie. "We overcooked it, and I'm sure we'll revise [again], but at least we know we took it too far.
"We were given various [projections], so we fully knew what we were getting into," Ogilvie added. "Mark Wilson [a member of the Player Advisory Council] was the one guy who thought we were going too far. I remember him warning us of what might happen. The problem isn't so much the player who wins as it is the player who finishes 135th, makes two [postseason] cuts and jumps into the top 70. That's not in the spirit of the playoffs, or shouldn't be."Last year we had to wait to issue a verdict, now we're declaring the points revamping DOA after week one. I love these guys!
Doug Ferguson chimes in and talks to Padraig Harrington, who seems to have the best perspective on the playoff volatility:
"I think it's a fair reflection that I dropped about 20 spots by missing the cut,'' Harrington said. "I think it should be very volatile. That's what a playoff system should be like. You've got to go produce.''
If he could change one thing, Harrington would make it even more combustible by awarding big points to the top 10 finishers in a tournament, minimal points for those barely making the cut.
Either way, he came to one conclusion in Year Two of this system.
"I think the FedEx Cup is working,'' he said. "It's got more players out here playing, more players interested at this time of the year. It's creating a bit of a buzz. If players aren't exactly happy with the system at the moment ... no press is bad press. Something like that. People are talking about it, and that's the main thing.''