The scribblers, already fired up about having an execution chamber viewing area and Vijay choosing not to talk to them, are declaring the demise of FedEx Cup. Of course that assumes it ever reached a peak before declining. Let's face it, the entire thing was flawed for two reasons: Tiger and Phil. The system was designed to ensure they would be eligible until the finish, and as long as the points gurus have to gear the entire thing about guiding the tour's two biggest draws to the weekend at East Lake, it will always be flawed.
Here are some of the reviews and other complications being raised, starting with Gary Van Sickle:
Then Villegas was asked if it was disappointing that he tied for third at the Deutsche Bank Championship (at which Singh won after a closing 63) and won at Bellerive but can't take the FedEx Cup as long as Vijay simply finishes four rounds in Atlanta. Villegas put on a solemn face. "We don't want to talk about the FedEx Cup, do we?" he asked plaintively.
Let's see, the FedEx Cup winner doesn't want to talk about the FedEx Cup. Neither does the BMW Championship winner. The intensity of FedEx Cup buzzkill is apparently at Category 4 strength.Cameron Morfit, also on golf.com:
Unless you subscribe to the idea that sex appeal is a pocket protector and a calculator, the Tour's current math-heavy approach is a big part of the problem, even ignoring its terrible results.Bob Carney at GolfDigest.com shares reader letters while Thomas Bonk reveals the disastrous ratings (at least the public knows a soulless golf course when it sees it):
The third round Saturday of the BMW Championship had a 1.1 overnight rating on NBC, down from a 2.6 in 2007; and Sunday's fourth round had a 1.2 overnight rating, down from a 3.2 in 2007.
Steve Elling questions why the top 30 to reach East Lake are getting Masters and U.S. Open invitations.
The FedEx points structure was re-jiggered this season to weight the playoff performances more strongly and to de-emphasize the overall season. Thus, journeymen pros like Kevin Sutherland and Dudley Hart, who each finished second in one of the three FedEx Cup series events to date, have cemented a spot in the first two majors next year.
It borders on absurdity. If I were a decision-maker at Augusta or the USGA, I'm not sure I'd listen to another self-serving pitch from the tour ever again. After months of foot-dragging, the tour revamped the FedEx rules in March, well after the Open and Masters exemptions had been re-upped for another year. Thus, if the tour can change its rules in midseason, then the USGA and Augusta National should do likewise by flushing the FedEx exemption category completely, effective immediately.
Broadly, the Masters traditionally required non-winners from the previous year to finish the season in the top 30 on the PGA Tour money list or inside the top 50 in the final world rankings in order to secure an invitation. There are five players in the 30-man field in Atlanta who don't appear likely to accomplish either, having taken the farcical FedEx freeway to Augusta and Bethpage Black, the U.S. Open site next summer.
In the span of 21 days -- or even less time for one-week one-offs like Hart and Sutherland -- a half-dozen players have cracked the Masters and Open field, barring the rescinding of the two major-championship exemption rules, which will soon be reviewed by their governing bodies.
Augusta National officials already have indicated that the club is keeping an eye on the FedEx exemption provision, while the USGA Championship Committee will conduct its next meeting Oct. 31. Speaking as a USGA member, the issue had better be on the agenda.
Rich Lerner on TheGolfChannel.com:
On the subject of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, I’m not a Wharton wiz with numbers, but when your SuperBowl is reduced to an exhibition game, a re-assessment is clearly in order.