As I wrote for Golfweek's Presidents Cup coverage, Team USA's on-course performance was especially remarkable given the noticeable fatigue of the recent PGA Tour playoff participants. Less remarkable was the team and leadership no-show effort for the World Golf Hall Of Fame ceremony, and I'm chalking part of that mistake to this being the culminating week of a season filled with multiple obligations and the pressures of 21st Century PGA Tour golf. (Just look how rail-thin Jordan Spieth looks in the photo below after going all-in on the playoffs and Presidents Cup.)
Meanwhile the feeder tour that has been designated as the only way to the PGA Tour played its final and arguably most important event against the Presidents Cup. Even more amazingly, the Web.com Tour Finals finished the week prior to the start of the next season.
Asking Web.com players to compete for their livelihood over two months, then turn around and play for their new status before the PGA Tour's eligibility re-shuffle in November is not a rational way to develop new stars.
Congratulations to Jonathan Byrd (Nicklaus Parker's game story here) and the many players who completed the playoffs Monday in Florida, but there were 13 who already had status locked up WD'd from the Monday weather-delayed finish to get to Napa for this week's PGA Tour season opener.
While the PGA Tour brass and some players will continue to defend Tim Finchem's "wraparound" vision for the PGA and Web.com Tours as the proper proving grounds, the emphasis has lost sight of what makes most sense for all parties.
Besides developing talent, the Web.com Tour is also a tour that should help serious golf fans get familiar with emerging players. Playing against the PGA Tour Playoffs and Presidents Cup certainly won't help on that front. When the PGA Tour had a week off during the playoffs, so did the Web.com Tour. Oy. Vey.
The many compelling card-chasing stories we would have learned via the old Fall Finish race or Q-School are getting lost. (This year there was a traditional heartbreaker of a finish for Matt Harmon that was covered because he missed short putts coming in, snapped his putter and missed out on a chance at his card).
The wraparound was created to save the fall events at the expense of the PGA Tour's very attractive natural January beginning. I just can't see how, given some of the signs of fatigue, the wraparound's impact on players from both circuits is offering a logical ebb and flow for anyone. Nor is it working for anyone but the fall events that get to say they are offering FedExCup points.