Maybe golf's Playoffs(C) are so rigorous and stressful that they invoke longing for a vacation. Or, not.
Nothing screams playoffs like athletes telling us how they are looking forward to a break. But this is the FedExCup, where stars are coddled by points resets that help get them through all of the stages. Something tells me if these were actual playoffs with traditional eliminations for poor play, that Rory McIlroy's and Bubba Watson's wouldn't be telegraphing their much needed breaks.
Rory on Tuesday, courtesy of Kyle Porter at CBSSports.com:
"I'm not at 100 percent, but I'm at a percent where I feel like I can still compete," McIlroy told reporters. "I want to get a win before I shut it down for the season, so I'm excited for the next few weeks, but I'm excited for the next three months after that. Because more than likely I'll take some time off and regroup.
"When's the last time I've been able to take that much time off and focus on myself and my game. We don't get an off-season anymore, so to be able to get that time to afford myself, I'm really excited about that as well."
After an opening 73 on top of many okay finishes by his high standards, might these playoffs be more interesting if they were sending McIlroy home early? And given that he's not getting any help from his caddie, as David Dusek at Golfweek points out following a day watching Rory play, might the urgency be there with a format that endangers his ability to advance in the playoffs.
Then there is Bubba Watson, who has worked twelve weekends in 2017 even after getting a major wake-up call a year ago when passed over for the Ryder Cup team. Still, he's ready for a break as soon as the playoffs are over.
From Rex Hoggard's Golfweek story:
“You know, truthfully, when I'm done with the playoffs, no matter where that is, I'm taking at least four and a half months off. I won't play until next year,” said Watson, who opened with a 3-under 67 and was tied for fifth at Glen Oaks. “I don't know about you, but traveling every week, my kids started kindergarten. ... If I had to choose golf or family, I'm going family every day of the week.”
Algorithm writers: let's figure out a points reset that helps these stars begin their hard-earned vacations early!