The PGA Tour faced one major dilemma in trying to improve the FedExCup: how to make sure FedEx gets full value for their sponsorship.
Players make a lot off the cup race, as do executives when bonus season comes around. In theory, it makes sense as a way to bind the season together.
Had the FedExCup continued next year as expected—three events down from four, with points awarded based on finishes—no one would have called that weird.
Throw in a bonus fifth round at East Lake, a day after the “third” playoff stop produced a Tour Championship winner before advancing a top four or six players to a final day shootout for the big (FedExCup) prize, and no one would have called that weird.
Maybe unfair to the season points leader, but playoffs aren’t fair.
So to have recent FedExCup champion Justin Thomas calling the new 2019 system “weird” right out of the chute, with the social media reaction suggesting he gave the perfect summary of how most feel, comes off as pretty weird given all of the brainpower put into the latest FedExCup overhaul.
From Bob Harig’s ESPN.com story:
"It's something that is very, very weird and going to be hard to get used to,'' Thomas said. "We talked about it, and it's ... never going to be perfect.''
Thomas, the reigning FedEx Cup champ, is part of the tour's players advisory committee. It means he has a voice in how business is conducted. And yet he doesn't seem sold.
Weird, however, is not fatal, and as I noted in our Golf Central chat today, the new format is a huge improvement. Granted, the bar set by the current format was low. As in, the worst playoff format in all of sports and has been over eleven years despite all of the efforts to defend it.
Still, as weird as the new format may seen, there are many positives…