Tour Notes and FedEx Fails To Deliver

Lorena Ochoa defeated Cristie Kerr and Candie Kung in a 2 hole playoff, which seemed to suprise the announcers considering she took 4 whole weeks off. Apparently to the announcers you get rusty if you take that kind of time off. But here is a clue, she IS the best female player in the world and she HAS won 6 times prior to this event this year, so please don’t act so suprised. Eduardo Romero gets his third victory of the year on the Champions Tour and inches a few points closer to Charles Schwab Cup Points Leader Jay Haas. I’m not sure how the points thing work on the Senior Tour but I think if you win you get a free hip replacement and some financial advice or something like that. The Nationwide Tour was canceled this week due to lack of interest, just kidding, no event was scheduled this week. And now on to the big boys….

This week on the PGA Tour we had the final “Playoff” event at the Tour Championship presented by Coca Cola at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. All of the suspense for the Playoff winner was not there(once again), Vijay Singh had to do nothing but show up and sign his card this week. Before I go on, I must say VJ performed well this year and easily locked up the trophy and 10 million dollar check with his wins at The Barclays, and the Deutsche Bank Championship, his seeding going in to the Playoffs gave him the few extra points he needed to virtually lock it up after those two events. Under the current format he was hands down the winner.

With that all being said, I could not be more dissapointed in the FedEx Cup. The fact that the outcome was decided the last two years before the final round was played is not what golf fans want. What we deserve is the scenario that Camillo Villegas and Sergio Garcia had in playing for the win at the Tour Championship, and second place in the FedEx Cup. We want it all on the line on the back nine on Sunday. VJ’s placings in the Playoffs were 1-1-44-22, mostly likely he would have missed the cut in the last two events but to his advantage there was no cut due to the reduced fields. Villegas’ placings were MC-3-1-1, finishing a mere 551 points behind Singh. Had there been a cut in the last two events the FedEx Cup trophy might belong to Camillo. But it was what it was and VJ hoists the FedEx Cup trophy, likely casting a shadow over Camillo as he stood on the green at East Lake with his Tour Championship trophy.

Hopefully in the next few years the PGA Tour can get this Playoff system figured out, the Nascar “Chase” approach is not working. I can’t figure out how a 44th and a 22nd place finish in reduced field play are worth almost the same amount of points as a 3rd place finish in a full field event. My hat is off to VJ, but I am sure somewhere Camillo is feeling a little burned by this system, and rightfully so. If not for the excitement created by Mickelson, Kim, Garcia, and Villegas coming down the stretch on Sunday the Tour Championship would have been a dud. The media wanted so bad to create a “rivalry” between Garcia and Kim after last weeks Ryder Cup, but it wasn’t there this week. The media also refered to all the American Ryder Cup players as having a “Ryder Cup hangover” as an excuse for most of them not playing well.

So what does that tell me? Two things. First of all, the points system needs to be changed, I am not sure the best way to go about this, but somehow it all needs to come down to the final day. So whether that is a match play event or a modified points event, something needs to happen. Secondly, they need to get the schedule straightened out, the Ryder Cup is way too big an event to be sandwiched in the middle of the playoffs, and it is definitely not fair for the guys who have to play in the Ryder Cup and are expected to come out and compete in another big tournament the following week while the other players get two weeks of rest. I am sure the PGA Tour will make some changes in the future or hopefully it won’t be so predictable, but you-know-who comes back next year so it may not even matter. Look for my reports to come during the Fall Finish, or as I like to call it, “The Chase To Avoid Q-School Cup, Sponsored by Pennzoil”.

And That’s What I’m Talking About….Craig M.

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