FedEx Cup all about big money too many complaints

By Doug FergusonSeptember 15, 2010, 10:02 pm

PGA TourLEMONT, Ill. – This is the week the PGA Tour goes dark, which comes at a great time.

If nothing else, it might give players a chance to take a deep breath of reality instead of complaining about all the problems that come with driving German-built luxury cars to golf tournaments where they compete for $35 million in bonus money.

Heck, it’s just as easy to lose perspective driving rental cars and getting by on $35 per diems.

Really, is it that bad?

The year before the FedEx Cup began, this was the week of the 84 Lumber Classic.

Winning the FedEx Cup is not as meaningful as winning a major, nor was it ever meant to be. The majors ended a month ago at the PGA Championship, about the time most people are supposed to lose interest in golf. What followed were three tournaments that showcased the best players of the year on the PGA Tour.

If you don’t understand the FedEx Cup – or choose not to learn – is any translation needed for Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Steve Stricker competing in the same tournament for three straight weeks? It’s the only time it happens all year.

The FedEx Cup concludes next week with the Tour Championship, a 30-man field for those who played great during the regular season (Jeff Overton), those who played their best late in the year (Charley Hoffman) and for players who did a little of both.

At stake is a $10 million bonus for the winner. At the very least, if the last player who made the 30-man field finishes in last place at East Lake, he gets $120,000 from the tournament purse and $175,000 from the bonus pool.

That’s $295,000, which is more than Arnold Palmer’s career earnings at the Masters.

Instead, there was too much complaining about Cog Hill, site of the third playoff event at the BMW Championship. Stewart Cink referred to it as a wreck. Phil Mickelson disguised his criticism by raving about Butler National, where he played Wednesday instead of the pro-am. Lefty conveniently left out that Butler is a private club with a maintenance budget three times greater than public Cog Hill.

And there remain gripes about the points system.

The points are quintuple the value when the playoffs begin, which creates the volatility some players said the system needed. It rewards those who have great weeks without unduly punishing those who played well all year.

It’s not perfect, and probably never will be.

Kevin Streelman probably doesn’t belong at East Lake next week, through no fault of his own. His best finish all year was a tie for third in Puerto Rico – the stars were at Doral that week – and he was No. 102 in the standings. He must have playoff fever, though, because he tied for third at The Barclays, and even though he tied for 45th in the next two events, he stayed in the top 30.

“The intent was for players to be playing well in the playoffs,” Streelman said. “That’s why the points are up so much. It’s a neat thing. If you’re playing good, your goals can change quickly.”

Overton is not playing well. Coming off his best year, he earned a spot on the Ryder Cup team and was No. 6 in the FedEx Cup. He missed the cut in one playoff event and didn’t crack the top 50 in the other two. He’s still No. 24, headed to Atlanta, as he should be.

The biggest complaints came from those were somewhere in the middle who forgot golf’s most famous adage: Play better.

Ian Poulter, who did very little after winning the Match Play Championship in February, began the playoffs at No. 49. He needed to play well at Cog Hill and was doing just that until a triple bogey on the 11th hole. He wound up at No. 39 in the points, then wrote on Twitter, “I finish in the top 30 on the money list and don’t get in tour championship. Are the playoffs any good?”

Apparently not for him.

J.B. Holmes was 18th when the playoff began, missed the cut at The Barclays and was tied for 60th at the BMW Championship.

“You take people who have played hard all year and they happen to have a bad couple of tournaments,” Holmes told Golfweek magazine. “I missed the cut and fall from 18th in points to 29th. How is that fair? It’s not fair at all.”

Not everyone will be happy with the points system, just like not everyone will like the same golf course.

The hope is that everyone on tour enjoys playing for a $7.5 million purse every week, with the $35 million in bonus money distributed at the end of this playoff system.

Ridiculous? You could say that.

Next they’ll want to keep their courtesy cars. The story making the rounds last week was a PGA Tour rookie who, despite instructions to leave the car at the tournament’s transportation office, dropped it off in a parking lot at Logan Airport and informed tournament officials that the keys were under the mat. Nice touch.

One tour official, obviously not in a position to affect policy, suggested designating one month out of the season where players rent their own car, do their own laundry and buy their own lunch.

They still would get a paycheck, along with a reality check.

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


President at the Presidents Cup


Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


Cart on the green


Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers


Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.