FedEx Cup trying its best to deliver the goods

By Rex HoggardSeptember 24, 2009, 2:56 am

THE TOUR Championship by Coke 2007 LogoATLANTA – The sign along Glenwood Avenue says it all, “Welcome to the playoff finale,” with the subtle trace of something special left unspoken but thick in the humid Georgia air.

The only thing that’s missing from the sign adjacent East Lake Golf Club is the tag, “Brought to you by the same folks who gave us the Pythagorean theorem, Mensa and Rubik’s Cube.”

Where Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and an army of PGA Tour lawyers had failed, the eggheads delivered. Where 2007 and 2008 were sleepy coronations, pit stops for most on the way to silly and off seasons, the most recent edition of the Tour’s big finish suggests a competition spiced with a dollop of anticipation.

As well as Woods played last we saw him on the Southside of Chicago, it would take some grand odds and a strong gut not to bet the kids’ college fund on the world No. 1 to win this week’s Tour Championship and that $10 million, FedEx Cup side action.

But stranger things have happened (see Y.E. Yang, Heath Slocum, Kanye West). And if the right stranger survives a soggy four days at East Lake, speculation becomes a spectacle. As unreasonable as all that may sound, it’s Reason 1 why FedEx Cup 3.0 works.

That’s not to say the current system is perfect. Truth is, like the golf swing, there is no perfect when trying to wedge golf’s round peg into sport’s square-holed playoff concept.

If Woods were to win the first three playoff events he could, in theory the detractors say, get back doored by a Jim Furyk, who hasn’t won a Tour event since 2007. It is a mathematical reality born from playoff volatility and a points reset that dramatically narrowed the gap between the 30 would-be kings at East Lake.

Tour types dismiss such logic, pointing to the New England Patriots team that went 18-0 in 2008, but somehow lost the Super Bowl.

“Golf is a little bit different,” Wood said. “You try and have this season-long championship be our big event, but there’s four other ones that are pretty big, too.”

Without being dismissive, Woods’ take cuts to the heart of the issue. Golf already has four Super Bowls played in April, June, July and August and the playoffs will never play-through that foursome. Nor should they even try.

The last four weeks have, however, drawn together the game’s top players, in major markets and added a measure of excitement that hasn’t been seen in these parts since David Toms was wedging his way past Phil Mickelson at the 2001 PGA Championship down the road at Atlanta Athletic Club. And that’s not too bad.

The number crunchers also figured out that Woods could have skipped the first three playoff events and arrived at East Lake the third-seed with a better-than-average chance to haul in his second FedEx Cup with a victory at the finale.

“I’m glad he didn’t,” Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said.

Finchem concedes there is no perfect for golf’s playoff formula. A game that has been defined by the Grand Slams for decades will embrace the Draconian nature of a playoff only reluctantly. And, to the extent that each of the 30 players who tee off on Thursday have a mathematical shot at the grand cash grab, that’s not too bad, either.

“We’re trying to have excitement with lots of possibilities,’ Finchem said. “You’ve got to beat the best, you’ve got to beat them regularly, and you still have to turn right around and perform here.”

And here is where the mathematicians seemed to have gotten the decimals in the right spots. If the stars align properly and the storm clouds leave East Lake to drip dry, a tortured soul could possibly have an $11.3 million putt come Sunday. That’s $10 million for the FedEx Cup, and $1.3 million in walkin’ around money for the Tour Championship haul.

Ask Brandt Snedeker how important it was to earn his spot at East Lake, a mental miscue he made on the 72nd hole at Cog Hill that resulted in an unsightly, and unnatural, four-putt from 12 feet.

“This is what we wanted. We wanted 4 footers to mean something,” a dejected Snedeker said.

And the Tour wanted East Lake to mean something – check and check. For that, Mensa members world wide should rejoice. If this week’s finale doesn’t make math club popular, nothing will.

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


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


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.