FedEx Cup Under Microscope

RSS has learned that the PGA Tours bosses, its title sponsors and its players are close to agreeing on a series of proposals that, in the words of Zach Johnson, could make the 2009 FedEx Cup more volatile than it was in 2007 and more conservative than it was in 2008.
Johnsons comments came after what he termed a very brief but very healthy conference call meeting late Tuesday afternoon between the Tour officials ' including Commissioner Tim Finchem ' and members of the Players Advisory Council.
Steve Dennis, the Tours Director of Communications Strategy, pointed out that the Tours Policy Board is scheduled to meet Monday at the Tours headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach. But he stopped short of predicting a date when all parties will sign off on the Tours proposals and the compromises needed to get everybody on board with those proposals.
The FedEx Cup is currently in a publicity battle with the European Tours new season-ending Race To Dubai, which will conclude late next year after the FedEx Cup playoffs. Already several prominent U.S. Tour players have said they will add the Race To Dubai to their schedules along with the FedEx Cup.
The FedEx Cup debuted in 2007 and was a success due, in large part, to exciting finishes in its four-event Playoff series and the fact that Tiger Woods won the $10 million first prize.
Critics called for more volatility in the re-seeding processes to give players at the bottom of the point standings at the outset of the playoffs a better chance to advance. The Tour eventually tweaked the system to add that volatility this year.
But the 2008 FedEx Cup, through no fault of its own, suffered because of the absence of the recuperating Tiger Woods. And its final playoff event, the Tour Championship, was anticlimactic because Vijay Singh had already sewn up first place in the standings before the Tour Championship began.
The Tour has been said to be trying to find a way to guarantee that the big prize will still be undetermined before the Tour Championship starts. There is also a desire to re-tweak the system so that certain top players make it to the top 30 at the Tour Championship. This year nine players, including Ryder Cup star J.B. Holmes and two-time major winner Padraig Harrington, began the Playoffs in the top 30 but dropped out of the top 30 before the Tour Championship, in part, because of the increased volatility.
The other issue the Tour has been wrestling with is a way to give more players a chance at the $10 million first prize when they arrive at East Lake in Atlanta for the Tour Championship.
Everybodys on board and the sponsors are very excited, Johnson said.
But, Dennis added, there just needs to be more discussion with more parties before the look of the 2009 FedExCup is revealed to the public.

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