After Further Review: Wraparound season needs fixing


Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on the PGA Tour's lack of playing opportunities for grads, why the LPGA needs an event in Rochester and a farewell to one of the PGA Tour's good guys.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem spoke to an assembled group of media Sunday at the Wyndham Championship, taking the time to extoll the virtues of the wraparound season he helped to create.

While he identified that access to tournaments for Tour graduates is a “weakness,” he also added the Tour has no plans to make any changes to address the issue next year.

The Tour may hope this was a “one-year phenomenon,” as Finchem put it, but such an approach is myopic and will result in players, media and Tour officials alike having the same discussion in 12 months.

The first year of the wraparound only proved to top-100 players the value of getting off to a fast start in the FedEx Cup points race – just look at how Jimmy Walker’s season played out – so it’s unlikely that big names will opt now to sit out the early events en masse.

While some slight increases to field sizes for fall events will help, the fact remains that while the players who survive the gauntlet of the Tour Finals next month will receive a PGA Tour card, whether they’ll be able to put it to much use is uncertain. – Will Gray

It’s clear the PGA Tour’s new qualifying system is more closed than ever before.

This week’s Wyndham Championship marked the end of the circuit’s first full season under the new system, and the biggest flaw with the new format appears to be a severe lack of playing opportunities for the graduates from the Tour Finals.

Consider that the final 10 players who earned their Tour cards at last year’s Finals averaged 15.4 starts. It’s no surprise that not a single player out of those final 10 managed to finish inside the top 125 on the regular season FedEx Cup point list. – Rex Hoggard

The LPGA has to find its way back to Rochester. Or maybe it's the other way around. Maybe it's Rochester that has to find a way to bring back the LPGA.

Really, it all boils down to finding a title sponsor that wants to host a regular tour event here again. It's that simple, because this community's love affair with the LPGA can't end.

It's not right that they should be kept apart after 38 terrific years. Rochester embraced the tour again Sunday, sending the women off in style, with big galleries, a picturesque sunny day and a big-bang fireworks show after the trophy presentation.

Let's hope it wasn't goodbye. Let's hope it's just a temporary parting. – Randall Mell

Joe Ogilvie was never the most talented PGA Tour player inside the ropes, but the Duke University graduate has always been one of the smartest, as proven by his insightful candor during interviews and passionate long-term career goals.

In 15 years as a Tour pro, he won once, but will be better remembered as a man who always had an opinion on the direction of the Tour and someday wanted to be named commissioner.

Instead, Ogilvie will retire and move into investment banking. Following his final round, he tweeted, "Damn lucky to be a part of the traveling circus/family that is the PGA Tour for the last 15 years."

Consider the rest of us damn lucky, as well, to have a guy who always tried to make the PGA Tour a better place. – Jason Sobel