Finchem defends 'impactful' playoff point structure


PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem. (Getty Images)

Now in its eighth year, the FedEx Cup still has its fair share of critics.

Those critics seemed to grow even louder this season, and from different corners, after some players complained about fatigue during this playoff run.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said Tuesday – and reiterated Wednesday on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” – that moving forward there will be a bye week either after the second or third leg of the playoffs. 

“We don’t like four straight weeks,” he said Wednesday. “We think maybe players get a little too tired, beyond what we really need to see.”

If Rory McIlroy – the presumptive Player of the Year and a two-time major winner this year – doesn’t win the FedEx Cup title, you can be sure there’ll be even more criticism that the season-long race doesn’t necessarily identify the season’s best player. Only three times (2007, 2009, 2010) has the FedEx Cup champion also been the Tour’s Player of the Year. 

Part of that disconnect is the points structure. Playoff wins are worth 2,500 points, or five times a regular PGA Tour victory. So, in other words, it’s conceivable that a player could win all four majors (a feat worth 2,400 points) and still earn fewer points than if he won, say, The Barclays

“The cup is a different thing (than the majors),” Finchem said. “It’s playing all year long, nothing is ever certain, you have to continue to deliver. ... It’s also important that the playoffs be the most impactful thing.” 

Finchem compared the FedEx Cup to what Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning experienced last season, when he set NFL records during a remarkable regular season but ultimately lost in the Super Bowl.

“We don’t start over again. We carry into the playoffs, so you have an advantage,” Finchem said. “But it’s more like a home-field advantage – you’ve got to deliver. We think that creates the excitement that fans like.”