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Points of view on Tour

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One turn into the PGA Tour’s third postseason and early reviews are applauding the new math for having just the right amount of volatility. That’s not to say Tour types should touch ’em all just yet.

The powers in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., may be all about points right now, but in four weeks when the game’s brightest lights fade into the fall sunset, those left behind revert to the standard measure of success on Tour for decades – money. The top 125 players in earnings retain their Tour cards for 2010 and while the FedEx Cup points list roughly mirrors the current money list, there are a few glaring exceptions.

Troy Matteson earned the final spot into the playoffs at No. 125 on the points list but was 146th in earnings after the Wyndham Championship. After his tie for 20th at The Barclays, he jumped to 134th in earnings.

By comparison, Will MacKenzie missed the playoffs, finishing 144th in points, but was 120th in earnings following the final regular-season event. MacKenzie has already slipped to 123rd and will likely drop outside the top 125 by the time he tees it up again at the first Fall Series event in New York the first week of October.

Similarly, Matt Jones missed the playoffs by a point and was 119th in earnings after the Wyndham but dropped three spots on the money list from his couch last week.

MacKenzie and Jones will have five events to make hay in the fall, but only after those around them collect inflated playoff paychecks. If points are good enough to decide your FedEx Cup champion, they should be good enough to dictate who earns a Tour card.