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Cut Line: Finishing touches for the season

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Happy New Year. OK, Happy New Season. If it seems like Henrik Stenson was hoisting the FedEx Cup just a few days ago it is because, well it was. So before we turn the page to the new season, Cut Line would like to put the finishing touches on 2013.

Made Cut

Hall pass. In this case, no action is better than continued bad action.

The World Golf Hall of Fame announced this week it will forego an induction ceremony next May to go through a “strategic review” of the selection process and officials plan to even take a closer look at the timing and location of ceremony.

The overhaul follows months of second-guessing over an antiquated selection criteria that saw both Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els inducted before they added to their major championship resume at the last two Open Championships.

For starters, let’s hope the Hall raises the minimum age for induction from 40 years old to something closer to true retirement – let’s say 55. There is also the hole in the system that allows an induction even if no one receives 65 percent of the vote provided that person gets at least 50 percent of the vote.

This is not the Hall of Pretty Good. If no one gets the required number of votes, so be it. Watering down the Hall just for the sake of having a ceremony isn’t helping anyone.

Oh, captain. Neither the last putt nor the last raindrop had fallen in Dublin, Ohio, last week when the chorus had already started to name Fred Couples a Ryder Cup captain.

After three successful turns as a Presidents Cup captain the lobbying was already underway for Boom Boom to have the job in 2016 at Hazeltine National and even Couples seemed open to the idea, telling Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte he would like to captain a Ryder Cup team or even a Junior Ryder Cup squad.

The PGA of America showed a healthy dose of gumption when it named Tom Watson next year’s captain. Let’s hope that outside-the-box vibe lasts long enough to earn Couples his turn at the helm.

As for who will be named the U.S. Presidents Cup captain for 2015, some have suggested Davis Love III, one of Couples’ assistants at Muirfield Village, but the veteran seems more interested in playing for the American side in Korea.

“Freddie asked me if I was ready (to captain),” Love laughed late Sunday. “I’d love to do it, but I would love to do it down the road.”

Mr. Haas, Mr. Jay Haas. You have a call on Line 1.


Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Missing the point(s). Another anticlimactic Sunday, another lopsided loss for the Internationals and another round of handwringing over the PGA Tour’s reluctance to reduce the total number of points at the Presidents Cup and, in theory, make the matches meaningful.

Had Tour commissioner Tim Finchem listened to International captain Nick Price, Greg Norman and Ernie Els, this year’s muddy mess at Muirfield Village may not have been another blowout (18 ½ to 15 ½).

“If you took out one team match per (team) session imagine how good this would have been,” said one International caddie on Sunday at Muirfield Village in reference to his side’s 7 ½-point advantage in singles play.

Instead, the United States improved to 8-1-1 in the biennial blowout with little hope things will turn in time for the 2015 matches in Korea.

As an aside, if the PGA of America is interested in making next year’s Ryder Cup more competitive (Europe has won seven of the last nine matches) may we suggest playing six team matches each session. It couldn’t hurt.


Tweet of the week

The Tour is off to a good start in 2013-14, giving the inaugural Courage Award to professional golf’s Mr. Courage after Compton, the two-time heart transplant recipient, retained his Tour card this year.

But we are still not sure why the Tour had to trade the Comeback Award for the new Courage trophy. It seems like 2013 would have been a good year for comebacks. #HenrikStenson #BooWeekley


Missed Cut

A flawed finals. The 2013-14 Tour season is barely underway and already the circuit’s new qualifying system is being nitpicked and prodded.

At issue is how some of the Web.com Tour’s regular season money winners – the top 25 on the money list were assured Tour cards, but their status heading into the new season depended on how they performed in the four-event Finals – now find themselves in a difficult position.

The last 11 players from the Web.com Tour Finals category failed to get into this week’s Frys.com Open, and the field next week in Las Vegas looks similarly restricted for these players.

Consider Kevin Tway, who finished eighth in regular-season earnings on the secondary circuit, but he struggled in the Finals and is 46th out of 50 in the category and only got into the Frys.com Open on a sponsor exemption.

Nor does it help that the fall events have 132-player fields, instead of 144. At this rate players toward the tail end of the Web.com Finals category will likely only get one or two starts before the first reshuffle at the end of the fall.

“I think it’s just a terrible mistake (by the PGA Tour),” Alex Aragon told GolfChannel.com. “The way it works, people say, ‘Oh, you have your Tour card.’ It doesn’t work that way.”

Funny, Cut Line attended the Web.com Tour Finals closing ceremony and didn’t hear any mention of a Tour card light.