Feb 11 (Reuters) – PGA Tour 2013 FedExCup points table on Monday (U.S. unless stated):
1. Brandt Snedeker 1,282 points
2. Brian Gay 582
3. Phil Mickelson 556
4. Dustin Johnson 516
5. Russell Henley 515
6. Charles Howell III 507
7. Tiger Woods 500
8. Chris Kirk 444
9. Jimmy Walker 373
10. Tim Clark (South Africa) 344
11. James Hahn 322
12. Josh Teater 316
13. Scott Piercy 300
14. Steve Stricker 300
15. David Lingmerth (Sweden) 283
16. Robert Garrigus 254
17. Kevin Stadler 248
18. Brian Stuard 230
19. Matt Kuchar 230
20. Billy Horschel 215
A More Exciting PGA TOUR Playoffs and FedExCup
Substantial changes must be made to FedExCup in order to truly create playoff pressure for players and more excitement for fans. For those unfamiliar, The FedExCup is a season-long competition in which players accumulate points in each eligible FedExCup Points event. At the conclusion of the season, the player with the most FedExCup points will be crowned the “PGA TOUR FedExCup Champion.”
The FedExCup currently rewards winners of official PGA TOUR events 500 FedExCup points. Next, 600 FedExCup points are awarded to winners of: The Masters Tournament, THE PLAYERS Championship, US Open Championship, British Open, and the PGA Championship. Here is where I would like to see a change made. From a mathematical standpoint, the PGA TOUR is valuing majors and THE PLAYERS Championship equivalent to winning 1.2 PGA TOUR events, or winning one regular PGA TOUR event and finishing six-place in another regular PGA TOUR event. Almost any PGA TOUR member would gladly trade numerous regular official PGA TOUR victories in exchange for a major championship victory. I believe the PGA TOUR should reward the winner of THE PLAYERS Championship with 750 FedExCup points. Major championships should reward champions with 1000 FedExCup points. Another change that would make the PGA TOUR Playoffs much more exciting would be if players could lose FedExCup points during the playoffs. Under the current point distribution, winners of the first three PGA TOUR Playoff events receive 2500 FedExCup points.
I believe 2500 is way to many points to reward a player. Awarding 2500 points, essentially renders the entire regular season accumulation of FedExCup points meaningless. The last three years, the winner of the Tour Championship has also won the FedExCup. This is largely due to the “reseed” that occurs after the first three playoff events, prior to the Tour Championship. The PGA TOUR does this to create more excitement, however this contradicts the FedExCup’s goal to crown a season long champion. In large part due to this imbalance in point distribution, the past three FedExCup champion’s have all won the Tour Championship.
The PGA TOUR Playoffs would be much more suspenseful if players could lose points during the playoff events. If players finish in the bottom half of the field, they lose FedExCup points which they have accumulated throughout the season. If a player finishes in the top half of the field, the player will add to their FedExCup points. Winners of each FedExCup should receive 1000 points, while last place would lose 1000 FedExCup points. This would create a more pressure packed and demanding PGA TOUR Playoffs. Critics may argue it is unfair to potentially lose so many points for just one bad week. As in other sports, playoffs are exciting because athletes and teams can lose everything in just one game or event. Likewise, this restructured FedExCup system would demand golfers very best performances during the playoffs. The potential for players to lose points, adds an element of suspense and intrigue that would keep fans glued to the television.
One of the reasons the current format rewards points so heavily for playoff events is to eliminate the possibility of someone mathematically clenching the FedExCup prior to the Tour Championship. The reseeding is also another way the PGA TOUR attempts to ensure a suspenseful finish under the current FedExCup format. Under this proposed changes, no reseeding would be necessary to ensure an exciting finish. With these changes, the FedExCup would truly become a season-long competition. With the added element of point loss, the PGA TOUR Playoffs will have much more suspense for fans. As on Friday when players grind out every stroke to make a cut on the number, players will be battling all-week long. With these proposed changes, the FedExCup will be more exciting for both players and fans.