News From Terre Haute, Indiana

On & Off the Course

August 18, 2007

On and Off the Course: Does FedEx Cup keep

TERRE HAUTE — Now that Tiger Woods has pronounced his 2007 season as “great” after his win at the steam bath that was The PGA Championship, is there anymore need to follow professional golf, or do we move onto football and to baseball as the pennant races heat up?

The PGA Tour is trying to hold our interest beyond the regular season this year by virtue of the FedEx Cup. We’ve all seen the commercials, heard the sports announcers mention how many FedEx Cup points something is worth, but have we really understood what was happening? I’ve had a “wait and see” kind of attitude about it, but the time is upon us now, so perhaps it would be nice to understand what the FedEx Cup is, and what it means to the PGA Tour.

The FedEx Cup is a new championship trophy for the PGA Tour. This is not a one-weekend wonder though, like all other tour events. This trophy is complicated by having “playoffs”, which are really a series of four events that players have to qualify for. I guess the PGA Tour figured that the NFL, the NBA, the NHL and major league baseball all have playoffs, so they should too.

Oh, and I can’t leave out the NASCAR reference. The point system used to whittle down the players to the top 144 is supposed to be something like NASCAR point system race. The point system is kind of like the top money list race, but by awarding points instead of going by they money list, inequities in sponsorship amounts are evened out. Throughout the 2007 season, every regular PGA Tour event awards 25,000 points to players.

The World Golf Championships will award 26,250 points, and the four majors and the Players championship 27,500 points. The winner of each tournament received 18 percent of the total points (the same percentage as a standard tournament purse breakdown), on down to every player making the cut receiving some amount of points. The goal is to be in the top 144 in points after the Wyndham Championship (going on this weekend). Those are the players who qualify for the “playoffs”. Points will then be reset with first place (Tiger Woods) receiving 100,000 points, second place 99,000 points, and on down until the 144th player receives 84,700.

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