News From Terre Haute, Indiana

On & Off the Course

August 18, 2007

On and Off the Course: Does FedEx Cup keep



The playoffs are a series of four events, starting Aug. 23-26 with The Barclays Championship. Players who make the cut get a percentage of 50,000 points with the winner receiving 9,000 points. Points reset and the following weekend, Aug. 31 — Sept. 3, is the Deutsche Bank Championship. The top 120 players after the Barclays will play in it.

Points are awarded again after the Deutsche Bank, and the top 70 points leaders go on to the BMW Championships September 6th – 9th. Next is The Tour Championship, the weekend of Sept. 13 — 16, where only the top 30 points leaders will compete.

The player who has the most points after the Tour Championship is the winner of the FedEx Cup, and receives a $10 million annuity. All participants in the “playoffs” will receive some amount of compensation. The runner-up will get $3 million, 3rd place $2 million, 4th place $1.5 million, on down to $30,000 for 144th place. The winner of the FedEx Cup will also receive a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour. Also, the winner of the Tour Championship receives a 3-year tour exemption, so it’s possible that the winner of any one of the other three FedEx Cup playoff events will receive the same exemption, although it hasn’t been officially announced.

Will this playoff system for golf do anything to boost golf’s fall television ratings, or will football and baseball be just too interesting? Will golf fans be burned out or hungry for more by the time the President’s Cup arrives, Sept. 24th — 30th, the weekend following The Tour Championship? Those questions are yet to be answered but experience tells us that much of the answer depends on how Tiger Woods is playing.

Television ratings are much higher when Tiger is in the mix. The FedEx Cup took a small hit this week when Tiger announced that he wouldn’t be playing in the first of the playoff events. With 100,000 points to start, he has room to spare as long as he comes back and scores some points in the second event. The FedEx Cup would not have a great maiden year if Tiger somehow missed the top 30.

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