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Shankster

FedEx Cup Playoffs

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Just to be certain, you do mean it cheapens the playoff events, right? 
In my opinion, the "playoffs" should factor in the majors in some way, shape or form.  But the Tour will never do that because they don't own or control the majors.  Majors are far more valuable than any regular Tour event.  Including a contrived "playoff" event.  And you're exactly right, several regular Tour events are significantly better than these terrible playoff events.
I just can't get into the FedEx Cup.  It feels too Nascar-ish to me.  I don't think a lot of the players would even play those events if they weren't paying out $15 million to the winner.  As I said in a previous post, the Korn Ferry events are far more compelling.  Those guys are playing for their livelihood.


I love the Korn Ferry playoffs - they are so compelling


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Throughout the BMW, the announcers were like "Wow scores are low, you don't expect this at Medinah, I guess it must be the soft ground"

Maybe its the top 70 golfers in the world playing their hearts out??

 

There was some discussion after the event about the course being too easy and scores being too low. I saw a course with narrow fairways, thick rough, plenty of protective water and sand, diversity in shots needed, etc.. I don't think there was anything unusual about that golf course whatsoever. I think it was a perfect spot for a high level tour event, which has been proven many times in the past. Yes they had some rain and the greens were holding. Problem? Would you rather have it like the US Open last year where you hit a 2 foot putt and it rolls 20 ft and falls off the green? Is that even golf anymore?

 

It just irks me that low scores apparently can only mean 'the course was too easy' and not people were putting it all on the line. Take that same course, same conditions, and pick 70 golfers from this forum. Scores still too low?

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15 hours ago, FrogginBullfish said:

That being said, the FedEx Cup playoffs are designed to reward season long excellence.

I understand wanting to reward consistent, high-level play, but I would argue the format is bad. I think we would all agree this season was not great for JT (0 top 10's since March, 0 wins until last weekend), yet he finds himself at the top of the leaderboard with a two stroke head start.

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Just to be certain, you do mean it cheapens the playoff events, right? 
In my opinion, the "playoffs" should factor in the majors in some way, shape or form.  But the Tour will never do that because they don't own or control the majors.  Majors are far more valuable than any regular Tour event.  Including a contrived "playoff" event.  And you're exactly right, several regular Tour events are significantly better than these terrible playoff events.
I just can't get into the FedEx Cup.  It feels too Nascar-ish to me.  I don't think a lot of the players would even play those events if they weren't paying out $15 million to the winner.  As I said in a previous post, the Korn Ferry events are far more compelling.  Those guys are playing for their livelihood.


Cheapens both. The playoffs are a joke. But when you get 1500 points for winning one of them, it is worth more $ than the majors, and it shouldn’t be.

Majors will always be king. But this system is terrible. JT didn’t play for a LONG time this year and he is in a position to win it all.

Whilst BK has won a major and finished very high on the board at the rest of them.

And Tiger missing the final event will be a huge blow to their revenue. I really don’t care because besides the Masters his season was nothing.

I could go on for hours about this...
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34 minutes ago, Shankster said:

Cheapens both. The playoffs are a joke. But when you get 1500 points for winning one of them, it is worth more $ than the majors, and it shouldn’t be.

Majors will always be king. But this system is terrible. JT didn’t play for a LONG time this year and he is in a position to win it all.

Whilst BK has won a major and finished very high on the board at the rest of them.

And Tiger missing the final event will be a huge blow to their revenue. I really don’t care because besides the Masters his season was nothing.

I could go on for hours about this...

 

I believe value happens organically.  Much in the same way the majors came to be considered "majors."  You can't assign value to anything that depends upon a fanbase for legitimacy.  Even though the Tour tries to convince us of the importance of certain events like The Players and awesomeness of certain courses like TPC anything.  Fan reaction will tell the story of a tournament's value.

With that said, I believe the FedEx playoff mess shows the value of the majors.  Every major championship this year had an increased TV viewership while the FedEx playoffs are seeing a marked decline.  I suspect this week will decline even further, especially over last season given Tiger isn't in the field.  Golf Channel had it's most viewed week in it's history during Open Championship week.

Anyway, I agree completely that the FedEx system is a joke.  Hell, the whole "playoff" system is a joke.  But I think it further shines a light on just how special the majors really are.

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I've come to accept the No Laying Up position on the Fedex Cup Playoffs (especially this year). From a golfer's viewpoint, it's hot garbage, but if you're a casual fan or even just someone who enjoys a bit of chaos, the entertainment value is that of pure gold (potentially at least).

The easy assumption is that the guys who start the week in red numbers before even setting a foot on course will just run away with everything. But, what if we get to see someone on a truly remarkable hot streak climb from the bottom and contend? What if one of the guys with a perceptible advantage now, uses those extra strokes as a means to play more aggressively and fall to the bottom of the leader board? How will the pressure of effectively sleeping on the lead Wednesday night effect JT come Thursday morning? 

I'm not saying I'm a true believer in the new format, but a deeper look reveals that it could potentially have some upside we hadn't expected. It will be interesting nonetheless and I will be watching as much as I can to see how it plays out.

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The pga tour for whatever reason worries about optics of two winners. They had to make a change. I think the format this year is silly but it did create some added drama as guys had to not only position themselves to get into the final 30 but to starts as close to -10 as possible.

the reward for season long consistent play but when reed wins a playoff event and gets ranked in point Ma higher than Rory who had a better year it pokes a hole in that narrative 

not sure what the tour can do to improve the format but as long as there’s sponsorship money they keep tinkering 

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I would agree totally that Majors are what drives the golf viewing needle. I will also argue that every player in golf would love to take that $15 million home! 

I'm not really a fan of any of the year end playoff or Dubai Cup but it is great for the players themselves.🏌️‍♂️

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Just now, daviddvm said:

I would agree totally that Majors are what drives the golf viewing needle. I will also argue that every player in golf would love to take that $15 million home! 

I'm not really a fan of any of the year end playoff or Dubai Cup but it is great for the players themselves.🏌️‍♂️

The $15 million is an annuity so, they aren't exactly taking it home right away but it's a nice retirement fund.  I get players will make an effort for that amount of money but it doesn't build a legacy.  Nobody remembers who won the 2011 FedEx Cup but most of us could name the Major winners from any given year.

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19 hours ago, FrogginBullfish said:

I think Adam Scott makes some fair points on the whole but Medinah isn't a walk in the park regularly. Until Friday the course record was 65. It's just environmental factors outside the control of the superintendents that led the course to be really soft. No matter the 7600+ yards or the narrow fairways or the 4 inch thick rough, it's just not going to stop these guys from going low when conditions are that soft.

Sure it would have helped if they could have had some more difficult tee shots but if the course was firm I doubt we'd have seen a course record set at all, let alone three days in a row.

 


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The following are all quotes from last week:

 Adam Scott: “They haven’t figured out yet that long means nothing to us; you can’t build it long enough…. The driver is the most forgiving club in the bag now; it’s just swing as hard as you can and get it down there far. It’s not a skilful part of the game anymore, and it’s really unfair for some guys who are great drivers of the golf ball.”

Brandt Snedeker: “Now the drivers are made so easy to hit that there’s no penalty for swinging as hard as you want to at every driver because it won’t go as far off-line. There’s no penalty for really going all-out on one. That’s changed a lot. I don’t think their talents are showing up as much as they should.”

Tiger Woods: “Now you just pull out driver, bomb it down there, and you’re looking for three to four good weeks a year. Today’s equipment, you can maximize a driver and just absolutely bomb it, and some of the guys sacrifice stuff around the greens or short irons for the drive. The driver is the most important club in the bag now just because of the way the game is played.”

Andy Johnson: To keep up with the changing game in the aughts, Medinah No. 3 underwent multiple renovations at the hands of “Open Doctor” Rees Jones. His formula was a straightforward extension of philosophies that had worked in the past. Longer holes, deeper bunkers, narrower fairways. This recipe has made Medinah No. 3 nearly unplayable for the average golfer, but it checks all the boxes for what tournament selection committees usually look for in a “championship venue.”

In my opinion, golf is changing right before our eyes and the USGA is terrified to enact necessary rollbacks in equipment to keep the integrity of the game intact.  The golf ball doesn't spin.  Modern drivers are unmissable in the hands of elite players.  Talents such as controlling trajectory, spin and approach angles are virtually nonexistent.  Cam Champ is famous for prodigious distance.  What else can he do?  His stats and category rankings suggest....nothing!  He is negative in every category of strokes gained except off the tee.  So, Tiger is in effect, correct.  Guys play in hopes of putting it all together a few weeks a year rather than improving their overall game to be good every week.

As for Medinah, Rees Jones made it a difficult golf course before the solid core golf ball.  But Medinah hasn't hosted an elite professional stroke play event since the solid core golf ball became commonplace....until now!  Couple that with soft conditions, you get record scoring by multiple players.  At least that's my take on it.

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A few of my thoughts on the FedEx Cup Playoffs:

  1. Sure the playoffs are "invented" to keep people interested in golf after the 4th major, but it brings out the best and most popular players.  That's the best chance for the highest tv ratings.  Like it or not, that's important.  Personally, I'm going to watch for longer with a BMW Championship field as opposed to a John Deer Classic field. 
  2. Being the best during the "regular season" doesn't mean you should automatically win in the playoffs.  In many sports you'll see the best team fizzle out early in the playoffs (recent example:  NHL's 2019 Tampa Bay Lightning).  Or, you see a low seed team get hot at the right time and go on a deep playoff run.  If I want to see the predictable outcome of the top person winning every single week, I'll watch Formula 1.
  3. All they did was translate points standings into stroke-play standings for the Tour Champ.  It's not meant to be thought of as the typical 72-hole golf tournament we see every other week.  I am excited to see the new format work out this week. 
  4. Play the last event on a rota of courses
  5. Rather than Tour Championship, just call it "The FedEx Cup Final" and be done with it.

Bonus item:  I look forward to being entertained by the internet belly-aching that will result if the player with the lowest 72 hole (actual) total doesn't win the tournament.

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3 hours ago, sixcat said:

Every major championship this year had an increased TV viewership while the FedEx playoffs are seeing a marked decline.

It certainly doesn't help that CBS is no longer on DirecTV Now, AT&T Now, or whatever they're calling themselves. I have seen some of the replays on GC, but have otherwise not seen anything in the last few tournaments. I'm trying to decide on whether to cancel AT&T or get an over-the-air antenna.

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1 hour ago, sixcat said:

The following are all quotes from last week:

 Adam Scott: “They haven’t figured out yet that long means nothing to us; you can’t build it long enough…. The driver is the most forgiving club in the bag now; it’s just swing as hard as you can and get it down there far. It’s not a skilful part of the game anymore, and it’s really unfair for some guys who are great drivers of the golf ball.”

Brandt Snedeker: “Now the drivers are made so easy to hit that there’s no penalty for swinging as hard as you want to at every driver because it won’t go as far off-line. There’s no penalty for really going all-out on one. That’s changed a lot. I don’t think their talents are showing up as much as they should.”

Tiger Woods: “Now you just pull out driver, bomb it down there, and you’re looking for three to four good weeks a year. Today’s equipment, you can maximize a driver and just absolutely bomb it, and some of the guys sacrifice stuff around the greens or short irons for the drive. The driver is the most important club in the bag now just because of the way the game is played.”

Andy Johnson: To keep up with the changing game in the aughts, Medinah No. 3 underwent multiple renovations at the hands of “Open Doctor” Rees Jones. His formula was a straightforward extension of philosophies that had worked in the past. Longer holes, deeper bunkers, narrower fairways. This recipe has made Medinah No. 3 nearly unplayable for the average golfer, but it checks all the boxes for what tournament selection committees usually look for in a “championship venue.”

In my opinion, golf is changing right before our eyes and the USGA is terrified to enact necessary rollbacks in equipment to keep the integrity of the game intact.  The golf ball doesn't spin.  Modern drivers are unmissable in the hands of elite players.  Talents such as controlling trajectory, spin and approach angles are virtually nonexistent.  Cam Champ is famous for prodigious distance.  What else can he do?  His stats and category rankings suggest....nothing!  He is negative in every category of strokes gained except off the tee.  So, Tiger is in effect, correct.  Guys play in hopes of putting it all together a few weeks a year rather than improving their overall game to be good every week.

As for Medinah, Rees Jones made it a difficult golf course before the solid core golf ball.  But Medinah hasn't hosted an elite professional stroke play event since the solid core golf ball became commonplace....until now!  Couple that with soft conditions, you get record scoring by multiple players.  At least that's my take on it.

It’s hosted 2 majors and a Ryder cup in the last 20 years with the last major being 2006.

the usga or r&a don’t need to roll back equipment. The pga tour needs to soften the fairways, narrow them and grow the rough just a bit longer. 

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4 minutes ago, MaxEntropy said:

It certainly doesn't help that CBS is no longer on DirecTV Now, AT&T Now, or whatever they're calling themselves. I have seen some of the replays on GC, but have otherwise not seen anything in the last few tournaments. I'm trying to decide on whether to cancel AT&T or get an over-the-air antenna.

CBS and At&T reached a 3 year deal a couple weeks ago and it’s now back on

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13 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

CBS and At&T reached a 3 year deal a couple weeks ago and it’s now back on

Hmmm. I did not know that. So you're telling me I watched stupid TV Sunday afternoon for no reason? Thanks for the info.

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4 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

It’s hosted 2 majors and a Ryder cup in the last 20 years with the last major being 2006.

the usga or r&a don’t need to roll back equipment. The pga tour needs to soften the fairways, narrow them and grow the rough just a bit longer. 

Imagine that, we disagree on another subject!  Ryder Cup isn't a stroke play event, as I pointed out in my post!  Nearly half the field was still playing either wound or balata balls in 2006 and most certainly were in 1999.  As was also referenced in Andy Johnson's piece on The Fried Egg.  Average Tour driving distance in 1999 was 272 and 289 in 2006.  Vastly different game than what's played on Tour today! 

I will bow out from further argument with you from here.  It's becoming habitual with you!

 

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It’s hosted 2 majors and a Ryder cup in the last 20 years with the last major being 2006.
the usga or r&a don’t need to roll back equipment. The pga tour needs to soften the fairways, narrow them and grow the rough just a bit longer. 

I agree with almost this entire post. The tour does need to narrow the fairways and grow the rough, however softening the fairways will always allow a ball that would have bounced out of the fairway to stay in. We seen some of this at Medinah this weekend. Longer courses mean nothing to the guys bombing it 320 especially when said course is as soft as it just was. Drives don’t bounce through the fairway and approaches from the rough stick on the green. That is the whole reason for lower scores at Medinah, no worry about the rough because there was very little roll. I would imagine if it hadn’t of rained, the scores would have been cut in half or more.


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1 minute ago, blackngold_blood said:


I agree with almost this entire post. The tour does need to narrow the fairways and grow the rough, however softening the fairways will always allow a ball that would have bounced out of the fairway to stay in. We seen some of this at Medinah this weekend. Longer courses mean nothing to the guys bombing it 320 especially when said course is as soft as it just was. Drives don’t bounce through the fairway and approaches from the rough stick on the green. That is the whole reason for lower scores at Medinah, no worry about the rough because there was very little roll. I would imagine if it hadn’t of rained, the scores would have been cut in half or more.


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I agree with what Adam Scott said - you have to make guys shape the ball.... 

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1 hour ago, sixcat said:

In my opinion, golf is changing right before our eyes and the USGA is terrified to enact necessary rollbacks in equipment to keep the integrity of the game intact.  The golf ball doesn't spin.  Modern drivers are unmissable in the hands of elite players.  Talents such as controlling trajectory, spin and approach angles are virtually nonexistent.  Cam Champ is famous for prodigious distance.  What else can he do?  His stats and category rankings suggest....nothing!  He is negative in every category of strokes gained except off the tee.  So, Tiger is in effect, correct.  Guys play in hopes of putting it all together a few weeks a year rather than improving their overall game to be good every week.

As for Medinah, Rees Jones made it a difficult golf course before the solid core golf ball.  But Medinah hasn't hosted an elite professional stroke play event since the solid core golf ball became commonplace....until now!  Couple that with soft conditions, you get record scoring by multiple players.  At least that's my take on it.

I'm typically opposed to equipment rollbacks, but you do make some excellent points and the inclusion of quotes from tour pros is a great touch.

It's no doubt a combination of both, but I'm a firm believer that the tour needs to find more interesting courses and change the setup a bit. I'm obviously not a professional, but even I've experienced dramatic shifts in score based on course design. 

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4 minutes ago, TR1PTIK said:

I'm typically opposed to equipment rollbacks, but you do make some excellent points and the inclusion of quotes from tour pros is a great touch.

It's no doubt a combination of both, but I'm a firm believer that the tour needs to find more interesting courses and change the setup a bit. I'm obviously not a professional, but even I've experienced dramatic shifts in score based on course design. 

I think that's my biggest issue with "Live Under Par" right now.  They essentially play the same golf course 6 out of every 8 weeks.  And those courses are further set up to reward bomb and gauge.  I readily admit, I am in the minority in thinking the Tour needs to increase width, increase angles and shorten courses.  As Adam Scott said, length doesn't matter to those guys.  So take length completely away!

As for equipment, it would be difficult to roll anything back at this point given R&D money spent by OEM's.  Imagine the push-back the governing bodies would receive from OEM's if the scaled the 460cc driver head back to 350cc's?  I would imagine it would be quite the scene.  I personally believe that ship has sailed.  Any attempts at rollbacks at this point would be met with litigation. 

At any rate, the Tour needs to broaden the spectrum of courses played.  

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