I've been down this road before, but I'm inspired to go down it again after reading my colleague Gary Van Sickle's amusing interview with Steve Dennis, the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup points guru. I don't know Mr. Dennis, but I do know Van Sickle, and on golf matters I find it wise to agree with him. (I have a harder time with his ranking of great episodes of "Lost in Space," among other iconic TV shows of the '60s.) Gary has now come up with a phrase that could fix the FedEx Cup mess: Cumulative Scoring. The idea is to treat the four playoff events as one 16-round tournament. He even got Steve Dennis to use it.
Here's my newest tweak on my previously described fix:
The PGA Tour season would conclude with the PGA Championship. If you're in the top 125 on the money list, you have your card for the following year, and you get into the first round of the three-week FedEx Cup playoffs. There's a dark week after the PGA; then you go three straight weeks. The winner is the guy who--get this--takes the fewest strokes for all 216 holes! Cumulative Scoring.
So, 125 would start, with a cut to the low 80 players and ties after the second round of the first tournament. Then cut to the low 60 and ties after the second round of the second tournament, so about 60 guys would play the third and final event. You have to play, of course, all 12 rounds to qualify.
Then you take off another week and play the Ryder Cup or the Presidents Cup. You can still have your Fall Finish tournaments. They should be what they already essentially are: nice, low-key community events doing some charitable good that gives professional golfers the opportunity to make money and golf fans the chance to watch.
Cumulative Scoring. Thanks, Gary.