PGA Tour Confidential: Brandt Snedeker wins FedEx playoffs, Ryder Cup preview

Brandt Snedeker
Chris Condon / Getty Images
Rory McIlroy won two of the four FedEx playoff events, but did not received the $10 million grand prize.

Van Sickle: In real playoffs, teams get eliminated. Not in the FedEx Cup playoffs. Real playoffs would get rid of all the players who miss the cut at the Barclays or the Deutsche Bank. Then you'd see some real drama. But you'd also lose some superstars that TV doesn't want to lose. So it won't happen. You might as well just give Tiger, Phil, Rory and Rickie Fowler, or whomever, free passes into the final to keep interest up. I also like the suggestion of adding a fifth day to the Tour Championship. Four days for a stroke-play tourney, and a fifth day to pit the top four against each other for one round. Eighteen holes for the $10 million. That would be dramatic no matter the foursome.

Godich: I'm with your Gary. (I think.) Nick Watney went from something like 50th to first after winning the Barclays. He was pretty pedestrian the next two weeks, finishing 28th and 45th. And even after finishing 28th in a 30-man field at East Lake, he dropped all of one spot in the standings, from third to fourth. Were there really only three players who performed better than Watney?

Mike Walker, senior editor, Golf Magazine: I wouldn't change anything. We had four really good tournaments with some exciting finishes, the biggest names in the game all in the mix for the $10 million prize, and a FedEx Cup winner coming from the Top 5 in points at the start of the Tour Championship. What's wrong with that?

Van Sickle: None of the finishes were exciting because of the points system. They just happened to be exciting finishes, which is great. We all love that. The John Deere Classic had an exciting finish, too.

Reiterman: Only things I would change? Don't update me on the FedEx Cup standings until the back nine of the Tour Championship, and don't waste Steve Sands's talents doing second-grade math in front of a dry-erase board.

Herre: Have to agree that Sands's math classes are silly as well as annoying.

Morfit: It's sort of like Election Day make believe.

Godich: Funny, but after all that talk about the $10 million bonus, it would've been nice to hear what second, third and fourth were worth, how much Justin Rose made by holing that par putt at 18 to finish solo second, etc.

Van Sickle: One of these days the $10 million is going to come down to a non-contender's finish on the last two holes. Like maybe Justin Rose makes that par putt at 18 to finish second in the Tour Championship, and though he's not in contention for the FedEx Cup, he secures the $10 million for Rory. If he misses that putt, Snedeker or someone else wins the Cup. That hasn't happened yet, but it probably will.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: If you were in charge, what -- if anything -- would you change about the FedEx playoffs?

ULTIMATE GRUDGE MATCH
Dusek: The golf world's focus now shifts to Chicago and the Ryder Cup. I don't know about you, but I feel like the whole season has been building up to this week. I've never felt the emotion at a sports event like I did on that soggy Friday at the K Club when Darren Clarke prepared to hit on the first tee. Likewise, the folks in Kentucky made their presence felt in 2008 at Valhalla. To sports fans who have never attended a Ryder Cup, what would you compare it to?

Bamberger: Seventh game of the World Series.

Shipnuck: Game 7 of the World Series, if the U.S. was one of the teams.

Van Sickle: It's the only golf event where fans care about every shot, one way or another. That makes it different, and better. Plus, team match play is the most exciting format in golf.

Walker: The World Cup, because of the passion of the fans and also because you have to wait a long time for it.

Morfit: I'd compare it to a piano recital in front of 10 million people.

Garrity: I think the Ryder Cup is more like the National Spelling Bee. Nobody gets to lose gracefully. The camera is right in your face on every shot.

Herre: The Ryder Cup has a bit of an Olympic feel, but I've always felt it is a lot better on television than in person. On site, there are too many people watching too little golf. As a TV show, each match is a tournament unto itself, and it's fascinating to follow the twists and turns. You really get a sense of momentum swings, which players are carrying their partners, and all of the other wonderful nuances of match play.

Wei: Well, I've never been to a Ryder Cup, but I have been to Game 7 of a World Series and the NBA Finals. I've been looking forward to Medinah all week. What FedEx Cup?

Hanger: Desk jockey that I am, I've never been to one either, but I think it's a lot like a really intense college football rivalry. The players want it so badly for themselves and the fans, and the fans take it so personally, that it's thrilling to win and gutting to lose. Auburn-Alabama or Ohio State-Michigan? For me, it's like Missouri-Kansas, pre SEC.

Godich: Let's not forget that in the biggest game Missouri and Kansas will ever play against one another, the Tigers prevailed, on the football field in 2007 at Arrowhead.

Garrity: Our audience probably didn't know we had three Mizzou alums on the panel -- until now.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: To what event would you compare the Ryder Cup?

SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER
Dusek: If you were seated next to Davis Love at Ditka's on Wednesday night, what advice would you give him? Similarly, if you ran into Jose Maria Olazabal at another Chicago institution, Gene and Georgetti, what advice would you have for him?

Van Sickle: Give us some good quotes this week, puh-leeze!

Bamberger: Try to get some sleep. You make better decisions when well rested.

Shipnuck: For Davis: whatever Corey Pavin did, do the opposite. For Jose Maria: find a priest and do a reverse-exorcism, putting Seve's spirit in the bodies of at least half his players.

Godich: Swing that back-room deal to match Tiger against Rory in singles. Don't tell me it can't be done.

Garrity: I'd tell Jose Maria to order ice cream for dessert because they cut it with a cleaver, same as everything else they serve. Oh, you mean Ryder Cup advice? None. I don't buy into the captains cult.

Herre: I hope Love takes a lesson from Paul Azinger when it comes to pairings. Zinger's pods approach was brilliant. Would not presume to advise Olazabal, who no doubt will emulate Seve, his magnificent Ryder Cup partner.

Walker: Let the players take the lead. Both sides have so much Ryder Cup experience at this point that the captains shouldn't have to do much.

Hanger: Make it fun, keep it loose. These guys shouldn't be thinking about national expectations and history and all that junk. Bust each other's balls, play a lot of Ping-Pong, drink a few beers at dinner. Make them feel like it's just another golf match.

Wei: Don't make the atmosphere too serious. I know it doesn't get much bigger than this, but if Davis Love is super tense, the players will sense it, and that could add pressure. From what I hear, the team room is usually really relaxed and fun, and DL3 has surrounded himself with good assistant captains, including cart driver Michael Jordan, so it sounds like he's got things under control.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: What advice would you give the two Ryder Cup captains?

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