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Six Ways to Make the Playoffs Better

K.J. Choi, FedEx Cup
Hunter Martin/
K.J. Choi said if he won the FedEx Cup, he would donate the money to charity.

Sorry, but they do deferred payment in baseball, not golf. Not only are the fans confused by the $10 million deferred payment that goes to the winner — not to mention by how the rest of the $35 million FedEx jackpot is split up — but so are the players, who are just now waking up to the knowledge that a check does not await them at the conclusion.

When, at the recent Bridgestone Invitational, a clueless K.J. Choi said that he'd donate the entire $10 million to charity if he won, Stewart Cink shot back, "He'd have to get a loan."

Adds 31-year-old Tiger Woods, who'd have to wait 14 years to get his hands on his cash, "I may be dead by the time my retirement fund comes around."

The bottom line here is that cash is king. The Tour could even emulate the World Series of Poker and have a big FedEx delivery truck drive up to the East Lake course and dump the $10 million on the 1st tee. Is that hokey? No doubt. Is it good TV? Absolutely.

Want to make a splash? Supersize the first prize to $25 million, cash. Where would the extra money come from? Easy.

The entire FedEx Cup purse is $35 million. Right now all 144 players who tee it up in the first playoff event (and, go figure, six guys who don't make the playoffs) get a piece of the pie.

Maybe that was a smart way to get the rank and file to go along with a shorter season, but the FedEx Cup shouldn't be a guaranteed payday for guys who can't play dead.

This should be Smith Barney money — you have to ear-r-rn it. Give the winner an attention-getting $25 million. The remaining $10 million is divvied up among the 29 other pros who make it to the Tour Championship.

The 114 guys who don't make it to Atlanta have the regular purses in the other playoff events as a consolation prize, so they have no reason to cry.

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