The Tour Championship? More like the Bore Championship, am I right?
Maybe it’s East Lake’s forgettable series of tree-lined par 4’s that lulls me to sleep. Maybe I’ve seen so many 72-hole stroke-play tournaments this summer that this one, with just 30 players, leaves me unfulfilled. Maybe it’s just the event itself that lacks prestige—it’s football season, after all, when on Sunday afternoons golf doesn’t just take a back seat, it’s in the trunk.
Or maybe there’s a larger problem. The entire premise of the FedEx Cup finale—the cartoonish $10 million dollar prize, plus a bonus pool of $25 million spread to the rest of the players—lacks meaning. It’s millionaires making more millions. That isn’t to say the Tour isn’t onto something with a high-stakes format, because it is. Problem is, the stakes aren’t high enough.
Solutions? Simple. Here are six quick fixes to fire up the FedEx finale:
1. Make it match play.
2. No more ho-hum East Lake. There will be multiple sites of play…
…determined by whatever course the lowest seed has moaned about most in the past. And the aggrieved greenskeeper of each venue will set the pins. Good luck at Chambers, Billy Horschel!
3. Players will use caddies…
…but they’ll be chosen by their opponents. We’re determining a champion, after all, and champions should be expected to overcome adversity. It would be particularly perverse and exciting to watch Rory walking down the fairway with one of his exes, for example, or to see Justin Thomas taking yardages—and swing tips—from Johnny Miller. Spieth and Danny Willett’s brother? The devious possibilities are endless.
4. After each round, the winner will advance…
…while the loser will be fed truth serum and forced to tweet an actual honest thought without the help of handlers and without mentioning a sponsor. This will help #growthegame and get some quality insights from our tight-lipped, tightly-managed players (and in a moment of frustration, too!). An all-around win.
5. The runner-up will still get $3 million…
…but he has to donate $2.9 million to Bernie Sanders’ 2020 election campaign.
6. And the winner still gets $10 million…
…but—and this is the key to the entire event—it’s paid in full by the guy who comes in last. The parallel Loser’s Bracket will become the marquee event, and the 30th-place match instantly becomes a MUST-watch. The loser will have to deliver the prize in a wheelbarrow of cash to the champion on the 18th green.
Simple as that! Ratings will skyrocket, and the Tour Championship might just become the fifth major. Sorry, Mr. Commissioner, sixth major.