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q. What’s your choice?

Is the FedExCup a Bust? by Tim Geary

NO. e only things wrong with the FedEx Cup series is the name and the fact that nobody, players included, seem to understand the system. e first problem will probably remain in some kind of form because there needs to be a major sponsor to generate the kind of capitol necessary to attract the world’s top players at a time when the majority are dealing with golfing overload. e second is being adjusted from year to year and if the viewing public really cares enough they can figure it out. is year things are the same as last. e important thing is to offer golf fans some late season play that attracts the world’s best players and provides us with the kind of top quality play that heretofore was missing. Certainly the FedEx Cup cannot compete with the National Football League or major league baseball’s pennant races. Anyone who even tries to argue that is an imbecile and should immediately be institutionalized. Locally we are a little bit biased toward the success of the FedEx Cup because we have one of the tournaments, the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston. It’s a tournament that has attracted the best players, including Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, who ordinarily would have had nothing to do with a tournament played so late in the season. e problem with the FedEx series, as it now stands, is that it whittles down the field each week. On the surface that is what is supposed to make it so appealing. Like in any other competition it’s all about the survival of the fittest. Except in golf fans have their favorites and if those players are not in the field many are not going to either attend the tournament or watch it on television. at’s the fine line and nobody seems to know where to draw it. I know many folks from Rhode Island bought tickets to the Deutsche Bank to see the locals participate; namely Brad Faxon, Billy Andrade, Brett Quigley and Patrick Sheehan. But now Faxon and Andrade are mainly television commentators and Sheehan is on the Nationwide Tour and has not earned the points necessary to get into this field (there are no sponsor’s exemptions) and as of the conclusion of the PGA Championship Quigley was in 71st place, which could very well mean that he won’t be eligible to

play here over Labor Day weekend. ere are those have been critical of the series since its inception in 2006, but we had to remember that this is only the fifth year for the FedEx and officials finally seem to think they have gotten it right because this is the first year that the points system has not been altered. Remember it takes time for something to become special. Major championships are always going to be the most prestigious of golf tournaments and it has nothing to do with money, but they are only valued because they have stood the test of time and have been revered by both the players and the public. e Masters was nothing more than a golf tournament for its first few years. ese days the Ryder Cup is considered one of the world’s biggest sporting events, but there was a time, and not all that long ago, where nobody (players included) gave two hoots about the matches. Many of the top pros who qualified for either the USA or European teams (for many years it was just Great Britain and Ireland) refused to play. Now players place making their respective Ryder Cup teams second only to winning a major title. It’s difficult seeing the FedEx series ever getting to the point where people get all worked up over it, but as the years go on the winner may be regarded in a much different light than he is now, if he’s even regarded at all. After all, outside of Tiger, who can name anyone else who has won the FedEx Cup and until somebody actually kisses the darned thing after winning it, can it really be considered prestigious. We do need to have a major sponsor, but as long as there’s a corporate name attached to the title and the trophy, it can never be recognized as a big-time addition to any golfer’s resume, no matter who huge the check is.Money buys just about everything you can imagine, but it can’t buy immortality. Major championships do. I like the FedEx series, to a point. I’m not willing to condemn it because it’s still in its infancy, but I’d like to see it continue to evolve, to the point where it means more to the players than a few extra digits in their bank accounts. (Tim Geary is a Rhode Island-based freelance writer, who has covered all the previous Deutsche Bank Championships, likes the FedEx Cup, but would rather watch the Ryder Cup).

September - October 2010 | New England Golf Monthly | 69

New England Golf Monthly - September/October 2010  
New England Golf Monthly - September/October 2010  

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