Like the Bowl Championship Series in college football, the FedEx Cup "playoff" system is a solution crying out for another solution. In fact, a cynic would say both were designed to make us talk about them forever--and, of course, make endless suggestions for fixing them. Here's Dave Riffey of Shell Lake, Wisconsin, offering a very straightforward fix:
There is an easy solution to all the big boys skipping out on the Fed X Cup events.... Â MAKE ALL OF THE ORIGINAL 144 START FROM SCRATCH...EVERYONE STARTS WITH ZERO POINTS.... Â THEN YOU WOULD SEE A REAL PLAYOFF !!! Â JUST LIKE ALL OTHER SPORTS AND THEIR PLAYOFFS...BASEBALL ...FOOTBALL..HOCKEY...TENNIS..ETC. Â
Okay, Dave, it came through much clearer because of the all caps. But I'm not sure your idea will do it. As BTE says in a comment here yesterday, how do you convince guys who have multi-millions and want to see their kids make their first I-phone call that $10 million counts, be it deferred, annued or just spent on Bentleys?
Here are suggestions kicked around our water cooler, with their accompanying complications:
Allow the big guys (Top Three?) to sit out the first week. (Please keep that a secret from the folks at Barclays until a few minutes before the event.)
Rotate the first tournament among the Barclays, the Deutsche Bank and the BMW, and make it a "play-in" tournament that the very top players would not have play. As in, the Rose Bowl will mean zilch this year, but next year it will lead to the national championship game." Hire a Marine platoon to deliver the message to the first "play-in" event. Corollary: Rotate the Tour Championship among the four events.
Allow the big guys to choose one week to sit out. Interesting that this year Tiger, Ernie and Phil picked different weeks to throw Tim Finchem under the bus. Almost makes you think it was planned that way-- if it hadn't been for the press conferences the Commissioner had to endure.
Make everybody play all four. If you miss one, you might as well miss them all: You're gone; no chance to make any of the $63 million. Let the spouses provide consequences. ("Excuse me. You did what so that you could see who off on her first school bus?!!! Have you completely lost your mind?!")
Space out the four events, buying room to do that by asking the PGA to move the PGA Championship back and the Ryder Cup forward. Sell combined PGA Tour/NFL ticket packages. On second thought, never mind.
Eliminate one event. Three players will be fine with that. You may get a comment or two from the other fellows.
Number 3 looks better and better. Top three players are each allowed to choose one event they don't have to play. Player ranked No. 1 chooses from A, B or C event. Player No. 2 goes second and chooses from remaining two events. Player No. 3 gets the remaining week off.
Commissioner doesn't have to do any press conferences.