Five ways to make FedEx Cup playoffs better
Five ideas to liven up the FedEx Cup playoffs include match play, losing the points system and lopping off the majority of the field.
We've gone over how the FedEx Cup playoffs work at length so this is not a post on the minutia of the system but rather what could happen if we overhauled the system altogether.
We can keep the four tournaments (The Barclays, Deutsche Bank Championship, BMW Championship and Tour Championship) but let's play it out differently.
If I was made PGA Tour commissioner for a day, this is how the playoffs would be different.
1. Fewer golfers: About half of all golfers who earned money on the PGA Tour in a given year get to participate in the playoffs. The only other sports where that's true are basketball and hockey. I implore you to find me a person who wouldn't slash the number of basketball and hockey playoff teams in half.
Slice this to 50 and let's tee it up. Make it mean something to get in this thing.
2. Get rid of FedEx Cup points: This is a fine thing for the regular season but casual fans don't understand it and it's silly to recalculate scores after different tournaments. People are not interested. I know this is the PGA Tour's version of giving a golfer "home-field advantage" the way teams in other sports who finish high in the regular season get that advantage but it's silly and doesn't work.
3. Cut three golfers after every round: There are three tournaments before the Tour Championship, which means with my proposed idea of 50 golfers you could cut the low three golfers after every round of golf and be left with 14 for the final tournament (we'll get to that in a second). This would increase viewership by a ton and bring the idea of clear-cut elimination into play. Can you imagine the drama on a Thursday afternoon if Tiger was two shots out of getting the ax?!
This last one is a two-parter.
4. Make the Tour Championship match play ...
5. ... And make guys team up: Here's the idea for the Tour Championship. Only cut one guy in the final round of the BMW Championship so you're left with 16 for the Tour Championship. Make them team up into pairs and play it out Ryder Cup-style. This would be insanely fun and entertaining. Then with eight golfers left, make them pair off again into four teams of two.
When you're left with four golfers it's just straight-up match play -- 36 holes a day over the course of two days.
The team aspect would be unbelievable. Who will Tiger choose?! Phil and Keegan back together! There would be so much drama and fireworks -- it would really be amazing.
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