by Jeff Skinner
Remember when you were a kid and you were sick and your mom tried to give you some cough syrup. She’d say “it doesn’t taste that bad” and you being a good kid would go ahead and swallow it. Then you start to gag because it tasted like gasoline mixed with pond scum. I have the same feeling about these “FedEx Cup Playoffs”. I just can’t swallow it.
The PGA Tour has been force feeding us this playoff format for three years now and I am not ready to submit to them trying to ram this playoff idea down my throat. It tastes too much like cough syrup. It is easy to understand what the PGA Tour is trying to do. They are trying to promote their product, get more fans to watch their players and make their players and themselves more cash. I have no issue with that at all; good businesses are always trying to increase their bottom line. But, don’t try and sell this as being as important as the majors because they aren’t. There are four majors and four majors only. The Players isn’t a major and the next four tournaments are not majors. John Feinstein thinks the Playoffs are just good tournaments. They are regular tour events with great fields. The majors are universally recognized as majors. No one confuses The Barclays with The US Open and The BMW Championship sure isn’t The Masters. If you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig.
The FedEx Cup Playoffs are not without some redeeming factors. The Tour has improved the format each year to get more of the top players (Tiger and Phil) to commit. They have tweaked the points system to give more players a chance at “winning the cup.” It is a welcome sight to see the top players showing up for these tournaments but majors they are not. I think it is great that we all get to see more of Tiger, Phil and the boys. But the fact is they play these events for the ten million dollar payoff at the end, not the trophy. I wonder if Tiger’s FedEx Cup trophy is in the same trophy case as all his major trophies. I bet he tosses his car keys in it.
Whatever you call these tournaments, they aren’t majors. They do serve a good purpose in getting top players to play at a time when they have previously taken some time off. Anytime we get all these top guys to play is fine with me. I don’t care if they offer ten million or a gazillion bucks as a payoff to the champion. Do we need playoffs? The guys at Devil Ball Golf debate the need for playoffs. I don’t see a need for this force fed, manufactured format, but if they get the boys to keep playing golf it is fine with me. Just don’t tell me they are as important as the majors. Just like the cough medicine, I can’t swallow that.