It’s all about the money
I rarely agree with John Hawkins (too much Tiger Woods), but with only one Woods lapse, his article on the FedEx Cup playoffs was spot on (“Playoff buzz fades in a New York minute,” Aug. 27).
Those playoffs always have been about money. That has been the dominant playoff hype. By contrast, in virtually every other PGA Tour event, the focus is on the title and glory of the victory. As evidence, have you ever noticed that there is rarely any comment on the winner’s purse, nor is it made easy to locate the final payouts?
Yet, in the FedEx Cup playoffs, we are asked to forget the prestige but to focus on the big bucks. It doesn’t work, and it hasn’t for a long time, if ever. Not with the golf fans, nor with the participants. It is just seen as a big payday, without the allure of a major victory.
Simply put, NASCAR doesn’t nicely fit with golf. Hopefully, a playoff format akin to Hawkins’ suggestion will be seriously contemplated. Maybe even by NASCAR.
And, just maybe, with a New York state of mind.
Pulling for Streb
It’s always a bonus when you can watch a good friend win, and enjoy the experience vicariously, as I did in watching Robert Streb win the Web.com Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday (“In the news,” Aug. 27).
Having lost my PGA Tour card twice in my career, once by the slimmest of margins (like Streb, who finished 126th in 2013), I found it easy to relate to the trials and tribulations of having a bad year and being faced with the loss of Tour privileges. For Streb, however, the stakes were far greater than any I ever faced. His gritty play coming down the stretch showed that his PGA Tour experience over the past four years paid dividends when he needed them most.
I was able to make it out to see Streb three times this year (Houston, Fort Worth and Canada), and each time watched him struggle with his driver a bit. I wasn’t surprised to hear that he was working on fading the ball this past week, as I think that could reward him in the future. Like his friend and fellow Kansan Tom Watson, both played from the inside of the ball and had the same trademark “reverse C” in their prime. Both of them could have a hard time finding the short grass.
While I don’t see Streb making the same swing changes as Watson made to his swing in his 40s, I think Streb’s strength comes from within. His determination, which is an intangible that is often hard to measure, surfaces when he needs it the most. Streb has the resolve and the game to have a great finish to this year and an even stronger 2019.
(Pelham played the PGA Tour in the late 1970s and early '80s and is the author of “Burke and Demaret: The Wit and Wisdom of Golf’s Most Colorful Duo.”)
Highlights of a ‘has-been’
Sunday evening before retiring, I decided to see what Golf Channel’s “Golf Central” show had to offer. It was sickening.
The show replayed 90 percent of Tiger Woods’ final round in the Northern Trust tournament, at which he tied for 40th place. He couldn't hit a fairway, missed most of the greens and likewise putts. Then they had the audacity to interview him. Most of us are tired of hearing his excuses.
I also noticed the amount of dumb American public that claim to be golf aficionados and enthusiasts who followed him around.
Woods is a has-been, and it’s doubtful that he ever will mount a comeback desiring to be viewed.
It would have been better if “Golf Central” would have reflected on and highlighted winner Bryson DeChambeau's great final round. The public following Tiger Woods would have been presented with a masterful round of golf instead of a floundering has-been.
Bobby K. Goforth
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