A PGA Tour playoff plan that makes sense
The PGA Tour still can't get it right when it comes to the FedEx Cup playoffs. Gary Van Sickle described the Tour's proposed version where the Tour Championship will feature a "staggered start" in terms of strokes (“Finally, Tour playoffs that make sense,” Aug. 28). This is like giving the team with the better record a 7-0 lead to start the Super Bowl.
Come on, PGA Tour: Make this simple. Here's how you can do it: Start with 75, not 125, in the first playoff event (although those ranked 76-125 still would retain their cards). Take the top 50 and ties to the second playoff event, and the top 25 and ties, including the first playoff event winner, to the Tour Championship. The winner of that event is the FedEx Cup champion.
This plan has several advantages: It's easy to understand, as it mirrors the playoffs in other sports; no more convoluted points system during the playoffs; 75 starting players instead of 125 offers a greater reward for regular-season success; players get to play all four rounds in the first event, and finally, players can't skip an event (except the first playoff event winner) or else they can't play in the Tour Championship.
But because this plan makes too much sense, we are unlikely to see anything like it. Instead, we'll be treated to more goofiness like the "staggered start."
(Harman is the national course director for the U.S. Golf Teachers Federation.)
New England vs. New York: It’s real
Jeff Babineau hit a home run with his article on the beginning of the Boston/New York playoff rotation next season (“PGA Tour’s odd couple: Boston and N.Y.,” Aug. 29). As all New Englanders appreciate, even those of us in the far reaches of northern New Hampshire, there is a near-innate hostility toward anything from New York, especially if pinstriped uniforms are involved. Maybe feigned, maybe not. But it is there, and Babineau captured it.
He also captured the essence of living (and golfing) in New England. We rarely tee it up for real before May 1, and the gear goes into winter hibernation in October, only if we are blessed with a warm autumn. Then, we hope for an early spring, or pack the sticks and head south on I-95. No stops in New York.
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