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You’d might as well give Usain Bolt a head start
The PGA Tour’s new Tour Championship format makes no sense (“Tour’s new playoffs leave odd endgame,” Sept. 19).

Can you imagine Tiger Woods getting a 10-shot head start into the major championships in the 1999 and 2000 seasons?

Spot the New England Patriots 10 points at the start of the Super Bowl? Give Usain Bolt a 10-meter head start?

Imagine waking up on the Sunday of the Tour Championship, waiting to see whether Dustin Johnson will blow a 15-shot lead.

I hope that folks such as you keep writing and pointing out the obvious. It’s different but still unwatchable.

Kevin Kelly
Chapel Hill, N.C.

Tour’s new playoff formula doesn’t add up
Thumbs down on the new system using strokes (“Tour’s new playoffs leave odd endgame,” Sept. 19). The mathematically challenged still will get confused. Imagine if the Golden State Warriors were given a 10-point lead to start a playoff game because they had the best regular-season record.

Sum of entry position plus tournament finish is simple and values season-long record plus performance in the playoffs.

Imagine the excitement this week if 36-hole medal play were to chop the field to 16 for winner-take-all match play on the weekend.

Frank Mauz

How about a 36-hole Sunday finale?
The top 30 players in the world do not need strokes (“Tour’s new playoffs leave odd endgame,” Sept. 19).

On Sunday, have these great athletes play 36 holes to win.
Give a reward of $2 million to the player who gets the most points throughout the year.

Glenn Monday
Tucson, Ariz.

Try NCAA tournament model for playoffs
Great article on the current and proposed FedEx Cup playoff process (“Tour’s new playoffs leave odd endgame,” Sept. 19).

I tend to be a simple thinker about things like this.

Why not follow existing and successful playoff structures? Say, similar to NCAA basketball. Those golfers who qualify for the finale are seeded by standing after the first two events, i.e., No. 30 (or whatever number the last qualifier is) plays No. 1, and so on. Lose your match, and you are done.

People would understand that format and would enjoy the Cinderella maybe knocking off the No. 1 seed. Maybe the media and sponsors wouldn’t get the final matchup they hoped for, but the viewers just might.

What is the resistance to a model like this?

Ted Comstock
Lancaster, N.H.

Another way to split the pot
This new format for the Tour Championship sounds too convoluted (“Tour’s new playoffs leave odd endgame,” Sept. 19).

Just separate the two. Give $5 million to the winner of the season and $5 million to the winner of the end-of-the-year championship. We'll still watch.

Joe Matula
Palos Park, Ill.

American classic courses deserve top events
As an avid golfer and regular viewer of the Tour, I couldn't agree more with John Hawkins’ opinion (“Tour can do better than Atlanta for finale,” Sept. 18).

I would go one step further and, except for the Masters and Players, rotate all leading events, including the Tour Championship and World Golf Championships.

There are too many great courses around the country to limit these premier events to just a few venues. I would like to see a return to places such as Southern Hills, Baltusrol, Medinah, Westchester and Winged Foot, to name a few.

Along this line, I also don't like these events at courses that host an annual Tour event (e.g., Pebble Beach).

Norm Amyot
Melbourne, Fla.

Another view of Atlanta as Tour host
I was stunned when I read John Hawkins’ piece on the Atlanta venue (“Tour can do better than Atlanta for finale,” Sept. 18). It smacks of elitism, which golf has been trying to deal with for the past 40 years.

Did it ever occur to you that the sponsors actually wanted to hold it in a part of town you don’t want to “mess with”? Maybe their goal was to allow some of the proceeds to be spent in the surrounding area instead of giving to a big-time nonprofit, whose board of directors is filled with a who’s-who in town.

Hawkins went on to say that this tournament needs to be held in a venue with a “hearty atmosphere.” I think he means that wealthy golf patrons want to hobnob with their own type instead of letting those people into our stratified air. A clarification would be in order here.

Maybe the PGA Tour should take a page from the LPGA and Champions Tour playbooks. Let kids in for free. Give people in this “shoddy neighborhood” a chance to see what professional golf is all about.

And you wonder why golf participation is still declining. An apology is in order to the corporate sponsors, as well as the residents in the neighborhood.

Betsy Larey
St. Paul, Minn.
(Larey is an LPGA teaching professional.)

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