Thursday, September 29, 2011

The 2011 PGA Tour Playoffs

ed. In an effort to keep you informed of multiple sports, we went out and hired a golf writer. Seriously.

The PGA Tour for the past five years has showcased its talent and increased excitement. It has been able to do this through a points chase called the FedEx Cup. Funny a sport like golf that boasts of ethics and decency (just ask Dustin Johnson) would adopt a scoring system close to that of NASCAR. Where drivers would just as soon run you into a wall as watch you drive at your highest level. Imagine for just a second Phil Mickelson shanking a long iron into Tiger's shin just to get an advantage.

The PGA Tour's points race is a 37 week long event, and is pretty simple: the higher a player finishes in a tournament the higher point value they receive. Simple enough right? Well since this is a college football focused blog I'll borrow a phrase from the sport: not so fast my friends!

The PGA hasn't figured out yet what type of golfer they want to reward. Should they reward the Matt Kuchar's or the Keegan Bradley's. You see the difference between these two golfers is Matt Kuchar has 5 top fives with a T1 in a charity event and Keegan has 2 wins, one of which was the PGA championship (a major), 2 top 10's and a T11 in the Tour Championship. My point being, Kuchar at the end of the chase finished 6th while Keegan came in 20th. Keegan had 2 wins, one of those wins was a major and he still came in behind Kuchar. So what's the moral? Well, professional golfing careers are based on majors, Tiger Woods' career, though amazing, will be viewed as falling short of Jack's if he doesn't reach 15 majors. The way the points system is based today gives too many points to second place.

That said, it is what it is. So, let's look at the playoffs.

The FedEx Cup playoffs are a combination of four events starting with the top 125 points leaders meeting for The Barclay's. After The Barclay's the top 100 points leaders met at the Deutche Bank, then the top 70 in points battled it out at the BMW Championship in Chicago.

This past weekend the Tour Championship, and only the top 30 in points, met in Atlanta at East Lake GC. After a miraculous shot by Bill Haas on hole 17, out of the water (that shozelrocket could never pull off) in a play-off with Hunter Mahan, Haas goes on to tap in for par and eventually overtake Mahan. With that win, the total winnings for the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup of $11.4 million would go to Haas who would later say he had no idea he had won the $10 million FedEx purse until they had the trophy waiting for him. Must be rough.

Even though I don't totally agree with the points system of the FedEx Cup, I do agree with the format. It has allowed golf fans the chance to appreciate the sport without one dominate figure looming over it the way Tiger has for the last decade. It's a sport without the Yankees and the Patriots. Fans of golf are once again watching tournaments that hungry 20 somethings like Ricky Fowler, Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley and Aaron Baddeley are clawing out every round, looking to take the torch from Tiger.

That's the take from your old friend Shozel. Remember, keep your head down and when something goes right act like you've been there before.

Since we are all essentially amateur golfers in one sense or the other, I will offer a tip at the end of each post.

Shozel's Tip: When reading a putt, take a little more break than what you see. Statistics show that 75% of putts are missed on the "low side".

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