On Tuesday, we laid out a simple suggestion to the brass at PGA headquarters aimed at making their confusing FedEx Cup playoffs less like chess and a lot more like checkers.
Our aim was to offer up a simple scoring system that would allow pros and high-handicappers alike the opportunity to follow the event with a real good clue of how it worked.
Basically, we advocated using good ol' golf scoring to determine the standings, rather than some point system that only Apple and Dell understood.
So today, while refurbishing the joint (we hope you like the upgrade), and busily readying for another busy weekend of football, we came across this column from Sports Illustrated's superb golf writer, Gary Van Sickle.
Essentially, Van Sickle is advocating almost the exact approach to putting the fix on these playoffs as the Grill Room, and for the same reasons.
In fairness to Van Sickle, he points out he's made this suggestion before, so it looks like the GR unknowingly drafted his good idea. Either way, we feel like we are in pretty good company with a pretty good suggestion.
Van Sickle also made another excellent point as to why this confounding scoring system needs changing: If a player has no idea where he stands on the golf course, how does he know how to approach the closing holes tactically?
For example: If a guy needs only bogey on the final hole to get the requisite points needed to advance, or in the case of the final tournament maybe even win, wouldn't it be a tremendous help if he knew that?
As is, unless his caddy is also lugging a TV around, a player might as well be playing with a blindfold on, because there is no way this information can make its way onto the golf course. That's inexcusable
Van Sickle also suggests that the winner of each event earn a five-stroke bonus in order that a win really means something. We can go along with that.
As we pointed out in Tuesday's column, adopting this new approach might mean, "some dude named Tiger could play out of his mind and go into the final weekend with a 16-shot lead or something."
Once again, we didn't know how right we were. It turns out that Tiger would actually have a 15-shot lead over Paddy Harrington heading into next Thursday's Tour Championship at Atlanta's East Lake Golf Course if our suggested scoring format had been adopted this year (see chart below).
Granted, the chances of Tiger blowing a 15-shot lead are about as good as me playing in next year's event, so the drama would be tempered next week at East Lake, but at least the best player would have been identified over the course of the event.
On the other hand, if Tiger finishes strongly in the event, yet under the current jury-rigged system still comes up short for the overall title, what do you want to bet the FedEx finally gets the fix it needs pronto?
By advocating the use of cumulative scoring over the Cup's four stops, and allowing five shots to the three winners, this is how the current leaderboard would look entering the final event:
(*) denotes current standings
- (1) -44 Tiger Woods
- (6) -29 Padraig Harrington
- (3) -27 Jim Furyk
- (2) -24 Steve Stricker
- (8) -18 Scott Verplank
- (18) -18 Kevin Na
- (4) -18 Zach Johnson
- (11) -16 Dustin Johnson
- (25) -12 Steve Marino
- (27) -9 Mike Weir
- (12) -9 Nick Watney
- (30) -7 John Senden
- (28) -5 Luke Donald
- (15) -5 Retief Goosen
- (19) -4 David Toms
- (23) -4 Hunter Mahan
- (29) -3 Jerry Kelly
- (14) -1 Phil Mickelson
- (17) +1 Brian Gay
- (9) +4 Kenny Perry
- (21) +12 Y.E. Yang
Players who missed a cut and would not have advanced to Tour Championship:
Heath Slocum (5)
Sean O'Hair (7)
Jason Dufner (10)
Geoff Ogilvy (13)
Marc Leishman (16)
Lucas Glover (20)
Ernie Els (22)
Angel Cabrera (24)
Stewart Cink (26)
Thanks again for Van Sickle's help with this one.
Torrey Pines hosts LPGA
The LPGA starts one of its elite tournaments today when the Samsung World Championship tees off at venerable Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego.
It's only the second time the tour has visited Torrey Pines. It'll be interesting to see how the ladies handle the tough track, and how well the tournament's received by the locals.
Paula Creamer defends her title in the limited-field event that will see only 20 players vying for the $1-million purse.