The PGA Tour revamped its FedEx Cup race Tuesday for the third straight year of its existence, this one geared toward making sure the winner of the $10 million prize is decided at the Tour Championship.
“We have great expectations for the future of this competition,” PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said.
Based on the excitement level of the first two years, the FedEx Cup can only improve.
Tiger Woods was so dominant during the inaugural year in 2007 that he skipped the opening playoff event and could have skipped the Tour Championship and still won. This year, Vijay Singh won the first two playoff events, building such a large lead that he mathematically clinched the title before the Tour Championship – he only had to complete four rounds.
Under the new formula, points that previously had been reset at the start of the four-tournament playoffs will not be changed until the Tour Championship, meaning all 30 players who qualify for the finale will have a mathematical chance to win.
Finchem said the top five in the standings at East Lake would win the FedEx Cup with a victory, while the next five in the standings also would have a reasonable chance by winning.
“I think we’re moving in the right direction,” Finchem said.
The Tour Championship at East Lake will be played Sept. 24-27, providing a one-week break after the first three playoff events. The break was created this year because of the Ryder Cup, and Finchem said players liked it so much that it will stay that way through the end of the television contract in 2012.
The change attempts to strike a balance between the regular season and the playoffs.
THIS WEEK IN GOLF
Mission Hills World Cup
Site: Shenzhen, China
Course: Mission Hills, Olazabal Course (7,356 yards, par 72)
Purse: $5.5 million. Winners’ shares: $850,000
Television: Golf Channel (Wednesday-Saturday, 8:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.)
Format: Two-man teams representing 28 countries. First and third rounds, best ball; Second and fourth, alternate shot. Ben Curtis and Brandt Snedeker will represent the U.S.; ex-University of Arizona star Rory Sabbatini and Richard Sterne will represent South Africa.
Last year: Colin Montgomerie and Marc Warren gave Scotland its first win, beating Boo Weekley and Heath Slocum (U.S.) in a playoff.
Course: Singapore Island, Bukit Course (6,077 yards, par 72)
Purse: $1 million. Winners’ shares: $52,083 per player
Format: Team match play. Friday, six best-ball matches; Saturday, six alternate-shot matches; Sunday, 12 singles matches. The international team includes ex-UA players Natalie Gulbis and Annika Sorenstam. They will face an Asian team led by Se Ri Pak of South Korea.
Last year: Asia won 15-9.
AUSTRALASIAN PGA TOUR/PGA EUROPEAN TOUR
Site: Melbourne, Australia
Course: Huntingdale Golf Club (6,980 yards, par 72)
Purse: $970,000. Winner’s share: $175,000
Television: Golf Channel (Thursday-Sunday, 7:30-10:30 a.m.)