The PGA Tour's first FedExCup (FEC) is in the books, and the Cup is in Tiger's hands as most of us thought it would be. For the most part, the "playoffs" were a success. They attracted more attention to the Tour, post-PGA Championship, as it was supposed to. The best player from the regular season was also the hottest player going into the FEC, and sure enough, he continued to be the hot player in the playoffs.
I always find it interesting to watch Scotty Cameron tweak his designs. I mean, how many putter makers have produced so many variations on a theme as he has done with his multiple incarnations of Newport-style heads?
It now appears he's traveling down that same road with his Red X mallet putters. Unlike the first mallet putters he produced shortly after joining Titleist (the Caliente and Bolero models) that weren't exactly blockbusters, the Red X putters have established a very strong following among those who favor a mallet head.
It's easy to understand why. It's a classic shape, beautifully milled, and available in multiple lengths and head weights… as long as you're right handed. Here's a look at his latest takes on what a mallet can be…
I'll bet you that when it comes to the subject of the FedExCup, there have probably been at least 25 negative commentaries in print, on the Web, and on TV for every one positive one. And that might be understating it.
Whenever I see something like this happening, my contrarian gland starts pumping skeptic hormone through my bloodstream, usually resulting in a string of maniacal rants against popular opinion. So far this season, however, I've been pretty measured in my comments to friends, on blogs, etc., on this matter, afraid of being branded an idiot for supporting what has been, until two weeks ago, little more than a cheesy marketing blitz.
And while I have my reservations on the matter, I'm ready to come out of the closet. The FedExCup is a good thing, with the potential to be much more.
As we chug into Labor Day weekend, the promise of "back to school" teases our frazzled nerves, the end of the golf season is just becoming visible on the distant horizon, and a crucial date has come and gone. August 1 marked the final day of the USGA's invitation for commentary on the proposed changes in golf club grooves. This likely rule change, as well as the various USGA studies which allegedly justify the change, have got me thinking: who, exactly, is being served here?
When the FedExCup was announced way back in 2005, the questions began. Does golf really need a playoff system? What kind of playoffs doesn't eliminate people? Why do 144 people qualify for the playoffs when only 125 keep their PGA Tour cards?
The question I asked myself (and which Dave Koster asked last year) was a simpler one: isn't this just another way of rejigging the money list? The formula for handing out FedExCup points is very similar to the way in which prize money is handed out.
So why create a separate measure at all? Wouldn't using the money list be "good enough"? PGA Tour fans have watched the money list for years. It's a simple value that makes a lot of sense.
Let's have a look at how things shook out. Are the money list and the FedExCup brothers from different mothers?
Perhaps the only thing more tedious than watching 43 rehashes of the Van de Velde incident is listening to an old lion reminding himself he can still roar. Gary Player's comments on performance-enhancing drug use on the professional golf tours certainly got a rise out of the news media. And although an exciting finish to a thrilling championship happily drowned out The Black Knight's clatter, I think the issue is worth a closer look.
14:36 - Sergio makes. Harrington does too and is the 136th Open Champion winner and the Champion Golfer of the Year.
14:35 - Sergio's birdie putt somehow misses high! It looked in from the get-go, but it slides just outside of Padraig's ball!! If Sergio misses, it's over. If he makes, Padraig must make to win outright.
14:34 - Harrington's par putt rolls three to four feet past the cup, right on Sergio's line.