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Fed Ex Cup- Jordan Spieth

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  1. 1. Should "Special Temporary" PGA Tour Members like Jordan Spieth be allowed to earn Fed Ex Cup points and compete in the playoffs?

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After 3 top 25s and 2 top 10s in his first 4 tournaments, Jordan Spieth had earned enough $ to become a "Special Temporary" Member of the PGA Tour in March of this year.  Since then, he has had 3 more top tens and played well enough to make the playoffs IF he was considered a Tour Member and given the points he would have earned based on his finishes.

As it stands, the only way for him to get into the playoffs is to win an event- if that happens, then he gets all of the points he would have earned retroactively and would have a legit shot at making the Tour Championships.  Going into this week (he is in 5th place at Greenbrier as I type this) Spieth has won more $ than Watney, Furyk, Huh, Poulter, Cink, Els and Duffner- those guys are in the playoffs (and some only split their time between the PGA and Euro), but Spieth, who is fully committed to the PGA Tour will likely be on the sidelines.

I think it would be in the interests of the PGA Tour to not only allow Special Temporary Members to earn Fed Ex Cup Points, but to also give playoff spots to the top 2 or 3 players from the Web.com Tour- this would make for some good Cinderella stories and help bring more attention to the Web.com Tour.

As golf fans, what do you think?

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After 3 top 25s and 2 top 10s in his first 4 tournaments, Jordan Spieth had earned enough $ to become a "Special Temporary" Member of the PGA Tour in March of this year.  Since then, he has had 3 more top tens and played well enough to make the playoffs IF he was considered a Tour Member and given the points he would have earned based on his finishes.   As it stands, the only way for him to get into the playoffs is to win an event- if that happens, then he gets all of the points he would have earned retroactively and would have a legit shot at making the Tour Championships.  Going into this week (he is in 5th place at Greenbrier as I type this) Spieth has won more $ than Watney, Furyk, Huh, Poulter, Cink, Els and Duffner- those guys are in the playoffs (and some only split their time between the PGA and Euro), but Spieth, who is fully committed to the PGA Tour will likely be on the sidelines.   I think it would be in the interests of the PGA Tour to not only allow Special Temporary Members to earn Fed Ex Cup Points, but to also give playoff spots to the top 2 or 3 players from the Web.com Tour- this would make for some good Cinderella stories and help bring more attention to the Web.com Tour. As golf fans, what do you think?

I agree. Definitely good idea about the web.com exemptions into the fed ex cup. Spieth has proven he belongs on tour and its been fun watching him do what he's done this year.

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He's either on the Tour or he's not.  If not then I don't see giving him anything special.  If he qualifies for the Tour then give him his card.  Otherwise he's no different from anyone else.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

He's either on the Tour or he's not.  If not then I don't see giving him anything special.  If he qualifies for the Tour then give him his card.  Otherwise he's no different from anyone else.

According to pgatour.com he is a "PGA Tour player" and he has won enough to guarantee his full card for next year and is currently in category 34 on the all exempt Tour.  This category combines with categories 32-36 which gets reordered into category 31 several times during the year- Spieth is currently #1 in that category and most of the other guys in that category are Fed Ex eligible.  I am not saying that he alone should get something special- what I am saying is that Special Temporary Members should be Fed Ex eligible if they earn enough points.

http://www.pgatour.com/news/2013/player_exemptions.html

Each PGA TOUR player has earned a position on the priority ranking system that will be used to select tournament fields in 2013. The complete ranking system, in order of priority, is as follows:

31. Reorder Categories 32-36
Jordan Spieth
Thorbjorn Olesen
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
Brandt Jobe
Fred Couples
Glen Day
Nathan Green
Chris DiMarco
Matt Bettencourt
Bernhard Langer
Joe Ogilvie
Duffy Waldorf
Lee Janzen
Joe Durant
Ryuji Imada
Jose Maria Olazabal
Bart Bryant
Russ Cochran
Sandy Lyle
David Frost
Ted Purdy
Dean Wilson
Arjun Atwal
Paul Casey
NOTE: Categories 32-36 are reordered Mondays of the Masters, THE PLAYERS Championship, U.S. Open and British Open.
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The Tour must have a reason for such a policy.  Maybe they feel that they are protecting the players who have earned their positions by right of seniority.  I don't know, but the way I see it, it's not any of my business.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

The Tour must have a reason for such a policy.  Maybe they feel that they are protecting the players who have earned their positions by right of seniority.  I don't know, but the way I see it, it's not any of my business.

Not my business either, but as fans we are entitled to our opinions.

I have always enjoyed seeing baseball players who started the season in the minors who ended up playing in the World Series.  Likewise, I would enjoy seeing the best golfers make the playoffs regardless of their status at the start of the season.

You are likely correct that they are trying to protect the veteran players but as a business, the PGA Tour should consider the fans opinions.  However, t he Tour is doing even more to protect the veterans with this years Q School grads getting Web.com instead of Tour membership...that is the reason I would like to see the top few Web.com guys make the playoffs because they played every bit as good as the guys who are 100-125 on Tour.

I am pretty sure that you used to be able to earn a tour card by earning as much as #125 from the previous years money list in your first 7 or 8 events (think Tiger Woods) but now earning as much as the previous #150 in 7 events gets you "Special Temporary Membership" which does not earn Fed Ex points.

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Originally Posted by MEfree

I am pretty sure that you used to be able to earn a tour card by earning as much as #125 from the previous years money list in your first 7 or 8 events (think Tiger Woods) but now earning as much as the previous #150 in 7 events gets you "Special Temporary Membership" which does not earn Fed Ex points.

What you first described was (and still is) the Major Medical Extension, which is treated as a continuation of the previous season for injured players who weren't fit to play a full schedule the year before; it has nothing to do with non-member playing privileges. The second item is how Jordan Spieth is playing a full schedule now, albeit with conditional status that does not make him eligible for FedEx Cup points.

The only way that Spieth is getting full playing privileges this season is if he wins a tournament. I remember when Arjun Atwal won in Greensboro a few years ago as a Monday Qualifier, he wasn't eligible for the FedEx Cup playoffs starting the next week on the basis that as a non-member, he did not earn any Cup points for his victory. What I would like to see is, should Spieth win a PGA Tour event between now and the playoffs, his full total of 2013 FedEx Cup points be applied retroactively. After Tiger Woods earned full membership his rookie year (see below), all of his 1996 winnings counted in the final money list, and he played in the Tour Championship. The rules as they are now, Spieth may not have the opportunity or the time to repeat that feat.

For what it's worth, Tiger earned his tour status by winning the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational, though he earned enough money to finish above the 125th on the final money list that would have secured membership for the 1997 season. Spieth would be 53rd on the money list if he were an official member, but as it stands, he's a lock for full membership in 2014; it would make him only the seventh player to earn his PGA Tour card straight out of college while bypassing both Q-School and the Web.com Tour since the all-exempt tour began in 1983. (Like Spieth, Justin Leonard, Ryan Moore, and Bud Cauley all earned enough money through exemptions and conditional status; Tiger won in his fifth professional start, and Scott Verplank and Phil Mickelson both won tournaments as amateurs.)

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Originally Posted by Chilli Dipper

For what it's worth, Tiger earned his tour status by winning the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational, though he earned enough money to finish above the 125th on the final money list that would have secured membership for the 1997 season. Spieth would be 53rd on the money list if he were an official member, but as it stands, he's a lock for full membership in 2014; it would make him only the seventh player to earn his PGA Tour card straight out of college while bypassing both Q-School and the Web.com Tour since the all-exempt tour began in 1983. (Like Spieth, Justin Leonard, Ryan Moore, and Bud Cauley all earned enough money through exemptions and conditional status; Tiger won in his fifth professional start, and Scott Verplank and Phil Mickelson both won tournaments as amateurs.)

Spieth is shaping up to be a force on Tour being one of the few players to earn enough on the money list with sponsor's exemptions to be an exempt member of the Tour for the following year. It is a rare occurrence and as such should not be used to create a special exception so he can play in the Fed Ex Cup. As much as I would like to see him play, I don't think it would be right to let him play unless he wins this year.

As far as the Web.com guys, that seems to be interesting and could really propel a couple of deserving guys into a new level for the reasons you stated.

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After 3 top 25s and 2 top 10s in his first 4 tournaments

That's really impressive.

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Originally Posted by dsc123

That's really impressive.

Yes it is. I want to be his caddie. No minimum loops there.

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Originally Posted by dsc123

Quote:

After 3 top 25s and 2 top 10s in his first 4 tournaments

That's really impressive.

The numbers do add up.  the 2 top 10's are also top 25's.

There is still no predicting what will happen with him.  He's still on the outside of the whirlwind that has curtailed the careers of so many promising young players.  It takes a rare kind of strength to be able to keep focused firmly on golf when the media and sponsors start clamoring for more and more of your time.  Only time will tell if he has that strength.

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Originally Posted by Chilli Dipper

it would make him only the seventh player to earn his PGA Tour card straight out of college while bypassing both Q-School and the Web.com Tour

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't he 19 years old ?     If so, he never played college golf - he's getting his card RIGHT AFTER HIGH SCHOOL !!!!    Which makes his performance even more astounding ...

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't he 19 years old ?     If so, he never played college golf - he's getting his card RIGHT AFTER HIGH SCHOOL !!!!    Which makes his performance even more astounding ...

Not quite. He played for the University of Texas as a freshman (leading the Longhorns to a national championship), then turned pro last December.

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Originally Posted by Chilli Dipper

Not quite. He played for the University of Texas as a freshman (leading the Longhorns to a national championship), then turned pro last December.

OK - thx for the correction !

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

The numbers do add up.  the 2 top 10's are also top 25's.

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Originally Posted by Chilli Dipper

What you first described was (and still is) the Major Medical Extension, which is treated as a continuation of the previous season for injured players who weren't fit to play a full schedule the year before; it has nothing to do with non-member playing privileges. The second item is how Jordan Spieth is playing a full schedule now, albeit with conditional status that does not make him eligible for FedEx Cup points.

The only way that Spieth is getting full playing privileges this season is if he wins a tournament. I remember when Arjun Atwal won in Greensboro a few years ago as a Monday Qualifier, he wasn't eligible for the FedEx Cup playoffs starting the next week on the basis that as a non-member, he did not earn any Cup points for his victory. What I would like to see is, should Spieth win a PGA Tour event between now and the playoffs, his full total of 2013 FedEx Cup points be applied retroactively. After Tiger Woods earned full membership his rookie year (see below), all of his 1996 winnings counted in the final money list, and he played in the Tour Championship. The rules as they are now, Spieth may not have the opportunity or the time to repeat that feat.

For what it's worth, Tiger earned his tour status by winning the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational, though he earned enough money to finish above the 125th on the final money list that would have secured membership for the 1997 season. Spieth would be 53rd on the money list if he were an official member, but as it stands, he's a lock for full membership in 2014; it would make him only the seventh player to earn his PGA Tour card straight out of college while bypassing both Q-School and the Web.com Tour since the all-exempt tour began in 1983. (Like Spieth, Justin Leonard, Ryan Moore, and Bud Cauley all earned enough money through exemptions and conditional status; Tiger won in his fifth professional start, and Scott Verplank and Phil Mickelson both won tournaments as amateurs.)

I like that they let Tiger play in the Tour Championship and have heard several of the announcers say that Spieth would get to count the points he would have earned retroactively with a win.  I recall Atwal winning and then getting the next 4 weeks off, so this at least is an improvement.

Fourputt was saying Spieth is either on tour or he is not- the fact of the matter is he has played in 15 events this year while guys like Tiger, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Graeme McDowell and Rory have only played in 9 or 10...seems to me Spieth is more on tour than these guys.

I guess I just don't understand why you are left out of the playoffs if your current year results put you in the top 125 (which gives you a card for the next year, but no guarantee that you will be in next year's playoffs).  I can't think of any other sport that says that your current year results are good enough to get in the playoffs, but you are being left out because your previous results were not good enough.  Whether it is the NFL, NBA or NHL guys don't have to be on the opening day roster to be playoff eligible, so why should golfers?

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I haven't done the research but I thought I heard the reason he wasn't eligible for FedEx is because he isn't officially on the PGA Tour.  He's been getting sponsor exemptions and qualifying based on his performance but he still isn't a member of the Tour.  He's playing so much because he's getting the exemptions and he's trying to win one.  My understanding is the only way for him to qualify for this year would be to win an event otherwise he was to wait until next year to play FedEx.

NFL, NBA and NHL are totally different with their own rules for eligibility within their leagues.  He couldn't play in the NFL because he's 19.  There are probably only a few players on MLB rosters that are 19 and I think the NBA uses years of college ball and / or age as their criteria.  Plus each sport has a cut off date that a player has to be on the roster for in order to play post season.

I don't know how tennis works but that would be the closest to the PGA Tour in terms of how players qualify for Tour events.

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I think that membership should limit his opportunities to earn enough points, but if manages to earn enough despite the limited opportunities he should be allowed in.
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