Monday , October 15, 2018  
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  What happened to the PGA Tour Money list?  

We are now going into the third tournament of the 2011 PGA Tour playoffs. I’m not sure what the heck playoffs mean in golf. However, it is what the PGA Tour deemed necessary to determine their champion.

I have considered the FedEx Cup a joke since its inception. I enjoy watching golf, but it just seems to be another drawn out “American Idol” to get viewers. The end of the season in golf was never about playoffs. It was more about the struggling players fighting to earn a card for next year. Fall brings us the start of football, Ryder Cup, baseball playoffs and the holidays. “Playoffs” who cares?

The PGA Tour Money list at one time was the pinnacle as to how players were rated amongst their peers along with who won the years majors. In 1987 the tour created The Tour Championship which represented the top 30 players on the money list that would then play for the pot of gold. Even with the 1 million dollar payout to the winner it did not get a lot respect in the golf world. It just seems to come at the wrong time of year and honestly I think the 30 players treated it like an after the year event.

The money list is not enough according to the decision makers. We need a playoff system!  NASCAR is doing it so golf should do it too. Well, here we are 5 years into the playoffs and it hasn’t delivered more excitement to the game. No, it is an end of the year golf tournament competing in a busy sports schedule.  

In comparing the PGA Tour money list after the PGA Championship to the current FedEx Cup ranking it shows very little difference. It is the same people. Sure a few adjustments because of the typical ups and downs that are associated with golf however in reality it is the same list. Matt Kuchar won the money list title last year. Jim Furyk finished second.

Professional golf is different these days. A short hitter can still win on tour and even win the FedEx Cup as evidence with last years winner Furyk. However, golfers are required to maintain excellent physical health. They are playing golf courses that stretch 7600 yards in length and some par 4’s reaching 500 yards. These guys because of equipment hit it further which has led to a more physically demanding game. Golfers get injured just like other athletes. Case in point, Tiger Woods. His high profile has made us aware of injury, but in reality guys on tour are faced with injuries constantly. Golf is a sport where there is no team roster to ride to the playoff. These guys have to perform or they lose their card.

The top 30 players that compete in this year’s tour championship finale at East Lake GC will win a guaranteed check and get the accolades they deserve.  In reality did the playoffs provide drama the PGA Tour could not survive without? I vote for the older more simplified approach. The leading money winner wins the Arnold Palmer trophy. Golfers can take some time off and let their bodies heal which allows them to enjoy their family.

Golf is supposed to be a little different than other sports. Maybe the PGA Tour should consider that the next time they implement a contrived playoff system.  

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