SBD/September 19, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Web.com Tour's New Finals Format Questioned By Players, Seen As Lacking Drama

The format of the Web.com Tour Finals has caused "nearly universal befuddlement over why it was instituted when the status quo" that was the PGA Tour Q-School "seemed satisfactory," according to Dave Shedloski of GOLF WORLD. The format sees the top 75 players from the Web.com Tour face off in four events against those who finished Nos. 126-200 on the PGA Tour's FedExCup points list, with 25 PGA Tour cards for next season on the line. The "drawback, as many players see it, is basic math." The "top-heavy distribution" of money in each $1M purse "weakens the concept of the Finals as a series of events as opposed to four isolated tournaments." Golfer Tag Ridings said, "There are a lot of us who wonder why they did this. In theory, I suppose it's not a bad idea. In practice, it's not great right now." Golfer Will MacKenzie: "I don't know if this is what they envisioned. If I'm looking at it from the outside, I'd be asking, 'Where's the drama?' There's not a lot of build-up, you know?" Shedloski writes Tour officials "couldn't have been happy" that Seung-Yul Noh, winner of last week's Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship, "didn't care whether he finished first or second." There "might be as few as seven cards available" at next week's Web.com Tour Championship at the TPC Sawgrass Valley Course. That is a "far cry from the advertised 50." But Web.com Tour President Bill Calfee is "willing to consider new ideas." He said, "We are not set in stone on this. But from our perspective, this is going very well. It's compelling. It's drawing more interest" (GOLF WORLD, 9/23 issue).

PLEASE PUT THE PHONE DOWN: PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem earlier in the week said the Tour is examining the process of TV viewers calling in rules violations during play. Denver Post columnist Woody Paige said the Tour should "eliminate" the practice and "decide the actual event on the field of play." Paige: "You don't let people decide NFL rulings at home sitting on their La-Z-Boy recliner. Let the golfers and the officials determine who won the tournament." Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw said Tiger Woods and a "handful of others have practically every shot on TV." Cowlishaw: "Some guys are almost never on TV. They could be kicking the ball out of the woods and wouldn't know about it" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 9/18). Author John Feinstein said, "What the Tour needs to do is put one of the rules officials, everyday, into the truck, full-time so they can watch everything that every viewer can see on TV with a professional eye. If they see something that they think is the least bit off, they can look at it on replay, they can slow it down in HD, then make a decision" ("Morning Drive," Golf Channel, 9/19). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said implementing a time limit to when a violation can be reported "is easy," like an "hour after the last guy finishes and that's it, and not the next day." ESPN's Michael Wilbon: "You put a rules official out there on every hole" ("PTI," ESPN, 9/18).
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