PGA Tour's Finchem Says Fans Finally Embracing FedExCup Playoffs
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem appeared on Golf Channel's "Morning Drive" yesterday, saying after seven years of the FedExCup Playoffs, the "overriding thing is the way, slowly at first maybe then with increasing speed, people are getting into what this competition is all about." Finchem said the players have been "into it for a while but the fans now are really into all the elements of it." The "fans like all the additional stuff happening to follow, that's just the way we are as a culture and a society today, you want all this to follow and keep track of and that's helped propel the competition." Finchem added the "major parts of the schedule are done" for the Tour during the '16 Rio Games and that "was done like three or four years ago" to ensure tournaments are not being played during the Games. Finchem said the Tour was "leading the charge for golf in the Olympics and we were very involved in that, but for 10 or 15 years prior to that, we were opposed," because "it causes havoc with our schedule and makes it difficult from a player movement standpoint." Finchem: "We finally decided, though, that there are so many countries … around the globe where the government of those countries invests money in sports but only in sports that are on the Olympic program. After we did this study, we came to the conclusion that the upside of growing the game globally outweighed the difficulties we have with our schedule." Meanwhile, Finchem said he "couldn't be more excited" about the Tour's young players. Finchem: "I couldn't be more bullish about what the next 20 years are going to mean to the PGA Tour" ("Morning Drive," Golf Channel, 9/24).
BOYS OF FALL: GOLFWEEK's Adam Schupak notes six tournaments formerly part of the Tour's Fall Series "have been promoted to the FedEx Cup regular season and will award FedEx Cup points for the first time." No one is "happier than the six tournament directors, who said they finally can compete to attract the best in the game." But the six events "still face challenges in drawing an elite field." This time of year "traditionally is when top Tour talent chase guaranteed money overseas." Other players are "ready to put their feet up, burned out from a busy run through the FedEx Cup playoffs." The four "domestic events at the start of the season will face stiff competition" from the CIMB Classic in Malaysia and the WGC-HSBC Champions in China. Asia is a "long way to travel, but if you're going to play, it's hard to ignore a no-cut event for official money" (GOLFWEEK, 9/27 issue).