Golfers Feeling Effects Of PGA Tour's Revamped Schedule
The PGA Tour hoped to "stack the heart of the season" with big events through its revamped schedule this year, and though it has "led to a compelling run of golf, it hasn’t been easy" on players, according to Andy Vasquez of the North Jersey RECORD. The Northern Trust teed off this morning at Liberty National Golf Club, beginning the FedExCup Playoffs earlier on the calendar than ever before. The new-look schedule has "probably been a good thing for golf," as fans "don’t have to wait a long time for a marquee event, because the summer is stacked with them." However, with "so many big tournaments in such a short time," some "tough scheduling decisions had to be made." Bryson DeChambeau said, "It makes it difficult on us to really hone in a good schedule." Last season, DeChambeau played 26 tournaments. This year, he has played in "only 19 and feels more worn down because he hasn’t taken more than a two-week break since before the PGA Championship in the beginning of May." He is "not the only one who has struggled in figuring out the schedule" (North Jersey RECORD, 8/7). GOLF.com's Alan Shipnuck wrote he likes the "rhythm of the new schedule." Its opening stretch of tournaments is an "awesome way to kick off things, and then it’s a major a month." For all the "bellyaching, the season ends basically three weeks earlier -- not a big deal" (GOLF.com, 8/7).
FAIR PLAY? GOLFCHANNEL.com's Rex Hoggard wrote the "real sea change that looms" will come later this month at the Tour Championship. The FedExCup points leader "will begin the Tour Championship" at 10 under par. The next four players on the points list "will start at 8 under through 5 under, respectively, while Nos. 6-10 will start at 4 under with the total regressing by one stroke every five players." The change was made in hopes of the final points standings being easier to understand, but the "price of that simplicity has the potential for plenty of handwringing." However, for those who have "endured a decade of confusion," the changes are "worth the risk in order to simplify a process that has been anything but simple." The new format "makes the finale more about emotion, which is kind of what the event has been largely missing" (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 8/6). GOLF.com's Shipnuck wrote he "liked the idea when it was announced just for its sheer nuttiness," but with the Tour Championship approaching, he is "starting to rethink things." If Tiger Woods "shoots the best 72- hole score but doesn’t win the tournament," there will be "hell to pay in Ponte Vedra Beach" (GOLF.com, 8/7).