FedEx Cup: Is the PGA Tour joking?
Am I the only person close to appalled to learn that the winner of the PGA Tour’s much-hyped FedEx Cup playoffs won’t get to pocket the $10 million winner’s check when he walks off the green at the World Golf Championships next month? The money, instead, will go into a “retirement fund” which the golfer can’t touch until between the ages of 45 and 60, depending on how many tournaments they play during this time.
I learned this little detail from WorldGolf.com’s Chris Baldwin, who reports it today in his first dispatch from the Westchester Country Club, host of the first FedEx Cup event, The Barclays.
Who are these pro golfers, teenagers? This reminds me of when I was young and I used to get $100 every year from an uncle in the form of a bond that I couldn’t touch until I was something like 25 or 30. Thanks a lot, Uncle Smitty.
A retirement fund?
Does the PGA Tour really think most of these players need a retirement fund? Outside of Brandt Snedeker - who, let’s face it, is probably happy to be anywhere - and a few others, many of the players competing in these new playoffs are already millionaires.
(Actually, my bad, Snedeker has won $2.6 million this year. I’m betting he knows that he shouldn’t spend all of that in one go. He’s no John Daly, after all.)
The PGA Tour is going to look pretty stupid telling Tiger Woods - should he win - that he needs to put his $10 million check into such a fund. He’s 31, worth around $1 billion and probably couldn’t spend all of his money if he tried.
It doesn’t make sense to me why the PGA Tour would be touting its FedEx Cup as the biggest paycheck in professional sports knowing full well that the winner is going to be pocketing any money outright. Should some no-name luck out and actually win this thing, by far the largest paycheck he’ll ever get in his career, the Tour is going to tell him he’ll have to wait 15 years to enjoy it?
And what of the players, like K.J. Choi, who would give the money away to charity?
I suspect the PGA Tour is going to come under some fire for this FedEx Cup in general, but this little caveat on the winner’s check is something so profoundly stupid that it threatens to turn the whole event into joke.
I for one would love to see a PGA Tour official asked about this and explain the reasoning behind this retirement fund idea. What big brain over there came up with it?
Here’s hoping Chris Baldwin, in his continuing live coverage of The Barclays, gets some answers for us.
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"Free Overnight Delivery for Life"
has quite a ring to it, no?
1. When you are rich, you can never have enough. So to some extent, whether these guys admit it or not, money is important to them. Especially when it is in a fund that can be bequeathed to family.
2. Post PGA, you guys are still talking about golf. So the FedEx Cup has already served its purpose. Much of the top 10 is competing this week, whereas last year most, if not all of them, wouldn't be. Particularly the Europeans.
3. The FedEx Cup makes the post PGA season viable, which, in turn, guarantees that sponsorship will continue for many of these tournaments.
4. It spares us the boredom of following the "who's inside the top 125" discussion each and every week.
5. If Tiger is going to do it, others want to compete. Everyone wants to have their name first on the trophy, particularly if this thing pans out to be something big.
As an aside, everyone seems to be getting on Tiger for not showing up. So I ask you, when was the last time you have seen him compete for tournaments in a row?
I think he has designs on winning this thing. He took a little time to get his head together so he can make a concerted effort. I can't fault him for that. Plus, by him staying out the first week, he has built some drama into the tournaments to follow. He gave them a little head start, a handicap, of sorts. So save the criticism for a while, and let's see how this thing plays out...
The other points are simply re-hashed from Finchem
press conferences. And they don't appear strong enough
to garner much support from anyone, including the players themselves. We'll see about late-season sponsors with time and experience.
You'd be manufacturing BS, just like you always do. At least there is some interesting golf to watch, and therefore, at least affords you the oppt'y to write something worthy of reading. And Kiel, much of what I have read from your blog during the HEART of the golf season is tangential. So you may refute the point, but the proof is in the pudding, so to speak.
Kiel, you may not be convinced personally, but the players showed up. Phil, Vijay, Ernie... You say the Cup hasn't garnered support from anyone. If they didn't support it, they wouldn't be there. If it wasn't for the FedEx Cup, Phil would be at home, eating and pro-creating.
And I don't think Tim Finchem spoke to point #1,#4 or #5. You may want to do a little fact checking on that one So let's be a little more accurate with your rebuttal.
And as for your last point, I believe I did state that time will tell as to how viable this FedEx Cup will be. I think it is quite presumptive to write this thing off so early, as you have.
Couldn't find anything more exciting to write about between the Open Championship and the PGA?
...I'm sorry, what was that you were saying about "we'd be writing about golf anyway. It's our job."?
Johnny Miller writes about how to pack for a golf trip.
David Feherty writes about his dog.
There are PLENTY of people rehashing last week's tourney.
I don't need to be one of them every week (heck,
Golf is more than what the pros on the PGA Tour do.
It's a way of life to some of us.
I've got around 700 serious articles about golf under my belt:
To me, a blog is nothing more than an opinion piece, unless it is stated otherwise as a well-researched article.
Watermelon Fizzes for the house!
And Kiel, golf is a "way of life"? Are you kidding? How exactly would you describe that way of life? Blog about it, please.
Dear Mr. Finchem :
I've thought this over and discussed it with my advisors and family and we've decided that with the new baby and the year I've had that I am not going to play in any more tour events this year.
It wouldn't matter what the point is, we are always sniping at each other. That is one of the major points of a blog.
Sorry, your point doesn't hold water.
It seems to me that by disputing my point you've actually proven it to be true. Despite the fact that the first round of the FedEx Cup was completed just yesterday, the only thing you're thinking about is defending the same off topic posts I originally referenced...it's hard to believe you couldn't come up with at least one thing to say about the golf. It would seem the "water in my point" is well held indeed. However, your idea about the "major points of a blog" seems a little leaky to me...there are a lot of bloggers out there fully capable of discussing an actual topic, so your sweeping statement seems a bit ludicrous.
Now as to the FedEx Cup, congrats to Steve Stricker, 2 more wins and he'll have 10 million dollars to celebrate his 40th birthday with!
It may seem to you, but who knows what swirls around in that head of yours.
At some point, just about every blog contains sidebar.
This one is no different.
I refuted a point. That doesn't change the point that the FedEx merits some respect.
So say what you will, but your point is still well off the mark. There is plenty to discuss about the golf. And if you would like to discuss, I will. But somehow, I think you have some other silly agenda in mind...
I definitely look forward to your thoughts on the golf...I also hope you can back up a sand wedge from 80 yards the way you backed up on your comments about the chief purpose of a blog...lol
Also, at no point did I ever say that the FedEx Cup doesn't merit respect. The point of my original blog was that the whole concept has failed to attract any major attention because the concept has some flaws that hopefully the tour will resolve in future seasons. It seems to me that when something is so complicated that even the players involved can't understand it, then the fans will have a hard time getting on board. That being said, I give kudo's to the competitors in every Tour event wherever in the world it occurs. They are out there based on their own individual talent, and that certainly deserves respect.
OK - Let's discuss your point, then.
I do believe the FedEx has garnered attention, more so than would have occurred had the Cup not been in place. Is it ever going to be like Augusta, or a major championship? I personally don't think so. But I do believe there was drama there. And I would venture a guess that the folks at CBS would say viewership is up compared to a post-PGA tournament from last season.
The last few tournaments will have competitive fields as strong as any major. The players are showing up, aren't they? So to say the players aren't behind it is a fallacy. And when Rich Beem gets antsy in competition, you know it is serious. Think he wasn't "on board"?
And as far as your point about the points system being complicated, I will reinforce my earlier point. It is far less complicated than the BCS rankings, yet college football generates more interest than just about any other sport in America. In fact, I think some would argue the mystery of the ranking system itself generates drama. So as far as the fans go, your point doesn't hold water. Fans will get behind it if the competition is keen.
So Marmac, laugh as you will. I can back it up, and I am not just referencing my wedge game. If you'd like to discuss something else, I'd be happy to do that, just like I would on any other blog...
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