I’m not sure if there’s much more that I can say about the amazing 2015 PGA season Jordan Spieth has had that hasn’t already been said. I’ll run down some highlights real quick. His worst finish in a major this year was 4th, won 2 majors, had 4 total PGA tour wins, and 14 top 10’s. He comes in with a 1710 point lead over his closest competitor in the FedEx Cup standings Jason Day. There is no doubt he is the presumptive favorite to be the 2015 FedEx Cup Champion. Yet, according to Golf Channel’s Rex Haggard, there are scenarios where he could “win the next three playoff stops and somehow still not collect the season-long trophy”. Which leads me to ask, as it is formatted currently, what the hell good is the FedEx Cup?
Outside of Jason Day, did anyone else in the FedEx top 10 have a year even remotely close to Jordan Spieth’s? Even Jason Day would have to do some serious work during the playoffs (at the very least winning the finale at East Lake and one other playoff tournament) to get into that conversation. Yet with how the points are structured now and the reseeded positioning for East Lake, the FedEx champion has a more than likely chance to be someone who didn’t play the best throughout the season. It’s going to be the guy who got hot for a month.
What I think is the biggest misunderstanding of the FedEx Cup format as currently constituted, is that it assumes a season long build up, like football or baseball, where crunch time comes in the playoffs and the season is more of a formality. By that logic, a tournament in April (that is unlike any other) or a windy tournament in Scotland in July is somehow less important than a tournament in September. Which leads us to the fundamental problem with the Cup. That’s just simply not true. Are you rearranging your desk to make sure you have maximum viewing coverage at work on the PGA.com stream for the The Barclays like you did for the PGA Championship? Of course you aren’t. The majors are what matters. It’s our measuring stick for the greats, and it’s what every tour player plans their season around.
So how doesn't the majors have more bearing on how we determine this? Top 125 make it to The Barclays, the first tournament of the playoff, you could pretty easily pull that off without making the cut of a major or even playing in one. How do we call the winner of the playoffs the season long champion? We’ve definitely missed something here.
Let me know what you think, maybe you have an idea that hasn’t been thought of yet, or perhaps you may even agree with the current structure. Let me know what you think. And I’m teasing you here, I’ll lay out my fix in my next blog.