So Vijay Singh won the FedEx Cup, despite not winning either of the final two events of the so-called
playoff. Tell me, someone, how this possibly makes sense.
The fellow who did take the final two tournaments — Camilo Villegas — missed winning the entire event by 551 points. Talk about underwhelming — the guy (Singh) who took the FedEx Cup, finished in 22cnd place and was talking to the television cameras about it before Villegas or tournament runner-up Sergio Garcia were even in their playoff. Look up the definition of anti-climax and you’ll find a picture of Singh holding the FedEx Cup. And in these trying financial times, I can only imagine the head of FedEx’s marketing department saying, “We paid $25 million for this?”
Clearly Singh was excited about the win, as Associated Press reporter Doug Ferguson notes:
What was supposed to be the highlight of the Tour Championship ” the FedEx Cup ” turned into an afterthought. Vijay Singh effectively wrapped up the $10 million prize two weeks ago in St. Louis, so all he had to do was finish 72 holes at East Lake and sign for the correct score to win the FedEx Cup.
“I made one birdie and one bogey. It was easy not to make a mistake,” he said.
Wow. He signed his scorecard correctly. The drama. The excitement.
Villegas, who has emerged as one the game’s true young stars — along with Anthony Kim — had three top-10 finishes in the FedEx and won the two final events, but failed to take the title. Remarkable. Who figured out this system? Fire them, please. Singh, BTW, only had two top-10 finishes, both wins. Top it off with some strong play from Sergio Garcia — so close, so often — Kim, Jim Furyk and Mike Weir and you should have had the recipe for a fine playoff. But, alas, no.
Who is the biggest loser in all of this? Got to be Garcia, who lost again to Padraig Harrington at the PGA Championship, got thumped at the Ryder Cup and then dropped two FedEx Cup events in playoffs. He must be feeling like he’s doing something wrong — but for the most part he’s just been beaten by players who dropped bombs on the putting greens. Unlucky? For sure — but he’s also likely one of the most consistent golfers in the world now, especially since his putting average is now, well, average (99th overall).
As for Mike Weir, he managed his fourth Top-10 finish in his last six events. He’ll play twice more (including defending in Arizona) before shutting it down until the start of 2009. His $2.7M is the most he’s made since 2004.
So what would I do with FedEx? Certainly a system has to be put in place so that the winner of the cup can’t coast through the final tournament. It isn’t original, but what about a Friday AND Saturday cut, meaning only eight golfers would play on Sunday? I’m sure there would be concerns at the tour (what if, for heaven’s sake, Tiger missed the weekend cut? Oh, right, that NEVER happens) about such a scheme. But it would draw people to watch — just to see who hangs around until Sunday.
I’m off to Montreal for a couple of days this week, to play a new exclusive course outside of Montreal and then to tee it up at Laval and give a short talk to a golf society. I’m sure both of these will lead to some interesting blogs in days to come.