The season-ending FedEx Tour Championship playoffs kick off this week (pun intended). Very much an effort to avoid going heads up against college football and the NFL, the PGA played a revised schedule for 2018-19, a “wraparound” season which ended Sunday afternoon as J.T. Poston picked up his first Tour win and pocketed $1.1 million.
The Tour Championship (Aug. 22-25) will once again be played at East Lake Golf Club, near Atlanta. It is not too late to purchase tickets. But first come the playoff rounds, beginning Thursday at Liberty National golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey.
The top 125 players in the season-long points race will play. Gone will be all but 70 players the following week at the BMW Championship at famed Medinah Country Club in Illinois. Forty will be eliminated there, and the remaining 30 will head to East Lake.
Those 125 who tee up this week know they have fully exempt Tour status (a job) for all of next year. For all others, myriad factors determine if and when they get to play in the big league in the 2019-20 season.
Remember to turn up your TV (or whatever) volume so you can clearly hear commentators as they explain the “seeding” format that is in place to ensure that the Tour Champion and the FedEx Cup winner will be one and the same golfer. That golfer will win $15 million. The guy in last place gets $395,000. Rhett Butler would have burned down all of Atlanta for that kind of cash!
Winners at Moody last week were surely feeling strong and singing a victory song (Eagles, 1974). Kyle Holmes, Justin McKay and Mark Ripley tied for low gross with one under par 71s. Net 71 tied Randy Wood and Wally Homes for second place behind Carl Holzapfel’s 69. Holzapfel, Kyle Holmes and Drew Dagle won the team competition.
Tom Coyne wrote it, but our own David Murphy called it to my attention. Coyne wrote “A Course Called Ireland” after all of the Emerald Isle’s seaside holes in only 16 weeks. Then, he played 111 rounds in Scotland in less than two months before writing “A Course Called Scotland.”
Then, he devised a purely subjective means by which to compare the two experiences and subsequently declared one of them better than the other. He looked at their history, value, accommodations/food and drink, convenience; also, the people, golf quantity, golf quality and golf quirkiness. Finally, he evaluated each for “fun.”
No spoiler alert here: if you want to know, google Tom Coyne. Also, that’s way too much golf!
Writing for Golf Advisor, Tim Gavrich recently shook a verbal finger at golfers who complain about conditions of course “rough” from which they must play.
Said Gavrich: “The bottom line: if you hit a ball in the rough, you are not entitled to much comfort. You are not entitled to be able to reach the green. You are not entitled to get a hybrid or fairway wood on the ball. You are not entitled to be sure whether you have a slow lie or a flier lie. On courses where it’s a factor, proper rough is as much a psychological obstacle as a physical one. Uncertainty is part of the difficulty. Plan Accordingly. Don’t like it? The range is that way, chief.”
Be safe, on and off the course.