Let’s face it. Ten million dollars is a lot of cash. Maybe that $10 million carrot is dangling a little too much for the five that held their own fate coming to East Lake. So far, it’s proved to be.
Coming into this week’s PGA TOUR regular season and playoff finale, only five could win this week and bank that additional coin: Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Luke Donald and Matt Kuchar. Going into today’s final round, these five sit T15 (Simpson), T24 (Johnson), T26 (Rose), T5 (Donald), and 14 (Kuchar).
After yesterday’s third round, the projected standings look a little different…
Here’s how it all sits as of now (with current tournament placing):
1. Hunter Mahan (2nd)
2. Webb Simpson (T15)
3. Aaron Baddeley (1st)
4. Dustin Johnson (T24)
5. Luke Donald (T5)
As you can see, two (Rose and Kuchar) have lost their place and have been overtaken by Mahan and Baddeley.
More things have to happen for Baddeley if he were to not only capture the TOUR Championship, but the FedEx Cup as well. Coming into this week, Baddeley sat in 27th in the points standings. Some of the dominoes still have to fall his way (Donald and Johnson having poor final rounds…and that’s only a start), but he is still mathematically alive for the big prize.
I totally get this deal with the points reset before the final event. It’s a tweak that some suggest may need to be tweaked a little more. It has been suggested that the slate of points be completely wiped away and a “winner take all” ensue. Not 100% positive I can agree on that, but those that favor such do have something developing here.
If you think about it, that would be similar to how the playoffs for the other sports are constructed. You’ve had your first three weeks of the playoffs…and this would be akin to the final in any bracket style tournament. Think of it as the championship game for the Final Four.
The regular season and a player’s progress throughout the first three tourneys (rounds) of the playoffs still come into play as we have witnessed this year. You can never project or envision those players that make that magical run, like the so-called Cinderellas of the NCAA hoops tourney. See Els, Ernie from this year as an example. There would still be quality drama.
Even more chaos would ensue at the finale, the TOUR Championship. I like this “proposal”, but not sure how it would be received for this reason. Those that have played well all year and throughout the first three rounds of the playoffs could leave East Lake with nothing but a weekend in Atlanta. No TOUR Championship win, no FedEx Cup. And there’s where I hesitate to completely go with this movement.
Maybe another minor tweak is needed. Who knows. I know that I’m developing a case of sitting on the fence, but this may need a closer examination…if any of this really does need another look.