MONDAY  | AUGUST 26, 2019
by John Hawkins

It’s still a money grab – always will be – a long walk to a very large bank, with cash falling from the sky every step of the way. The difference now is equity. When the FedEx Cup playoffs were first held 12 years ago, the regular season had a substantial bearing on who would claim the overall crown a month later. It was a logical system based on long-term performance, which is what a postseason is all about.

So, the PGA Tour blew up its formula two years later and devised a four-day sprint for $10 million at the Tour Championship, sparing no expense in an attempt to create artificial suspense. It rendered the other playoff events somewhat meaningless. It also nullified the value of the three dozen or so tournaments before that, which allowed guys like Bill Haas, Brandt Snedeker and Billy Horschel to swipe the commissioner’s checkbook with a stretch of well-timed, short-lived excellence.

What we saw this past week in Atlanta was an educated compromise between commercial idealism and competitive integrity, also timely in that it happened not a moment too soon.

 


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Restricted-flight ball would make pro golf fun again
John Hawkins and Jeff Rude make the point that the failure of golf’s governing bodies to control improvements to golf equipment is a threat to the professional game (“Hawk & Rude,” Aug. 23).

They are correct. There is nothing fun about watching a handful of golfers on TV make birdie after birdie, with never a difficult par save. Boring. And it’s boring to watch pros hit nothing but wedges and 9-irons into greens on par 4s, or 6-irons into par 5s.

 


Qualified: For the final three automatic spots on the U.S. Solheim Cup team, Brittany Altomare, Angel Yin and Annie Park. Altomare secured the final spot via the Solheim Cup points standings, and Yin and Park qualified off the Rolex Rankings.

 


2

Number of times that Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy has won the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup title as he claimed a four-stroke victory Sunday in the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta. McIlroy, 30, shot 4-under 66 for an 18-under total at East Lake Golf Club. It was his third victory of the season and 17th of his career.

 


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RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

Hawk & Rude: Justice of the pace
Jon Brendle, a longtime PGA Tour rules official, meets with co-hosts John Hawkins and Jeff Rude to discuss the slow-play challenge and ponder potential solutions.



CALENDAR
August 24-29
Men’s amateur: U.S. Senior Amateur

Old Chatham GC, Durham, N.C.

Women’s amateur: U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur

Cedar Rapids (Iowa) CC

August 29 - September 1
Symetra: Sioux Falls Great Life Challenge

Willow Run GC, Sioux Falls, S.D.

European: Omega European Masters

Crans-sur-Sierre GC, Crans Montana, Switzerland

LPGA: Cambia Portland Classic

Columbia Edgewater CC, Portland, Ore.

August 30 - September 1
Junior boys/girls: Junior Players Championship

TPC Sawgrass (Stadium), Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Champions: Shaw Charity Classic

Canyon Meadows G&CC, Calgary, Alberta

August 30 - September 2
Korn Ferry: Web.com Tour Championship

Victoria National GC, Newburgh, Ind.

August 31 - September 2
Men’s amateur: State Fair

Haggin Oaks GC, Sacramento, Calif.


      
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