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Changes for FedEx Cup already mooted

The FedExCup is still two months from getting started, and players already are talking about possible changes.

One of the topics making the rounds the last few weeks was that the PGA Tour would continue to reduce the fields after each of its "playoff" events that lead to the Tour Championship. Some have asked why it should be called a "playoff" if no one gets eliminated.

The way it was presented in the summer, 144 players will be part of the first three "playoff" events -- the Barclays Classic, Deutsche Bank Championship and BMW Championship -- with the top 30 making the Tour Championship.

"They were talking about shortening the fields," U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy said. "The only weird thing to me is 125 people keep their card on tour, but there's 144 guys out there. I don't understand."

Commissioner Tim Finchem said the plan announced this summer would not be changed for the first year.

After the PGA Championship, players will be seeded based on the points they earned. And while points will be offered in the "playoff" events, the three tournaments still will have 144-man fields until the Tour Championship.

"There has been some discussion about a half-dozen things already in the draft plan," Finchem said. "And in a couple of areas, we went back and thought about it again. But we have determined ... to stay the course with what was presented, because it gets pretty confusing through the first year. And then we probably will make some tweaks."

The PGA Tour policy board meets in two weeks, and Finchem said he would not be recommending any changes.

Left undecided is the payment.

Players continue to debate with the $10 million to the winner should be paid up front in a lump sum or be deferred for tax purposes. Finchem said he probably would recommend a compromise for those who finish in the top -- some up front, some deferred.

But just like The Players Championship, where Finchem downplays the money, he said the emphasis on the FedExCup competition would be on who wins the title, not how much goes into the bank.

November 2, 2006

 




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