• Clubbing Down

Standing up for the FedEx Cup's ridiculous points system

Will Tidey September 19, 2013
Steve Stricker has a chance of winning million without winning a single PGA Tour event this season © Getty Images
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The Tour Championship is here - an event that serves as the $10 million finale to the FedEx Cup and another generous invitation to rip apart the play-off points system.

As AP report, Steve Stricker can win the whole thing on Sunday, by coming second and having not won a single PGA Tour event all season.

That's not right, surely? And what of our Sunday spent trying to configure the ever-fluctuating ins and outs - of who needs what to happen, how that affects somebody else and what that means for Tiger beating Jack's record (it's always about Tiger). That's just not cricket.

Can't we just set the golfers away and see who takes the least shots? That's the tutting voice of the doubters talking. But it's about time somebody took up the fight for the dark side, and that person is me.

Are we not the same golf nation who love the rush of Sunday at the majors, with the scoreboard in constant flux and our minds whirring with permutations? Did we not make the Ryder Cup, with its rapidly shifting squares of blue and red, our most beloved event of them all?

In sport, possibility is everything. It's the reason we watch and the reason we never get bored. As the 2012 US Ryder Cup team will tell you, nothing is written and nothing should be taken for granted.

This weekend's Tour Championship is the poster child for possibility. You only need read the PGA Tour guide to scenarios to see that (you'll need a couple of hours).

It is easy to see the FedEx Cup points system as a step too far, but our stubborn resistance has become boring. We should embrace the numbers and indulge the complexities of it all.

After all, it's not every Sunday you get to watch five hours of sport while training your brain at the same time. Why not ignore the on-screen updates altogether and perform the equations yourself. How about getting your whole family to play along with you.

Boy: "Dad, who wins if Phil Mickelson finishes tied third, Tiger Woods 15th, Adam Scott 20th and Jim Furyk shoots 59 again?"

Dad: "No idea. You'll have to ask your Mum, son."

Mum: "Text your granddad, he used to be an accountant."

It's time to stop seeing the FedEx Cup as an awkward maths freak and put our beautiful minds to good use for once. There's a possibility this crazy formula they contrived could throw up a quite magnificent crescendo.

Either that, or Stricker will come second and win $10 million.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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Will has covered Tour events. majors and Ryder Cups and interviewed the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Rory McIlroy. He once inhaled the cigar smoke of the coolest man in golf, Miguel Angel Jimenez, while watching sports cars tear around Brands Hatch. As a left-handed hacker he's been humiliated at esteemed venues including Carnoustie, Wentworth, Kiawah Island and Pinehurst No. 2.
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