Golf playoffs catching on

IAN HUTCHINSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:43 AM ET

It may just be that somebody needs to splat an octopus on one of the greens at East Lake in Atlanta, dump ice water over commissioner Tim Finchem, or the folks who televise next week's Tour Championship could air hilarious, new commercials between shots to kickstart playoff passion on the PGA Tour.

Admittedly, it could be my antisocial personality that is the reason for not being invited to a Tour Championship party and maybe the invitations are in the mail, but if there are any such parties going on, they're not well-advertised and seemingly non-existent.

On the other hand, it could be that there's a disconnect when it comes to playoff golf as opposed to the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, World Series, or even the major championships that capture the imagination of golf fans in a way that the tour's post-season has been unable to do in its four years of existence.

"I don't think anybody ever envisioned the FedEx Cup taking the place of the majors. There is just too much history and prestige attached to those events and it's what golfers and golf fans alike live for," said Mike Weir, who managed to ignite passion among Canadian fans by winning a green jacket at Augusta.

The majors make the game unique, and it's what golf fans were raised with, so it may take awhile, possibly even a generation, for longtime fans to warm up to the idea of playoff golf as a mindset.

Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., for example, is 28 and felt something special when he made it into this season's first playoff event as a rookie.

"I have never played in a major, so I can't really compare it to the playoffs, but The Barclays definitely had a different feel than a regular tour event," DeLaet said.

"I think the majors will always be the biggest tournaments of the year for both the fans and the players, but the playoffs are definitely important to the players and should be equally as intriguing for the fans," he said.

Besides the majors being the traditional highlights of the season, golf fans are used to ending one tournament and beginning another as opposed to connecting four events to one another over a month.

As the theory goes, they'll watch those playoffs with intense focus after following the points race throughout the regular season, a chore considering the complicated system employed by the tour.

Weir says the tour has been open-minded in considering change and adds that fans are starting to come around.

"I think the PGA Tour has done a great job with the playoff system," DeLaet said.

"It gives reason for a year-long race, as well as an exciting finish".

That finish comes next week and one thing we do know is the champ won't be Tiger Woods who, albeit unfairly, is the only player who might be recognized in the way post-season champions are in other professional sports.


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