FedEx Cup debut draws yawns

IAN HUTCHINSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:24 AM ET

So, how pumped up were you for the weekend to end, just so you could get to work today and chat over the water cooler about the FedEx Cup playoffs that get under way this week at The Barclay's?

Admit it, you're probably as excited about it as Tiger Woods, who decided he was too "spent" after the PGA Championship to play the first of four post-season events.

His enthusiasm is about equal to the fans'.

One interesting bit of logic heard over the weekend was that Tiger's decision might actually be a blessing because now the pinnacle of these new playoffs, the Tour Championship, won't just be a victory lap for Woods, suggesting that he would dominate all the way up to the finale.

He probably would too, but you might expect a Woody Austin, or even one of the marquee names on tour, to at least step up and make it competitive, especially after a slap in the face such as the above statement.

That would take passion, however, and there doesn't seem to be any of that among fans or players at a time when post-season fever would be at a premium in other sports. Don't expect to see any superstitious playoff beards sprouting out on the fairways over the next four weeks.

After moving tournaments such as the Canadian Open into awkward positions to accommodate this season-ending showdown that was supposed to get fans jacked in the weeks and months beforehand, the FedEx Cup has yet to live up to the promise made by the Tour's slick marketing campaign.

The reasons for this apparent apathy are many.

One could be that the FedEx Cup is new and will need a year or two to get into the heads and hearts of fans, but how can that happen if the Tour's premier player is turning up his nose at it in the early stages?

It may be the very nature of golf, a game that puts more emphasis on the majors than anything else, making it seem like there is a Stanley Cup, Grey Cup, Super Bowl and World Series each golf season.

Perhaps, it's a combination of fatigue and cynicism with hype in the faces of fans each week, especially this season.

From the players' perspective, the entire summer has seemed like playoffs.

Players can rightfully be criticized for their nonchalant attitudes at times, but their lack of excitement before the playoffs is understandable.

Each week, they've needed a first-things-first attitude as the British Open, a World Golf Championships event and the PGA Championship have all fallen into the last five weeks, so why would players look past those huge events to an untested series none of them have ever played?

It's now time to venture into those uncharted waters.

The Barclay's will be followed by the Deutsche Bank Championship, BMW Championship and the Tour Championship.

"There's been a lot of criticism of the FedEx Cup and the playoff system," Canadian Open champ Jim Furyk said.

"I don't think we're going to see the rewards or the fun of it until that month comes.

"You could have a guy dominate the entire year and end up finishing eighth, which I kind of think stinks, but it's just a new way," he added.

"I guess if I started in 10th and ended up winning, I would think it's pretty cool. It will be unique."

The real mystery is how do players prepare for four weeks of FedEx Cup playoffs?

Considering the recent schedule, the grind over the next few weeks may turn into a war of attrition.

Furyk said he didn't worry about the playoff race or where he might finish. And he didn't plan on changing his routine now that the post-season in golf is here.

Furyk, unlike many others, played the Canadian Open and believes you go with what got you to the post-season.

THE SHORT GAME

The contributions of Dick Grimm, Bob Beauchemin, Margaret Beauchemin, John Saskun Jr., and John Saskun, Sr., to the Canadian Tour will be honoured on Wednesday at the Lakeview Golf Course prior to the playing of the new Jane Rogers Championship of Mississauga.


Videos

Photos