System favours Woods

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

So we're down to just one more tournament in the FedEx Cup playoffs and I'm still trying to figure out why everybody who made it this far isn't starting from scratch at the Tour Championship next week.

There are 30 guys left after the season-long competition and the first three rounds of the playoffs.

The PGA Tour is going to reset the points now for the Tour Championship in Atlanta -- the Tour is taking a week off this week to let the tension build (yeah, OK) -- with the top five point earners to this point remaining in control of their destiny. If any of the top five win next week, they'll win the FedEx Cup.

Tiger Woods, the top seed, starts the tournament with 2,500 points. John Senden, seeded 30th, has only 210. First place at East Lake is worth 2,500 points and 30th earns 205.

Everybody positioned from six through 30 will need the guys in front to have a bad week to win.

Is that the way to do it? (It is, of course, if the PGA Tour, which pretty much knows Woods is going to be leading going into the Tour Championship every year, wants him to win to give the event credibility.)

But if the PGA Tour is trying to create interest by making the FedEx Cup like the playoffs in other sports, then the circumstances should be like the other sports.

If you make it to the championship game in other sports, you don't automatically start the game down by two goals or a touchdown. The value of the regular season is simply to determine who gets into the playoffs and home-field advantage.

After that, it's let the best team, man or woman win. What you did in the regular season doesn't matter (ask the Ottawa Senators of a few years ago ... or the San Jose Sharks).

For the most part, the idea of the FedEx Cup has been a good one if for no other reason it got the best players in the world playing four weeks in a row at a time of year when usually they have gone fishing or hunting or getting lapband surgery or whatever those guys do in their downtime.

The big finale should give everybody who made it this far an equal shot at winning.

Make it simple: Whoever gets into and wins the big finale wins the FedEx Cup.

HERE AND THERE

Comedian Ray Romano will be Hank Haney's next subject on The Haney Project on The Golf Channel (it's supposed to start in the spring).

I worry that means a lot more of Kevin James, too, wearing a Ben Hogan-style hat backwards (insert shudder here) ... Brandt Snedeker wasn't the only guy to implode at the BMW Championship. Ian Poulter dunked his ball on the 18th and finished in 31st by less than half a point. John Senden, who wound up the beneficiary of Snedeker's four putt on 18, hit a wedge 40 yards. Only problem was he was 90 yards away from the hole.

REVELATIONS

Alan Shipnuck of Sports Illustrated -- one of the best writers out there -- had a piece with Haney (good luck with Ray, Hank), defending Woods' driving. It's a little self-serving, I suppose, since he is Woods' coach, but Haney points out Woods is now sixth in total driving. I thought his point about some players fattening their stats on courses with easy setups while Woods plays mostly demanding courses was a valid one ...

This is the time of year when a lot of companies launch new products. All you Pinnacle users out there will be interested to read Acushnet (which also owns the Titleist brand) has revamped the popular line. It's replacing its Platinum sub-brand with the Dimension, starting Oct. 1. It should retail for around $20 a dozen. There will also be the Pinnacle Gold Precision and Gold Distance. There will also be a women's model, called the Ribbon.

SPECULATIONS

Nike player Paul Casey visited "The Oven" in Texas where the company develops new product. He tweeted some pictures of the new VR driver (pictured above). It's an interesting way for a company to have a new product splash: Let the hired help handle it with a camera phone ... John Daly owning a restaurant? Isn't that like putting Kanye West in charge of an awards show?

JUST WONDERING

Ray Romano? Really? Seems like it was a pretty quick drop to the bottom of the barrel. How about Bill Murray, at least, if you're going to go with the usual celebrity suspects? Carl Spackler getting lessons from Haney. I'd watch that.

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THIS WEEK

The PGA Tour is taking a week off before the big finale next week. Who needs it right now? In most of the country, this is a great time of year to get out and enjoy some late summer rounds. The courses are often in their best shape of the year, they are usually a little less busy and the weather can be spectacular.

THE TOOL BOX

The Nike VR Driver

You never know what you are going to see on Twitter. Nike player Paul Casey got a look at the new Nike gear for next year and posted this picture of what he said is the new VR driver. It has what he called "a compression channel" along the sole behind the face which Casey said has the effect of expanding the hitting area.

THE NUMBER

The number of putts Brandt Snedeker took on the 72nd hole at the BMW Championship to miss a spot in the Tour Championship. It included a three putt from inside four feet to make a triple bogey and drop out of the top 30. Who hasn't one of those "how the hell did I just do that?" moments? At least ours didn't cost us a lot of bank.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca


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