FedEx Cup playoffs will take a while to feel like it belongs

Canadian Graham DeLaet will return to the Nationwide Tour this week. (QMI Agency)

Canadian Graham DeLaet will return to the Nationwide Tour this week. (QMI Agency)

IAN HUTCHINSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:59 PM ET

Call me old school, but a playoff in golf happens when there’s a tie atop the leaderboard after regulation play and the combatants square off until a clear winner is decided. Of course, I still think in pounds, miles and Farenheit, but don’t tell the government.

In both cases, it’s a matter of conditioning, what we were taught before suddenly being jerked into a new culture under the pretense of new being better, even if better applies only to the people inflicting it than the ones having it forced upon them.

In matters of temperature and measurement, I’ve learned to successfully convert only because I have to, but such is not the case with the FedEx Cup playoffs, which I view as individual tournaments instead of the manufactured post-season that’s presented.

There has been more chatter about the start of the NFL season than the FedEx Cup playoffs, but the PGA Tour still sees them as a money-maker, so they aren’t going away despite fans’ tendency to put more stock in the majors, which is the way they were raised.

Most people don’t even understand the points system that gets players into the playoffs and really have no desire to, but that also takes away from the excitement as the so-called post-season approaches and eliminates the concept of a playoff run.

Most golf fans are also sports fans and there’s a disconnect in golf compared to other games with bats and pucks. Today, there is more interest in NFL regular season pools than PGA Tour playoff pools, so that tells you the success of it from fans’ perspectives.

The tour and FedEx need long-term commitment to make this work because it will take a generation before the idea of playoff golf becomes part of the culture — if at all.

A TEST DRIVE

Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., is going to give his back a test on the Nationwide Tour next week at the Albertsons Boise Open, which will be played close to his home. DeLaet, you’ll recall, had surgery to deal with a bulging disc in January, came back to play on the Nationwide Tour and a couple of PGA Tour events in June, but decided the back wasn’t ready yet. Playing in Boise will not cut into the medical exemption that will carry DeLaet through the PGA Tour schedule next year … Belleville’s Jon Mills has missed eight consecutive cuts on the Nationwide Tour, including the just-concluded Mylan Classic. After a tie for second at the Melwood Prince George’s County Open in early June put Mills into the top 25 on the money list who automatically graduate to the PGA Tour at the end of the season, Mills was 53rd last week ….This being Labour Day, Hamilton’s Alena Sharp says she appreciates the work she gets through non-LPGA Tour tournaments such as last week’s PGA of Canada Women’s Championship, which she won for the second time, and CN Canadian Women’s Tour events. “I’ve been one of the lucky players. I’ve played 14 (LPGA) events already and some girls have only played eight or nine,” Sharp said. “You’ve got to keep competitive. Just going out and playing nine holes after you hit balls isn’t going to help you be competitive in tournaments” … Sharp won $12,000 for her victory at Bayview Golf and Country Club in Thornhill, but she was pushed to the limit by 17-year-old Anna Kim of Toronto. That duo played six holes of a playoff on Thursday, but it was called due to darkness after inclement weather blew in earlier in the day. Sharp finally prevailed on the eighth playoff hole, the second of the day, on Friday … Lorie Kane withdrew from the PGA event to go to Florida for therapy on a sore hip.

FOLEY REMEMBERS WOODS

Sean Foley is more renowned for his work with Tiger Woods than Norm Woods, but have no doubt, he was fond of the latter. The personable publisher of GolfScene Magazine, which covers Southwestern Ontario, died last week after a brief battle with cancer. He was 67. “Not a lot of people know this, but Norm’s GolfScene Magazine was the first time I’d ever done an instruction article,” said Foley, who grew up in Burlington, Ont. “I remember when I did it and I saw it in print. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. When I started to write for Golf Digest, the editors really liked my content and I said, ‘I’ve been doing this for 10 years.’” Woods also ran the Kiwi/GolfScene Tour in which parents played in the same event as their kids. “Norm was about the kids,” Foley said. “Norm used to send a lot of kids to me to help with their coaching and to help my career. I don’t think I charged them anything, but it was a good experience to work with kids who wanted to be good.” … Foley and his wife Kate welcomed their second son into the world just over a weekend ago. Kieran Foley weighed in at seven pounds.

 


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