PGA Tour: Play-Offs, WTF Finals, DC: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 22 Aug 2018, 4:19 pm

1).Congrats to Brandt Snedeker on his Greensboro 59 and his wire-to-wire Wyndham win, a sign that he's fully recovered from injury at last. Would think he'd need another win for Furyk to take Sneds seriously as a Ryder Cup wild card, but good to see him back in the winners' enclosure.

2).I always enjoy the Greensboro tournament, love the look of the Donald Ross "Sedgefield CC" course; I suppose it's a bit short for today's pros, but each hole looks as if it fits, and scoring is low, but seldom ridiculously so.
Anyway, we go from Donald Ross last week to Tillinghast's gem at Ridgewood CC this week. (Then two more Donald Ross courses, Aronomink and East Lake after Round 2 at TPC Bawston.)
This will be the fourth time Ridgewood has hosted the Northern Trust Championship with Vijay winning in 2008, Kuchar in 2010 and Mahan in 2014. The course has never staged a Major but Jerry Pate won the US Amateur there, Trevino won the US Senior Open and Watson the Senior PGA - six top class winners there.

3).Of the 125 pros qualified, at least five will be missing: Cauley, Fowler, McIlroy, Rodgers and Stenson; assume Rickie, Rory and Henrik will be playing the Dell tournament outside Boston.

4).FedEx still pays out a lucrative bonus each year. Woods has won the $10M jackpot twice, but also finished 2nd & 3rd once each in amassing $25.3M - none for four years though.
And Vijay, Furyk, Bill Haas, Sneds, Stenson, Horschel, Spieth, Rory & Thomas have all won the $10M (and much more) once.
But these consistent contenders have also banked a small fortune:
Dustin: $9.1M
Stricker: $8.6M
Mickelson: $8.4M
Kuchar: $6.5M

5).The FedEx Play-Offs is meant to reward excellence, but most years at least one pro qualifies without achieving a Top Ten finish all season - this year Charley Hoffman followed up his Presidents Cup appearance with nothing better than a 12th place finish at Augusta. Last time he failed to earn at least one Top 3 was 2008, and 2005 since his last effort without a Top Ten. He's made the cut each of three trips to Ridgewood and wouldn't be surprised to see him play well this week.

6).Canada's Taylor and the Georgia's English finished well at Greensboro and were the only two pros to jump into the Top 125 - Martin Piller and Van Aswegen slipped out. Seamus Power was one lucky lad, sliding from 123rd to 125th and surviving by the skin of his teeth. He'll never get a better chance than next season to prove whether he truly belongs.

7).The perennially unlucky guy struck again, Matt Jones falling from 146th to 151st, losing the all-important "conditional" status.
During his career the sweet-swinging, fast playing, usually smiling Aussie has ended the season 126th twice, 127th, 151st and 152nd. Jones plays his final rounds at least half a stroke worse than his 1st, 2nd or 3rd, but I bet a stat on his final, say, half dozen holes would show just how bad his putting is under pressure. Absolutely brutal when in contention in Dallas for instance.

8).So Jones will be contesting the first round of the web.com Finals, in Ohio along with such old lags as Mahan, Sang Moon Bae, Lingmerth (whose double-dipping seems to have set his career in reverse), Glover, Streb, Every, Badds, Chad Campbell, etc, etc.
It's beneath Lowry & McDowell to lower themselves to the web.com, but some European Tourists are playing including Frittelli, Paisley & Suri.

9).Darren Clarke embarks on his Champions Tour career this week and so does Chris DiMarco who is probably one of a relatively few golfers to lose Play-Offs in two Majors without ever winning one. Suppose Kenny Perry is another.
Assuming these guys still have endorsement contracts, they can freewheel for at least a couple of years and build a lucrative second career. Or they can p1ss away the opportunity. Hope DC, at least, takes advantage.

10).Who do you fancy at Ridgewood? The three recent winners here (Singh, Kuchar, Mahan) were all first and foremost fairways-and-greens types who had decent weeks with the putter.
Kevin Streelman is the man with local history here and has finished 3rd & 4th in previous efforts. And Jason Day has runnered up and finished 5th. Others in the field who have made the cut all three times they've played here include Casey (last chance at the Ryder Cup saloon?) Cink, Hoffman, Bubba, Ryan Palmer and Kevin Na.
Can't wait to see how the bomber generation fare this week, and can't wait to see how beautiful Ridgewood handles the assault.

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Post by Diggers on Wed 22 Aug 2018, 6:19 pm

Monty another candidate for the multiple play offs without a major club?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 22 Aug 2018, 8:53 pm

Diggers wrote:Monty another candidate for the multiple play offs without a major club?

Whisky clap

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Post by wiretapper on Thu 23 Aug 2018, 9:14 am

Golf aligns itself with boxing with what is effectively a large purse "friendly" shoot-out

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/golf/45280975

With only two golfers on the course I have always found the finals of match-play events a bit boring what with all the time to fill between shots. I wonder what they plan to do here?

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Post by raycastleunited on Thu 23 Aug 2018, 11:20 am

wiretapper wrote:Golf aligns itself with boxing with what is effectively a large purse "friendly" shoot-out

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/golf/45280975

With only two golfers on the course I have always found the finals of match-play events a bit boring what with all the time to fill between shots. I wonder what they plan to do here?

It's American, they need the long gaps to fit in all the adverts.

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Post by pedro on Thu 23 Aug 2018, 11:41 am

wiretapper wrote:Golf aligns itself with boxing with what is effectively a large purse "friendly" shoot-out

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/golf/45280975

With only two golfers on the course I have always found the finals of match-play events a bit boring what with all the time to fill between shots. I wonder what they plan to do here?
Finally an event where we get to follow Tiger for 18 holes...

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Post by raycastleunited on Thu 23 Aug 2018, 12:17 pm

It would be amusing if they missed some of Phil's shots because they were showing replays of Tiger.

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Post by pedro on Thu 23 Aug 2018, 1:21 pm

raycastleunited wrote:It would be amusing if they missed some of Phil's shots because they were showing replays of Tiger.
Tiger emptying a Gatorade would surely be prioritised over Phil hitting a moving ball.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 23 Aug 2018, 5:42 pm

Casey waking up at the Northern Trust.
Dustin Johnson one shot off the lead with a triple bogey (on a Par-5) on his card.

Daly playing well in the Czech - possible wildcard for Furyk????????????????????

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 23 Aug 2018, 7:41 pm

Had missed that Snedeker withdrew before the start with a back problem - that doesn't augur well for any hopes he might have had for a trip to Paris.


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Post by pedro on Thu 23 Aug 2018, 9:12 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Casey waking up at the Northern Trust.
He must have been reading this board. If he’s doing well this week he’s definitely making a case(y) for himself for Paris. T16 and he could overtake Olesen on the list.

kwinigolfer wrote:Dustin Johnson one shot off the lead with a triple bogey (on a Par-5) on his card.
Says alot about DJ.

kwinigolfer wrote:Daly playing well in the Czech - possible wildcard for Furyk????????????????????
Dunno if it says more about Daly or the strength of the European Tour? Anyway, -8 is usually good on any course.

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Post by GPB on Thu 23 Aug 2018, 11:59 pm

Last chance for the US based European pros to qualify on merit for the Ryder Cup

Europe

67 Casey
67 RCB
69 IJP
73 Knox

66 Pepperell (In Czech Republic)

Olesen, Fitzpatrick, Sergio and Henrik (Not playing)

As of right now, RCB would have the 8th and final spot. Casey would be 9th, Olesen 10th, IJP 11th

FWIW, Pieters is mathematically eliminated from qualifying, but beating John Daly CoolCool and company in the Czech Republic has to be a positive mark on his resume.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 24 Aug 2018, 2:46 am

GPB,
I see one of your yellow jackets was stung for the last time . . . . . . . .

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Post by GPB on Fri 24 Aug 2018, 3:07 am

kwinigolfer wrote:GPB,
I see one of your yellow jackets was stung for the last time . . . . . . . .

No idea what you are talking about.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 24 Aug 2018, 3:07 am

B.Henry died at age 74.

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Post by GPB on Fri 24 Aug 2018, 3:46 am

Still no idea.

No B. Henry is wiki's list of famous Ga Tech alumni

The only B. Henry I can think of is Buck Henry, who did not go to Ga Tech, and is 87 yrs old. He worked with Mel Brooks on Get Smart and hosted SNL a bunch of times.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 24 Aug 2018, 11:02 am

GPB wrote:Still no idea.  

No B. Henry is wiki's list of famous Ga Tech alumni

The only B. Henry I can think of is Buck Henry, who did not go to Ga Tech, and is 87 yrs old.  He worked with Mel Brooks on Get Smart and hosted SNL a bunch of times.

https://www.pgatour.com/news/2018/08/20/bunky-henry-passes-away-at-age-74.html

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Post by wiretapper on Fri 24 Aug 2018, 11:30 am

Paul Casey interviewed on Sky after his round yesterday called Ridgewood CC "the scene of crime" as it was where he was when found out that he wasn't one of Montgomerie's picks for Celtic Manor despite being 7th in the world at the time.

He said it in a jokey, self-depreciative manor but I felt his choice of words strange at best and maybe telling. Do you think there is still some anger there?

As things stand at present he would be one of my picks but I'm not sure he will get one and therefore probably needs to play himself into the team.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 24 Aug 2018, 11:59 am

wire,
I'm sure that resentment lingers w/Casey - for all the Mr Nice Guy he projects to US Media, I think he's harboured that anger for years. Too bad, though I suppose Montgomerie was vindicated by the result - he probably sends McDowell christmas cards every month!

Casey's sort of course this week and it would be great if he could score a "W", good to see Rafa playing so well also - Bjorn could well have to pick between Sergio & Stenson unless either stands down.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 24 Aug 2018, 1:14 pm

Scoring was a stroke higher yesterday afternoon than for the morning "wave".

Only the Top 100 in FedEx points after the Northern Trust will move on to TPC Boston - Charl Schwartzel probably the biggest name in jeopardy of not qualifying as things stand, whilst Laird & Power need big weeks to survive.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 24 Aug 2018, 1:52 pm

Phil birdies his first three holes to take the lead. Bet he wishes he was playing Tiger today.

Plenty of good rounds in progress . . . . . but most Europeans are not taking advantage with Rafa, Rahm, Rosey & Noren all over par.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 24 Aug 2018, 6:35 pm

Missed cut for Knox. If he was ever seriously in consideration for a Captain's Pick, you'd think he just helped narrow Thomas Bjorn's list of options just a tad.

Rose also missed the cut. Not much point in him going to Boston; I would think he'd be keener to turn up at Aronomink fresh and fit, ready to compete at a course where he'll possibly be the only contestant to have won on. Then another week off before the Tour Championship, then the RC.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 24 Aug 2018, 11:04 pm

Casey drops from the leaderboard to the middle of the pack - reckon he needs a strong weekend, probably very strong.

Koepka picking up where he left off, and deja vu for DJ - another 67 with a triple bogey.

Double bogey to finish with for Poults and there's a 50/50 chance right now that he'll be paired with Woods on Saturday - neither playing like Number One this week.

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Post by GPB on Fri 24 Aug 2018, 11:40 pm

Rose/Rahm/Frankie/Noren Missed the cut

Rory is fatigued

Just how good is the Euro RC team looking?

Right now, Olesen would be the 8th automatic qualifier. He and Pepperell could be playing for the final spot next week.

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Post by Be_the_ball on Fri 24 Aug 2018, 11:58 pm

Seamus Power, made it on the number. He will never play another tournament under less pressure than now, card secured, cut made, he has nothing to worry about next couple of days...

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 25 Aug 2018, 1:12 am

GPB wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:GPB,
I see one of your yellow jackets was stung for the last time . . . . . . . .

No idea what you are talking about.


GPB,
Are you Techies disowning the Bunkster?


I don't see any reasons why the top Europeans should give a toss about this tournament. Obviously you'd like them all to make the cut and compete, but nothing wrong with a 6-day rest either.
Doesn't apply to Poults, Casey & Rafa of course . . . . . . . .


Nice to see Seamus & Laird scrape into Round 3 - Power actually said that he feels he's playing with house money. Very true.

Early bacon butties for Woods & Poults tomorrow - due on the first at 7.50 a.m.

Nice 4-under par 68 from DC today.

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Post by GPB on Sat 25 Aug 2018, 1:57 am

Surprisingly, I don't recognize the name, and I have been following golf for 40+ years.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 25 Aug 2018, 6:03 pm

None of the European wild card option have made a compelling case so far this week, Rafa probably the best of them.
Knox must have shot himself out of contention, Casey & Poulter have played OK but nothing great.


Same for the US options really, though Bunsen is having a good week.

Schauffele missed the cut, ho-hum from Kuchar, Woods, Kisner and Zach. I reckon that, unless someone goes stupid crazy this weekend, Furyk will go with Bunsen, Phil & Tiger and the best of the rest after the Beemer. Zach & Kuchar to be VC's.


Lots of good rounds today, nothing spectacular.

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Post by GPB on Sat 25 Aug 2018, 8:51 pm

kwinigolfer wrote: Casey & Poulter have played OK but nothing great.

Casey T41
Poulter T58

You think this is "OK"?

While two of the contender for an USA RC pick are T1st and T3rd? I know you posted this a couple of hours ago, but Poulter was done at that time.

I don't think Captain Thomas (can I call him Major Tom?) can't be too happy about the form of his team right

Rose, Rahm, Molinari, Noren all missing the cut (where 2/3 of the field made the cut)
Rory is too fatigued to play.
Fleetwood is T34, Hatton is T58
Stenson is nursing a injury
Sergio couldn't qualify


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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 25 Aug 2018, 8:53 pm

No Europeans currently inside the Top 40, Rafa out with the washing. Not good.

Snap: And, Yes, OK but not world-beating. This is definitely not a tournament to play unless fatigue is not likely to become an issue.

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Post by GPB on Sat 25 Aug 2018, 9:28 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:No Europeans currently inside the Top 40, Rafa out with the washing. Not good.

Snap: And, Yes, OK but not world-beating. This is definitely not a tournament to play unless fatigue is not likely to become an issue.

Wow. I guess that perspective changes depending on who is on the leaderboard. BTW. Ryder Cup is 5 weeks away, not next week.

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Post by GPB on Sat 25 Aug 2018, 10:47 pm

Casey probably needs a score of 66 or better to get the equivalent of a Solo 16th to pass Olesen.

Poulter needs a 63 or better to get the equivalent of T18th or better.

RCB's wife is probably keeping the sharp objects out of his reach. Ugh 77. I think this round took him way down the short list of Wild card picks.

Great round by BDC which should clinch a pick from Furyk. Tony should be the frontrunner for the 4th and "Finaul" lead.

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Post by I'm never wrong on Sun 26 Aug 2018, 6:36 pm

Hossler playing like me. First two shots OOB.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 26 Aug 2018, 8:54 pm

Those were the days, Inw. Now I can't reach the OB.

Dream weekend for Furyk. Now, he'll be hoping his automatic qualifies dominate at TPC Bawston.

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Post by Diggers on Sun 26 Aug 2018, 11:16 pm

Didn’t realise BCD was only 24. Already 3 tour wins, not bad going for a nut job choker...

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Post by pedro on Sun 26 Aug 2018, 11:21 pm

Damn, he almost choked on 18 again! Luckily it didn’t cost him.

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Post by Diggers on Sun 26 Aug 2018, 11:28 pm

I think the 4 shot cushion would have been enough, Pedro. Funny how Finau with no wins this year and just the one in his career, gets no stick for finishing off tournaments...

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Post by NedB-H on Sun 26 Aug 2018, 11:58 pm

I don’t get why Finau doesn’t get that criticism either. Fowler gets it, so does Casey, Kuchar and Luke Donald did for years. The No Laying Up people on twitter have been arguing the exact opposite with Finau, that he’s had a better year than Bubba. Bubba has three wins this season including a WGC, Finau only has one alternate win his whole career. Seems the criticism is more just based on who people like or not.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 27 Aug 2018, 12:23 am

I'd bet Finau has a better Tour career than Rickie, tho saying he's had a better year than Bubba is utter b0ll0cks.


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Post by wiretapper on Mon 27 Aug 2018, 9:48 am

Fair play to DeChambeau  clap  

No doubt he is aware of the negativity that surrounds him and he answered in the best way possible. Pretty much a shoe-in for one next week's three picks along with Tiger and Phil. He will be delighted.

Also delighted today - Webb Simpson!

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Post by beninho on Mon 27 Aug 2018, 11:08 am

I think these playoffs should just be a straight shoot out, top 100 in the field qualify for the next event. More then 100 at cut, then its a play off. Bad week your out. Do it at the events until they get the number required for the final, them its winner takes all.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 27 Aug 2018, 11:24 am

Looks like Molinari is a non-starter this week. Seems a sensible move to me.
Wonder if anyone else will take a week off? Justin Rose perhaps??

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Post by pedro on Mon 27 Aug 2018, 11:57 am

beninho wrote:I think these playoffs should just be a straight shoot out, top 100 in the field qualify for the next event. More then 100 at cut, then its a play off. Bad week your out. Do it at the events until they get the number required for the final, them its winner takes all.
So: No advantage if you had a good season? No advantage if you win one or more playoff events, or finish 10th vs. 100th? No possibility of skipping a playoff event?
Sounds like a tough sell to the players.

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Post by Diggers on Mon 27 Aug 2018, 12:11 pm

It’s just a convoluted money earner for the pros so we all go wow, look at the millionaires getting richer. I think Ben is right, needs more jeopardy in each event to be remotely intriguing.

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Post by beninho on Mon 27 Aug 2018, 12:19 pm

I would never take place, most playoffs are over if you don't perform. Personally I don't really see the point of them in golf.

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Post by pedro on Mon 27 Aug 2018, 12:40 pm

It's to keep up interest isn't it? Mitigating the risk of someone essentially having won the money list by now.

But next year the playoffs will be reduced to 3 events, which I think is ok, as this first event seems like bit of a seat filler. Tbh I couldn't care less if Sam Ryder or Brian Stuard made it to Boston.

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Post by Diggers on Mon 27 Aug 2018, 1:18 pm

I couldn’t give a toss if JT, Spieth or DJ become $10million richer.

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Post by pedro on Mon 27 Aug 2018, 1:50 pm

Speaking of rich getting richer. I'm a bit curious to see what Tiger/Phil have in the bag in terms of wagers during their show match. Selected mini comps like closest to the pin or longest drive could be something to adopt on the regular Tour, and then have a year long comp running on that. A bit like they have in Tour de France, with the green or dotted jersey, just year long. And then a huge prize and some hoohah during the playoffs to make it interesting.

With all the money in golf I think they have to figure out how to make the sport more compelling to watch rather than just increase the purses.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 27 Aug 2018, 3:26 pm

No Fran no Fowler - for Boston.
And then there were 98.

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Post by GPB on Mon 27 Aug 2018, 6:12 pm

Diggers wrote:I couldn’t give a toss if JT, Spieth or DJ become $10million richer.

While I agree that the FEX was not needed and considering the alternative would be a tournament like the Safeway, I like the FEX playoffs. Without the $10MM carrot at the end of the stick, we would not be getting OWGR 70+ rated tournaments. We would be getting OWGR 30 rated tournaments.

I wouldn't tweak the playoff format too much. I like that both the playoffs and "regular" season are meaningful and one bad week doesn't kill your chances. I did like the 5x point system better than the 4x system.

Tweaks I would make: (My aim is to make the playoffs more volatile)

Northern Trust: 36 Hole cut at top 60 and ties (get rid of the riff raff)
Dell Technologies 36 hole cut at Top 50 and ties
BMW: 36 holes cut at Top 35 and ties
Tour Championship: No one finishing 16th are lower gets FEX points. That would make the FEX leader more vulnerable to not winning the FEX Title.


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