With the conclusion of the PGA Championship a couple weekends back, golf fans alike will be tuning into four straight weeks of watching the Tour’s best battle it out for ten million big bucks and a chance to be crowned FedEx Cup Champion. Unfortunately, these few weeks of golf often get overshadowed by another American phenomenon: Football Season.
The first couple weeks of football season hurt the Tour playoffs ratings dramatically and is one of the driving forces behind the PGA Tour changing up the schedule beginning next year. This new schedule will include The Players in March and the PGA Championship will be moved to May rather than August. This allows the Tour to move the playoffs exclusively to August, not overlapping with any NFL weekends. Coincidence?… I think not.
With this being the last year of the playoffs in part of September, there’s still plenty of hype swirling around this year’s playoffs, more than most years it seems. So stop drooling over Baker Mayfield on Hard Knocks (You can’t seriously tell me the Browns will be decent this year) and turn on some Golf Channel because this year’s playoffs will be one to remember.
A major storyline has to be Tiger’s return to the playoffs for the first time in five years. The two-time winner of the FedEx Cup will be playing in three straight events guaranteed and if all goes well, Tiger may find himself playing a fourth straight event: the Tour Championship at East Lake. Tiger just looks like… well, Tiger again. A T-6 and a solo 2nd at his last two majors have Tiger lovers going nuts. Bottom line is that Tiger is good for the game of golf with Sunday TV ratings going through the roof when he’s in contention. I think that Tiger will give the playoffs the rejuvenation they deserve.
Tiger and other players such as Xander Schauffele, Phil Mickelson, and Bryson Dechambeau are all fighting for the attention of Ryder Cup Captain Jim Furyk these playoffs. Furyk has four captain picks remaining at the moment and those four seem like the frontrunners to earn a spot on this year’s team. These playoffs will be critical for these guys on the bubble because a few poor rounds the next couple of weeks could mean losing their spot to represent their country in the most spirited event in golf. Those four captain picks could shift around if a Ryder Cup veteran like Zach Johnson or Matt Kuchar could show up and take home a playoff event AKA Nobody’s spot is safe.
With the Ryder Cup looming in the near future, let’s not forget that the man who finds himself #1 in the standings after the final round at the Tour Championship will take home ten million dollars! What event in all of the sports is the winning earnings that much money? Whether your Tiger, or a tour rookie, ten million dollars is enough coin to change a career, a life, and is a great incentive to watch this year’s golf playoffs.
– Coby, Contributor