BUNKER-TO-BUNKER…. Inside Golf writers have their say!
By Michael Davies
TO me, trotting out $US15 million to the winner of the FedEx Cup verges on the obscene.
And I reckon if you asked the players off the record, they would agree. They seem to be just going through the motions at this event each year. It is nothing short of an anticlimax and a ‘snouts in the trough’ exercise.
Likewise, in my view, is the Race to Dubai palaver which culminates in a similar lacklustre end to the European Tour.
The pinnacle of the golf year is the Open Championship, closely followed by the Masters, US Open and PGA Championship. Prizemoney on the PGA Tour has always been way better than the other tours around the world.
Of course it has gone through the roof because of the ‘Tiger factor’, with sponsors and TV networks salivating over the exposure anything relating to the game’s greatest player gives them.
Sadly, the American dominance of the professional game has stifled smaller tours around the world. How we yearn for the days when we had a 12-event swing through Australia straddling either side of Christmas.
Now all roads lead to the almighty US tour at the expense of the world’s relative golf minnows.
Players who would have (and in many cases should have) hung around and matured by plying their trade on their home soil, cast fate to the wind and bust their guts to get a ticket to the ‘big dance’.
That’s a pity.
By Larry Canning
I KNOW the PGA Tour was looking for a way to create a grand final type event at the end of the season and clearly the FedEx company had the coin to make something happen, but have they come up with the answer?
If you call gathering a bunch of very wealthy professional golfers together and watch them play for another $45 million, then yes, it’s the answer.
If you’d rather watch an old episode of the Sale of the Century then I expect you share my view on this exercise.
I suspect the players are obligated to play as part of their membership regulations, but when you hear some of the somewhat embarrassed responses to journalists (who are probably also pressured to support or lose media credentials), it’s pretty obvious the lads are still working out ways they can spend the tens of millions they already have.
On the eve of the second playoff event, Aussie champ Cam Smith was asked: “What would you do with $15 million?”
Smith’s reply: “I don’t know, I’m pretty set, to be honest. I’m good. I’m good with what I’ve got. I don’t know what I’d do, to be honest – maybe some more fishing equipment.”
There must be a better way to spend $45,000,000 on the game of golf?
Just look at the Ryder Cup. It’s bloody massive and they play for ZIP!
By David Newbery
THE amount of money doled out at the FedEx Cup events is best summed up by paraphrasing Winston Churchill: “Never has so much been given to so many for doing so little.”
Good luck to Patrick Cantlay, who pocketed that ridiculous bonus sum $15 million ($A20m) for winning the cup, but surely the $45m ($A60.4m) from the three playoff events could be put to growing the game at grassroots level.
Cantlay’s FedEx windfall aside, his official earnings on the PGA Tour amounts to another $10 million so he’s hardly on the breadline.
That he managed to win a king’s ransom over a period of only three weeks clearly shows a weakness in the way the points are accumulated.
Canlay started the final event (Tour Championship) 10-under par and it went down from there with a small group starting at even-par. Is that fair?
It’s akin to giving Usain Bolt a five-metre start in an Olympic 100m final.
Canlay was the big money winner, but all 30 players in the field were paid handsomly – even Joaquin Niemann who finished a long way behind Cantlay.
The Chilean finished stone last after Brooks Koepka’s withdrawal, but he still managed to bank the equivalent of $A206,850. Not bad coin for being off his game.
Still, he did set a record in his final round. Playing as a single, he stopped the clock at 1 hour and 53 minutes. Give than man a bonus!
By Michael Court
AS usual, it took a wake-up call from my son to, well, wake me up. I was whining about the FedEx Cup and how no-one really cared who won it and what they could do with their $10 or $20 million prizemoney.
“What, or who would you be watching now without the Fed Ex Cup Dad?” reasoned my son.
“All these big names would have shut up shop by now, if not for that FedEx prizemoney.”
He nailed me in a stride.
Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Rory, Bryson – they would all be home by the fire now, warming their toes, if not for the FedEx Cup. The truth is, it’s too much money to knock off and go home.
All the big guys are there throwing everything they’ve got at trying to get enough money to set them up for life. So, the second-last event of the PGA year, suddenly took on extra significance.
If it were just Max Homa and Keegan Bradley duelling it out at the BMW Championship, would anyone really be tuning in and hanging on every wedge?
And while we can’t afford to bring these great players ‘Down Under’ to play these days, it still gives us a chance while in lockdown here, to watch some of the world best in action … even if it is for just 20 million bucks!
Bunker-to-Bunker says: Don’t blame the multi-millionaire pros for turning up. They can dance with the one that brung them.