FanDuel - WFBC

January 14, 2008

18 "sent home" early from Sony Open:: A new rule on the PGA tour gave 18 players credit for making the cut, paid them and awarded FedEx points but they were not allowed to continue on the weekend to potentially earn more.

posted by YukonGold to golf at 12:58 PM - 12 comments

Some have suggested making cuts the top 65 and ties or -- in the case of a tournament that exceeds 78 players -- let them all play on Saturday and have another cut to 60 and ties for Sunday. I like the above idea better. When it's all said and done, though, it really won't make any difference to me. Unless you're at the course watching in person, who the heck cares who plays at the bottom of the field the last two days. I'll rarely, if ever, see them on the TV coverage.

posted by dyams at 01:14 PM on January 14

good move by the PGA which was really led by the players committee. Dddddrrrrraaaagggggggiinnnnnggggg out a tournament on the weekend is not very interesting in the first place for the TV viewers. Also, those who make the cut on the number are rarely in contention... but there are exceptions. And the 18 got paid about $9K..... As to some players not knowing... that is because they didn't pay attention...

posted by Fly_Piscator at 02:24 PM on January 14

The rule almost seems a contradiction to the ideals of the PGA tour, in such that a player who withdraws from a tournament is uneligible to win the Vardon Trophy for low stroke average over the season, it seems odd to pay players for playing only half of a 72 hole event. As the article stated, it may be unusual for a player to rise into the top five over the last 36 holes, but it would not be the least bit unusual for a player just making the cut to rise into the top 10, 15 or 20 and go from the token $9000 + check to a six figure payday. It seems the most obvious 'fair' thing to do is lower the number making the cut as suggested and make 'em play all 72.

posted by jaygolf at 03:36 PM on January 14

I like the above idea better. When it's all said and done, though, it really won't make any difference to me. Unless you're at the course watching in person, who the heck cares who plays at the bottom of the field the last two days. I'll rarely, if ever, see them on the TV coverage. posted by dyams at 1:14 PM CST on January 14 Backmarkers in tournaments slow play. If a player has no chance of winning, they should be cut (regardless of who they are) so that the final round is played faster. Such a rule would place more emphasis on good play during the first three days.

posted by Cave_Man at 07:19 PM on January 14

Suppose the 36-hole cut is 144, and there are already 78 players who have made the cut. Of those, 62 of them have shot 143 or better. There is one player left to putt on the 18th, and his total so far is 143. If he makes his putt, he becomes the 79th player to make the cut, but it will be for naught, because 62 is closer to 70 than is 79. Not only will he not play anymore, but all of a sudden, 16 other players will miss out on the rest of the tournament. That really isn't fair. It also raises the possibility of "stroke shaving"--being paid to miss that putt (perhaps more than the prize money of $9K) so the others can continue in the tournament. If the cut is a definite number, with all who make it guaranteed to keep playing, this situation doesn't arise. It's a bad rule.

posted by TerpFan at 10:29 PM on January 14

All this does is give TV and organizers more flexibility of having the players near the top of the leaderboard get off earlier, or finish earlier, especially on days where there are weather delays and certain groups either don't finish, or have to finish in complete darkness. Players near or at the cutline are therefore treated like excess baggage on a plane that needs to jetison items so it won't crash.

posted by dyams at 07:23 AM on January 15

Terpfan, nice post. I could not have said it any better. The scenario you detail is likely to happen every week. I am an recreational golfer who enjoys the game because of it's individual "make it or break it" consequences. Putting added pressure on a player that could determine the fate of others is, as you said, not fair. (I'd like to think that the "stroke shaving" wouldn't happen, but, you never know.) I am also an avid reader of golf publications (magazines, books, etc...). The PGA players and caddies know what "the number" is and many times it comes down to the last hole during the friday round to make that cut. Finishing friday strong could easily benefit the player during the weekend rounds causing both an increase of earnings and, maybe, momentum for the rest of the tour season. For a player to grind it out and hit that number, then to find out is was "all for naught", sounds detrimental to the overall player mentality. The cut line should be determined before the tournament begins and players that meet that line get to play. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

posted by BoKnows at 10:55 AM on January 15

The same thing (essentially) can happen in the old system. If there are 69 players at a certain score or better and the last putt of the day is to tie that same score, making it will send those one stroke over that score home while missing it will include the putting golfer and those tied with him. This means either way, he is in and could take money from one of those players to miss and then putt in. Not that I'm agreeing with the change. I think it's better the way it was, but not perfect obviously.

posted by Ricardo at 02:13 PM on January 15

Ah good, something to make golf more difficult to understand for newcomers, that's just what was needed. I suppose we'll see how it works in practice, but all of these convoluted things - be they silly new systems to determine who makes the cut and who doesn't, or league systems to determine who gets bonus prize money at the end of the year - make me less interested, not more. It's like tuning in halfway through a film or trying to pick up a series of 24 at hour seven. Will the three US majors be affected by this crap? What happens to things like records for consecutive tournaments without missing a cut? For a lot of people, the real drama in golf, especially in an era when Tiger dominates the top level so emphatically, can be found down around the cut mark as guys struggle to make their way on the tour. If that doesn't make good TV, don't blame the players, blame the producers at the TV companies for not knowing how to show us things that will make us care more about some guy who has his hopes, dreams and career on the line than we do about some millionaire trying to beat some other millionaire to another million dollars, another hunk of metal or another gaudy jacket. For a lot of marginal players, making the cut is like winning the tournament, and they're not just phoning it in on Saturday and Sunday, they're really trying to haul themselves up further, free of the constraint of having a week with no pay. I'd like to see a statistical analysis of where players finish relative to where they make the cut. My guess is that it would show the guys who made it on the number improve their positions over the weekend at the expense of the guys who make it by two or three. In fairness, I agree with the guy who wrote the article - the solution for the players is simple: you just play better - but I don't accept the implicit suggestion that there's nothing interesting to see in the early stages of Saturday and Sunday play.

posted by JJ at 02:51 PM on January 15

Also, what happens if Tiger shoots -1 and every single other player shoots level par? Does Tiger win without having to hit another shot?

posted by JJ at 02:54 PM on January 15

The same thing (essentially) can happen in the old system. If there are 69 players at a certain score or better and the last putt of the day is to tie that same score, making it will send those one stroke over that score home while missing it will include the putting golfer and those tied with him. This means either way, he is in and could take money from one of those players to miss and then putt in. Actually, in TerpFan's example, PLAYER A making the last putt would be improving his score and ending up in a tie with someone who (before the putt) would have made the cut. However, the scenario would instantly change when the ball hit the bottom of the cup and PLAYER A would miss the cut AND take out 16 other people with him. Those other 16 players miss the cut because someone TIED them, not beat them. In the regular example, the player making the last putt WOULD make the cut, as would everyone else with the same score. TerpFan has definitely found a potential problem with the system. PLAYER A couldn't possibly make the cut if he sunk the putt, so he would be doing his fellow competitors a favour by deliberately missing the putt. That situation cannot happen in the old setup.

posted by grum@work at 04:30 PM on January 15

In Terp's example, he is out whether he makes the putt or not. In mine, he is in whether he one putts or two putts. Where it is the same is he would be doing his fellow competitors a favour by deliberately missing the putt

posted by Ricardo at 07:01 AM on January 16

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.