x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Tour Championship earns a majors-like label

So this is what the US PGA Tour sought when in 2007 they introduced the FedEx Cup. The FedEx Cup now enjoys a distinctly major feel, says John McAuley

Lee Westwood
Lee Westwood

So this is what the US PGA Tour sought when in 2007 they introduced the FedEx Cup.

Back then, players or galleries did not buy into the hoopla generated by the marketing men at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. It has largely been the same since.

Rival in prestige to the majors?

No.

Chance to get real rich, real quick during four whirlwind weeks at the end of the season?

You got it.

Criticism, accentuated by Bill Haas's triumph last year, centred on the fact it did not always determine the game's best player, although Tiger Woods, twice the champion, may have something to say about that.

Even this season Rory McIlroy, top of the standings and world rankings, is not guaranteed the US $10 million (Dh36.7m) jackpot come the conclusion of the four-tournament play-offs on Sunday.

Victory at the Tour Championship would secure it, although so would it, too, for Woods, Nick Watney, Phil Mickelson or Brandt Snedeker.

Of course, any of the 30 players at East Lake have the chance to lift the cup. The field boasts 22 winners from the 2012 PGA Tour, a total of 30 major crowns and four FexEd title holders.

The previous three play-off events has seen plenty of excitement and high drama.

"The cream has risen to the top, hasn't it?" Lee Westwood said last week.

The FedEx Cup now enjoys a distinctly major feel. The PGA Tour has finally been vindicated.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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