Mike Vacarro of the New York Post (shut up, I’m a native New Yorker and I need a compass to decipher the web layout of the Daily News) practically canonizes Tiger Woods today for skipping The Barclays. His argument is that the FedEx Cup Playoff system is contrived and the sports watching public really doesn’t want to watch golf after the PGA Championship (except for the Ryder Cup every other year) and perhaps Tiger agrees with this, and his absence is a reaction to this. While I disagree with Vacarro on the substance of his thesis (why should the PGA Tour roll over and die just because he is too interested in Chad Pennington), there is something he neglected to mention about Tiger…
He asked for this.
Perhaps he didn’t specifically ask for the FedEx Cup, but he did (along with Phil Mickelson in particular) opine that the PGA Tour season was too long. The 2007 PGA Tour schedule and the Fed Ex Cup was the PGA Tour’s attempt to reach a balance between television partners (who didn’t want to spend top dollar on tournaments no one was watching), rank and file players (who didn’t want to lose tournaments/opportunities to make money), and elite players (who thought the schedule was too long).
Tiger wanted a shorter schedule (he wasn’t going to play past the PGA Championship anyway, but a shorter schedule would mean he would have to hear the ‘we never get a change at the Tiger windfall’ whining from tournament heads) and he got it. While I can compare Tiger not playing this week with a baseball team sitting starters out after they’ve clinched the pennant (with his #1 seed, he is assured of going through to the Tour Championship), not showing up for the first week is a bit of a slap in the face to the PGA Tour.