In the last two years of the FedExCup playoffs, a runner-up finish for Martin Laird at The Barclays and for Chez Reavie at the Deutsche Bank Championship was enough for them to lock up a spot in the Tour Championship -- and three of the majors -- after what had been ordinary seasons.
That scenario is not likely to change for 2012.
HYUNDAI TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
The Hyundai Tournament of Champions field is limited to players who won PGA Tour events in the previous season.
After crunching numbers using different models, the PGA Tour has decided to leave the points structure alone for the FedExCup. The system was changed after each of the first three years in existence. This now is the third straight year with no tweaking.
At least not yet.
PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said even though FedExCup points will start being awarded this week at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, changes could be made at the next policy board meeting in March, though “I would say that’s unlikely.”
The formula has been working well for the most part. The reward for a strong regular season is a high seeding going into the playoffs, which translates to better odds of reaching the Tour Championship. And there’s still plenty of volatility for a high finish in the playoff events, as Reavie showed last year and Laird did in 2010.
Points are worth five times as much in the playoffs. Votaw said tour officials looked at how the standings would be if points were only tripled, or quadrupled, and didn’t see anything worth changing.
“Going down to four (times the points) doesn’t change a whole lot. We don’t think going down to three changes much,” Votaw said. “There has to be some premium on funneling down to the playoffs. The whole question of volatility has been a vexing one from the start. But we think the last three years have been good.”
Volatility was evident all the way to the end last year. Bill Haas narrowly got into the Tour Championship as the No. 25 seed, then won the $10 million bonus by winning the Tour Championship with most of the top players in the standings faltering.