Who won the first-ever Donald Ross Memorial Invitational boys individual title?

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Monday Recap: FedEx Cup Playoffs

Dustin Johnson earlier this year at the Masters. Photo courtesy of McClatchy-Tribune News Services.

With Hurricane Irene barreling north toward New Jersey, PGA Tour officials decided to shorten The Barclays to a 54-hole event.

Dustin Johnson became the benefactor with his scorching three rounds that tallied a 19-under par total on the Plainfield Country Club in Edison, N.J.

However, DJ has a history of imploding in final rounds (see 2010 United States Open or Bunkergate at the 2010 PGA Championship).

Another 18 holes could have sorted out whether DJ really can close the deal. Sure, the tournament was already announced long before Saturday's round as a 54-hole event. But with an additional round and the Sunday feeling, Johnson needed that scenario to overcome whatever mental block he might have coming down the stretch.

Regardless, the tournament proved Johnson is a top American player, ready to grasp a major sometime soon. Remember, Phil Mickelson took a long time to snag a major championship and several more followed his maiden triumph.

This was the first step in a season-ending playoff format that is supposed to give golf fans a reason to watch the sport after the PGA Championship concluded.

Newsflash: jazzing it up with a title (FedEx Cup) and adding some additional money isn't going to make the late August and September schedules any more enticing to watch than the previous few months.

Those past months gave us four major championships and a bona fide fifth in The Players Championship.

It's football season, anyway, but perhaps the PGA Tour can scrap the playoff idea and push back the PGA or some World Golf Championship events.

The PGA is already the least popular of golf's four majors and isn't tied to a season like the Masters is with spring time at Augusta National.

And frankly, venues for the PGA are still viable later in August or even in September. American sites for the Ryder Cup and President's Cup are in prime condition even as fall begins.

But if officials were to move that last major in September, then it'd have to be in the early portion of the month as to not conflict with possible Ryder Cup scheduling (we don't want another rain-filled edition like Celtic Manor was in October).

Whatever the decision is, though, let's chuck the playoff system into the abyss designed for team sports to utilize. Leave golf tournaments the way they should be, 72-holes and that's it.

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