Tiger @ Genesis

PGA Tour events without a cut suck, plain and simple. I don’t know why exactly that’s the case, but we have evidence from years of WGCs.

A Friday cut provides a lot of drama (see Tiger this week). Golf is not like other sports – great moments come out of nowhere, you can’t force them. Getting the 50 best players in the world together is no guarantee that it will be a good event.

Also the delays (which I agree are annoying) stop being a problem once we hit March.


On a related note I feel the Match Tournament sucked once they got rid of the single elimination. Drama was at its highest because the #1 player in the world was in danger of going out in the 1st round and a lower seed could make a Cinderella run. It was March Madness on steroids

Filling out the 64 player brackets was insane. Your bracket was almost always wrecked after Round 1 and even if you got lucky it was a goner after Round 2.

I agree there needs to be a cut, but you can easily make a cut from 50 down to 20 like I said. And 50 (with 50 more having a chance to shuffle in being promoted from the Honda, Fortinet “B” Tour) is plenty to have stories from nowhere. In my opinion PGA doesn’t lack Nick Taylor, Scott Piercy, Garrick Higgo stories of unlikely winners it lacks duels between top talents.

How many times have JT and Spieth battled?

Rory and Rahm?

How many times did DJ and Spieth do it? Chambers Bay was electric

Brooks v Bryson would have been much better if they locked horns 2-3 times a year. It’s like if soccer only had City and Liverpool play once every 3 years so Derby County and Barnsley had better chances of winning in my opinion. yes it’s great there is a path, but these guys are not nearly as good as the best and if they are they quickly move to top anyway. Golf needs rivalries and top guys going at it

I personally am fine with a smaller field for elevated events (maybe I think 80 players is a better number than 50 but whatever), but I strongly disagree with the idea of reshuffling every 5 events. 5 elevated events is a long time in golf. The entire enterprise needs to become more meritocratic, not less.

I strongly disagree that the delays are due to the size of the field. The delays are due to players like Patrick Cantlay taking 4 and a half minutes to hit a routine wedge from 140-- it is so insane!!!

Last, if duels between spieth and JT are what you want, shouldn’t you be asking for a 125 man field at least? There is a really good chance Spieth doesn’t play in half of them if it is only 50. Jokes aside, the lack of duels (in my opinion) is not primarily due to too many random players in the field, but the fact that the top guys never used to all play the same week.

True, you did mention a cut and I ignored that. I don’t like the idea of small fields or having no cut because I think tournaments that have either of these characteristics historically have lacked pop, for lack of a better word. (I do need to come up with specific reasons for why these tournaments seem to lack pop.)

Think of the majors though. Major championships are great on Thursday and Friday when you have the morning / afternoon waves, you get to see how the course evolves, you get to know the holes (even if you are just tracking online, you can see where the tough stretches are, etc). I think with golf you need time for the story of that tournament to develop. Also big fields and a cut just provide so many more small storylines, which are important to the overall feel of the tournament. The whole idea with LIV, which is cramming all the golf into a 5-hour window, just doesn’t work for golf. As I’ve said before, pro golf is boring 98% of the time, and then every so often you get these unbelievably great moments. But those moments can’t be forced.

Re having few repeated duels in golf: is this really because players don’t play in the same events often enough? I don’t think so, they play enough. It’s because golf is really random, and it’s just not that common even for the best players to both be at the top of the leaderboard any given week. Even Tiger and Phil… they didn’t have that many head-to-head battles (did they ever have one in a major even?).

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Tiger was 1 ahead of Phil in the 2001 Masters, Tiger won and Phil finished 3rd, 3 strokes back

Phil was 4 behind Tiger in the 2002 Masters, Tiger won and Phil finished 3rd, 2 strokes back

Phil was 5 behind Tiger in the 2002 US open, shot 70, finished 2nd, 3 strokes behind

Phil was co-leading in the 2005 PGA Championship, Tiger was 6 behind, Phil won and Tiger finished 4th, 2 strokes back

Phil was co-leading in the 2006 Masters, Tiger was 2 behind, Phil won and Tiger finished 3rd, 3 strokes behind

Tiger was 2 behind and Phil was 5 behind with 1 round to go in the 2013 Open Championship, Phil won and Tiger finished 6th, 5 strokes back

Quite a few tournaments where both were in contention in the final round and neither won, but I think the list is long enough

Sure… but there is a difference between both being in contention, and a “duel”. They had a duel in 2005 (I think it was) at Doral, for example. That first one was a head-to-head battle, sure. Not sure how we’d classify the others…

As a fan this is what I like to see:

  • Ton of variety in golf course setup. I want to see Rahm kill it one week, whine about easy scoring conditions while he shoots -15 and finishes 10 back and outside the Top 20 another week, and misses the cut by 5 while his wayward drives result in several doubles+

  • Variety in tournament formats. I do like the 156 player full fields as long as they play faster. It could be single elimination match play another week, stroke play/match play hybrid another week, and team play another week

  • More blowup holes. I’m only seeing ~0.2 doubles+ per round. Everyone knows that the big swings are much more likely from big numbers than from drivable Par 4’s and reachable Par 5’s. If this number goes from 0.2 to more like 1.2 then we’ll truly see some fireworks

There are too many good players playing good golf so duels are going to be rare

Besides I think they’re kind of contrived anyway. Save the duels for Monday Night Golf

I don’t quite follow why you don’t like the reshuffle? It’s meant to make things more based on merit and give more things to watch and play for

I think a big part is they only play in a handful of events together and then another part is the fields are too large. These extra 75+ golfers wind up at the top a lot

I think the lack of pop for WGC is generally because there is no context to the event and the fact it’s essentially played only for cash. Players need incentives to avoid the bottom, which they don’t really have at WGC without a cut and with basically free ranking points on offer.

As for LIV we’ll see how it evolves but it certainly would become way more interesting with off-season player movements, players being waived/benched, holdouts, extreme course setups, etc.

I am saying I want a reshuffle after every elevated event, not after every 5. But I see what you are saying-- they could imagine something worse where guys get locked in for the year. This didn’t even cross my mind.

I think a big part of the reason the PGA Tour events without a cut suck is because of the rigged course setups that are designed to increase the probability that a handful of stars will be at the top of the leaderboard

I’ve seen many instances when the top stars are outside their comfort zone. They perform worse, criticize the golf course, and the golf media writes negative articles about the course setup. That’s how the game works

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Interesting, I think it’s a bit tough there. And one bad week from Rory at start of year he gets sent down is a bit harsh

Rolex Series for the DP World Tour and the International Series on the Asian Tour could be used as guidelines

My “hot” take on pro golf is that what we currently have is basically as good as it can be.

Re 5-event reshuffle: won’t the result of this just be a bunch of no-name players who are on 5-event hot streaks getting into the elevated events? There should be Monday Qs, or maybe like 5-10 spots available for lower-ranked guys who are playing well, but not a full-on reshuffle. Also from a practical standpoint, players need to be able to set their schedule.

Given the political stuff that goes behind the scenes on I’m afraid you’re right

I would have some guardrails, like top 10 or top 25 in OWGR stay in or something, but there needs to be a way for guys like Cam Young and Tom Kim last year to play their way in as quickly as possible.

I am talking about Kind of total revamp of tour, so there are 20 events a season and those guys have 3 shots every year to play in