PGA – MCILROY SALVAGES SEASON WITH FEDEXCUP WIN

I recently posted an article which discussed how PGA players have finally warmed to the idea of winning the FedExCup.

Since the procedure(s) for predicting winners of this title has been ironed out over the last several years, it has been gaining in prestige and obviously, the mighty big bonus handed out with the trophy ($10 million) has been a constant allure.

But another advantage of winning the FedExCup and one that seems to now be motivating players is that it can help salvage an otherwise disappointing season.

Take Rory McIlroy, for example.

For a player of his high caliber and resume (4-time major champion), expectations for 2016 were pretty high, especially following a year when he did not have any major wins (2015).

Unfortunately, though, this season started out with a letdown.  Despite the fact that he finished 8 times in the Top 10 of the 18 events he played, he didn’t win any tournaments during the regular season, missed the cut at 2 of the 4 majors and hardly contended at the other 2.

In late July, after he missed the cut at the PGA Championship, McIlroy admitted publicly that he was “struggling”, particularly on the greens and with the putter.  He said he would “stay patient” and “hopefully I will turn this around”.

As McIlroy didn’t play again until the FedExCup playoffs in late August, we assume that statement to mean he had his eyes on the big prize, which is exactly the way history unfolded.

McIlroy went on to win 2 of the 4 FedExCup postseason playoff events (Deutsche Bank & Tour Championship) helping him to garner enough points to land the FedExCup.

It’s safe to say that without that FedExCup win and a potential loss for the European team next week at the Ryder Cup, McIlroy’s season would have been, frankly, a total flop.

And, in light of the backlash McIlroy experienced during the summer months for publicly ridiculing the Tour and IGF in retaliation for statements they made about his skipping the Olympics and his cynicism about the notion of Olympic golf, he needed to find a way to bounce back, big time.

By winning the FedExCup, McIlroy did that just.

Despite the fact that we the fans don’t care too much about this award, winning it seems to help players obtain more respect from the golfing community.

It’s just a shame that Dustin Johnson couldn’t find a way to keep pace this week and win the Tour Championship himself.  He was the best player overall this year with 3 wins including the US Open and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, 14 Top 10s and only 1 missed cut.

But, here we are in 2016 and the best player did not win the last and biggest bonus of the year again.

Alas, the FedExCup Playoff system was not designed to crown the best overall player of the year.

It was designed to keep the top players going until the end of the season and ultimately, profits flowing for the Tour.

Inadvertently for McIlroy, it also helped to save a season that could have been disastrous.

 

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