Saturday, August 25, 2007

Finchem/Woods Fedex Cup conspiracy?

Tiger Woods decided to skip The Barclay's, the first of four legs of the Fedex Cup.

"My body is spent and I need a break... This is in no way a knock on Barclays, their new event next week or the new FedEx Cup series, which I fully support... I just hope that this extra week of rest will rejuvenate me for the final three playoff events and Presidents Cup. It is still my goal to win the FedEx Cup and I am hopeful this will give me the best opportunity to finish the year strong." [courtesy of]

To even a casual observer of professional golf, Woods is the prohibitive favorite in every tournament he plays in. As much fun as it is to watch him win, it doesn't usually generate much drama to watch the rest of the field battle for second place. If Woods had jumped out to an early lead in the Fedex Cup, and it became clear after two of its tournaments that he was going to win, you think anyone would tune in to watch it? I don't think the headline, "Woods in commanding lead in Fedex Cup race" is going to turn too many non-golf fans into dedicated PGA watchers. So how do you fix it? Well, you "fix" it: have Woods sit out the first tournament, let a few other pros get close to or overtake his position at the top of the points scale, then reinsert Woods into the mix and see if he can pull out a win. Now that's drama. To wit: which Woods' moment was more memorable, his 12-stroke '97 Master's win, or his battle at the '00 PGA with Bob May?

Of course, this is all pure conjecture, but really, is anyone buying Woods' "I'm too tired" spiel? If Finchem did orchestrate Woods' absence from the Barclays, it would have to go down as the smartest, most courageous strategy ever undertaken in professional golf.

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