CME Goes to a Point System
Mike Whan is excited. This year, the LPGA will join the other tours, European and PGA in what they believe to be an exciting summary and bonus to all of the individual events through the year. The PGA has the Fed Ex Cup following a four tournament playoff, with the winner taking home an ungodly amount of money. Stinson? Isn’t that the guy’s name – Stinson? Didn’t he win all that stuff last year? Yeah, that guy, the European guy – and therein lies the problem, at least for me.
Then, of course, there’s the European Tour with its Race to Dubai. At least the name, Race to Dubai sounds a little more action packed than Fed Ex Cup, but I’ve sort of forgotten who won it last year, and how he managed it over the course of the year. Maybe it’s just me, but if you’re going to hold an event like this for the sake of the fans, it ought to be of sufficient impact that we remember who won the thing.
The LPGA version will be called Race to the CME, or something like that. If it’s that important, I should know precisely what it’s called. There shouldn’t be any “something like that.” On the other hand, I can see why it would be important to the players. For the fortunate someone who wins more through the thirty one events than anyone else, there’s a million dollar bonus waiting at the end of the CME, and yes, it could be exciting if there’s a tie – everyone going back to 18 for one go at a million dollars or nothing.
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If I sound a little unenthused, I am. Part of the reason for that is that I never really bothered to learn the system for the Fed Ex Cup, and I didn’t really follow the Race to Dubai. I followed golfers, individual golfers on individual weeks, because at the time, that was the present, and I was into the present. In other sports, I know that you’ve got to win early to get into the playoffs, but even then, the playoffs are a ways off, and they don’t follow me through the day in terms of immediate fascination. College football – sure, I want to see my team get into the national championship game, but it’s today’s game that I’m watching and thinking about. To think about whether Paula Creamer will make that all-important putt three months from now is not in my consciousness, but the one she’s standing over right now is interesting. Besides, when I read about someone from Rhode Island winning the lottery, my interest is passing because face it, I’m just as selfish at some level as everyone else – “Who cares? It wasn’t me.”
Points are not yet as interesting as good old-fashioned 72 hole scores that you can see unfold in a four-day period. The idea of a season winner is great, but I don’t think that I’ll be watching in that way. I’ll be watching the CME because that’s the tournament that’s being played this week, an it’s a big one. I’ll be getting the warm fuzzy for my favorite players winning at the big moment, not standing in front of the cameras accepting a big check because they won more big moments than anyone else.
In short, the points prizes aren’t creating enough drama for me. They are nebulous and far-off, and I have seldom watched them, much less kept track of them. Maybe that will change, but I don’t change as quickly as I once did. This year, I have to change my thinking from bowl games to a playoff system. There won’t be much left to alter my “set in my ways” relationship with golf.