05 September 2007

Fix the Fed Cup II

Before we get to the points system, Phil Mickelson's decision to skip this week's BMW Championship once again underscored the need to modify the "Playoff" format. Forcing top players to play six tournaments in seven weeks, including four consecutive, just isn't going to fly. Mickelson's snub marked the second time in three weeks that the top player in the FedEx Cup standings decided to sit out. And yet, Mickelson and Tiger Woods are still going to be the favorites should they both play in the Tour Championship in two weeks.

One way to make the setup a bit more attractive is to shorten the "Playoff" to three weeks, giving the top players two weeks off after the PGA Championship. And limit the field to the first event to 100. To play one week just to weed out 24 players (from 144 to 120) as it is arranged now is just plain silly and unnecessary. The second event should have just 50 players and 30 for the Tour Championship.

And of course, adopt the Zoo Points as first proposed here a week ago. The FedEx Cup system right now is both confusing and hard to calculate. While the Zoo Points deal with simple numbers that anybody on his couch can figure out.

Here's the top 10 in the FedEx standings:

1. Phil Mickelson 108613
2. Steve Stricker 106200
3. Tiger Woods 103733
4. K.J. Choi 102900
5. Rory Sabbatini 102388
6. Vijay Singh 99108
7. Jim Furyk 98963
8. Geoff Ogilvy 97954
9. Adam Scott 97827
10. Zach Johnson 97623

Here's the top 10 according to Zoo Points:

1. Mickelson 112.0
2. Woods 103.2
3. Stricker 94.1
4. Sabbatini 79.6
5. Ogilvy 66.6
6. Choi 61.7
7. Scott 50.4
8. Aaron Baddeley 46.3
9. Singh 45.7
10. Ernie Els 45.1

Besides its simplicity and user-friendliness, the Zoo Points are also more fair in this sense: Currently, the FedEx Cup system gives too much credit for somebody finishing second and third. Also, instead of divvying up the points for a tie like the FedEx Cup system, the Zoo Points simply award the same total to all ties. Again more fair and easier to calculate.

I'll be back next week with another update ... if anybody is still awake.

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