PGA Tour: Should the FedEx Cup Equal a Major Win?
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Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen, Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and yes, even Tiger Woods, have all been evaluated on the number of major championships they won during their illustrious careers.
The Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship and the PGA Championship have been designated the major tournaments on the PGA Tour for several years. All of these tournaments have one thing in common: a long and well-earned history.
The Masters Tournament was first played in 1934 and is the youngest of the majors as we know them today. The PGA Championship has been played since 1916. The U.S. Open was established in 1895, and the first Open Championship was won by Willie Park Sr. in 1860.
Tiger Woods won the first FedEx Cup in 2007. Woods entered the 2007 FedEx Cup playoffs ranked first in the FedEx Cup standings, won the BMW and the Tour Championship to earn the $10 million bonus as the FedEx Cup champion.
Only the top 125 in the FedEx Cup rankings qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs. These four tournaments include some of the best, most competitive fields of any event all year long.
To win a major tournament a player must have one great week. To win the FedEx Cup a player must perform well enough all year to gain entrance into the playoffs. He must then perform well over four 72-hole tournaments on four very difficult courses against the best players in the world.
For a player to be included in the conversation when golf’s greatest are discussed, their overall performance and number of major titles are the first criteria on the checklist.
Fred Couples was inducted into the 2012 World Golf Hall of Fame with just one major title on his resume. There is a discussion going on in golf right now whether or not Jim Furyk’s career is worthy of Hall of Fame induction.
Furyk is 43 years old and still playing some of the best golf of his life. He won the 2003 U.S. Open for his lone major title. He did, however, win the 2010 FedEx Cup. He also has 16 PGA Tour wins along with numerous appearances on Ryder and Presidents Cup teams.
The FedEx Cup is only in its seventh year of existence. When will it reach the lofty status of being an equal partner with the four major titles in a golfer’s overall body of work?
Consistency is what every golfer attempts to achieve. The FedEx Cup champion exhibits consistency in his performance throughout an entire season. He simply does not get hot for one week and win a Green Jacket, Claret Jug or Wanamaker Trophy.
The FedEx Cup does not have the history to create the deep tradition that golfers seem to love. The FedEx Cup champion is required to beat the best players over four events on the most difficult courses.
This sounds pretty major to me.
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