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Is the Fall Series a Better End to PGA Season Than FedEx Cup?

Fred Altvater@@tolohgolfrContributor IIOctober 15, 2011

Phil Mickelson & Tiger Woods 2009 FedEx Cup Playoffs
Phil Mickelson & Tiger Woods 2009 FedEx Cup PlayoffsScott Halleran/Getty Images

The FedEx Cup Playoffs just finished its not so illustrious fifth year.  It has produced some memorable moments and crowned a couple of notable champions. 

Tiger has won it twice.  He even got his picture taken holding the FedEx Cup while Phil held the Tour Championship trophy back in 2009, a very touching dysfunctional family portrait.

VJ won once and Furyk made a tidy up and down from a bunker on the 72nd hole in the rain for his $10 million in 2010.  Bill Haas may have topped them all by coming from way back in 15th place, making a miraculous chip from the water and then holing the putt to take the $10 million right out of Luke Donald’s checking account this year. 

The PGA Fall Series is also full of thrills and spills for the dedicated golfing fan.  It is comprised primarily of guys at or below the top 125 on the PGA money list.  They are trying to retain or earn their full playing privileges for next season. 

Professional golfers are much like small independent business owners.  They are using their own money, time and talent trying to earn a living for themselves and their families. 

If they don’t make the cuts and earn enough prize money, they will be forced to play their trade on lesser tours where the money and perks are not quite the same as on the glamorous PGA Tour.

There is high drama most weeks on Friday afternoon when the cut line is established and players are working to assure that they will get a paycheck on Sunday evening.  For most professional golfers, the pressure of making a crucial putt on the 36th hole on Friday is much greater than that three footer for a win on the 72nd hole. 

The Fall Series is a four week 288 hole Friday evening cut line for a lot of guys trying to keep or earn their card.    

Even though the top names usually take the four weeks off to hunt, fish and buy new cars, the competition is still pretty fierce.  It has had some added allure this year with the appearance of Tiger Woods in the Frys.com event in San Jose. 

Tiger normally goes into hibernation this time of year and only comes out to play in the Ryder or Presidents Cup events.  Ticket sales for the Frys.com increased 500 percent, media requests tripled and TV ratings for the 2011 PGA Fall Series have increased 235 percent.  Tiger still moves the needle, even during football season.

Throw in a nice little Player of the Year and PGA Money Title race between Luke Donald and Webb Simpson coming down to the last event of the year, the Fall Series has a lot to offer golf fans.  I can see PGA Tour Commissioner smiling from here.

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