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Tuesday, June 2, 2020
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DeShambles isn’t the only problem plaguing Playoffs

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The cocksure Bryson DeChambeau was pilloried from all angles last week for standing over an eight-foot putt like he’d just been handed a can of Heinz ‘Alphabetti Spaghetti’ and was asked to come up with a Shakespearean sonnet from the saucy letters.

A seemingly endless wait later and his eventual effort missed by a distance. I could empathise. Faced with Pythagoras theorem in an unexpected appearance on the Ordinary Level Maths paper in the Leaving Cert in ‘09, I took a solid five minutes staring at the riddle before showing my workings in the form of a confused doodle and moving on to the next question.

Long dubbed and often praised as golf’s ‘mad scientist’, DeChambeau has always been on the slow side of deliberate. It’s only now that the gimmick’s worn off his unique style of playing that people have finally realised he’s painfully slow too.

Perhaps not as slow as Ben Crane, however. The one-time PGA Tour star was at the butt of one of my favourite pieces of golf commentary in history when the announcer perfectly summed up his sloth-like ways:

“We’ve got a show over here in America called 60 minutes,” he announced, “but it takes Ben Crane an hour and a half to watch it!”

But for all the criticism being fired at DeChambeau, and it’s warranted, I feel the PGA Tour and its flagship end of season Playoff Series has dodged some bullets too. I mean, did anyone enjoy watching the Northern Trust? I’ve enjoyed this season so far; the four Majors were exceptional and there’s been some great stuff in between. Only, without much time to get your breath back, I feel we’re now being force fed cheese after a four-course meal and most of us have had our fill.

For me, the FedEx Cup Series has always been nothing more than a gluttonous feeding frenzy for those disinterested in titles and prestige. There’s no sense of tradition, and people understand this; the New York crowds were pitiful at Liberty City and not even the SkySports propaganda machine could conjure an atmosphere. But the whole concept is a farce.

A “season-long race” they call it, this FedEx Cup lark. So then, tell me, how in a season-long race can Rory McIlroy be behind Patrick Reed, who’s compiled one win and four top-10s in 23 starts, when McIlroy’s record stands at two wins (including the year’s fifth Major) and 13 top-10s from 17 starts?

Of course, the answer is that the FedEx Cup events hold quadruple the points of regular events, but why? Why have any loyalty to any player in the field for these three weeks at all? We’re basically all cheering on a bunch of fat lads at a hot dog eating contest. They’re all grossly overfed already and we’re standing aside, willing them on to eat more and more until they’re so fully gorged in riches that they puke before our eyes. The sad thing is, the hot dog eating contest would probably prove more entertaining.

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