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Is the $10 million prize needed? Luke Donald doesn’t think so

Jay Busbee
Devil Ball Golf

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Luke Donald, World No. 1, got the honor of opening the media sessions at the Tour Championship, and it didn't take him long to dig into a fascinating topic: Does the PGA Tour really need to pony up $10 million to get the biggest names in golf to commit to the playoffs?

For a moment, we need to step back here. Yes, the concept of people playing golf for a $10 million payday is so ridiculous it borders on obscene. So too is the concept of professional sports in general. Yes, the money could be better spent hiring 200 teachers or whatever. But for FedEx and the PGA Tour, this is a marketing investment, not a payout.

The question, then, is this: In a world where even the youngest pro golfers are banking monstrous checks, is $10 million enough on its own to entice players to enter the playoffs? Or is it even necessary? Here's an answer that will delight the accountants at FedEx:

"I think [the FedEx Cup] would still be important [without the huge paycheck]," he said. "You know, it's a year-long race ...I think like anything, there's always got to be a finale to the end of a season. Since they've come up with the playoffs, I think the fans have enjoyed it. I think the players have kind of -- some have enjoyed it, some might not have enjoyed it," he finished cryptically.

Still, he noted that even though the FedEx Cup does get a bad rap, there are plenty of benefits to go along with it: "For a lot of these guys, even getting to this event is important. It gets you into all the majors, it sets up your year for next year. So there's definitely some importance there. Obviously I think that the $10 million number makes it seem a lot more special, not just to the players but to the fans, as well, and it gives it a certain wow factor."

That would be your cue, fans. Does the $10 million FedEx Cup prize give the event a "wow factor"? Or is the tour spending too much to raise this event to marquee status? Have your say.

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