The PGA Tour is taking a major step toward bringing respectability to the Fall Series. Starting in 2013, the fall events will be treated like the other regular events on the Tour. That means that the full amount of FedEx Cup points will be rewarded for those events. Essentially, the season will now start in October once this new format is officially implemented.
As a golf fan, I think this is a smart move. It might seem strange to change the start of the season, but golf will benefit in the long run if the Fall Series events become bigger.
The Fall Series has mostly been ignored by golf fans over the years, but two major things helped promote it in 2011. First, Tiger Woods made an extremely rare appearance at a Fall Series event when he played in the Frys.com Open. He needed to do that in order to ensure his spot on the Presidents Cup team. Second, the battle for the money title between Luke Donald and Webb Simpson played out during the fall events. That generated some major buzz and piqued the interest of fans that wanted meaningful golf after the Tour Championship. I have no doubt that these two factors contributed to the elevated status of the Fall Series events.
When you think about it, it never really made sense that the Fall Series was treated differently. If those tournaments help determine who wins the money list, they should help determine who earns FedEx Cup points. In the past, the PGA was essentially saying that these events weren't as important. Fortunately, they have changed their tune. Golf fans can enjoy meaningful tournaments all year now.
It will be interesting to see how this change impacts the fields at the smaller PGA events. Obviously, we can expect to see more golfers participate in the fall events. Not only that, we might see more big names playing in other events throughout the year. If they skip too many tournaments, they might wind up playing themselves out of the FedEx Cup mix. Not only is this going to benefit the Fall Series, but it will benefit every other event as well. This was one of the smartest decisions that the PGA has made in a long time.* - Mark Paul is an avid golf fan. He has watched and played the game since high school.
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