Welcome to Teeing Off, where Devil Ball editor Jay Busbee and head writer Shane Bacon take a day's topic and smack it all over the course. Suggest a future topic by writing email@example.com, or hit us on Twitter at @jaybusbee and @shanebacon. Today, we discuss that golf curiosity that is the Money List title.
Busbee: We're down to the final tournament of the year, and unless Luke Donald can manage to win or place in the Children's Miracle Network Classic, Webb Simpson will win the money title this year, the most unexpected winner of that title since, well, ever. Now, we're told that this is a big deal, and we can all salivate at how much coin Webb has pulled this year, but here's my question for you, sir: why should we care? We can talk philosophically, logistically or competitively: why on earth are we supposed to care who makes how much money?
Bacon: I know I can be negative about these random events, but I actually don't hate this money list run. I thought Luke Donald wouldn't even play, but it sure would be fun if he was in the hunt come Sunday just to add some intrigue to a rather unknown event.
Also, won't this help out a little with our Player of the Year run? That's still up in the air, right?
Busbee: It's weird, the competition itself I'm cool with, it's just -- hell, maybe this is the Occupy Magnolia Lane in me coming out, but the focus on money seems a bit anachronistic, given golf's elitist history, and certainly out of tune with current events. But, as with so much else, I'm happy to point out the problems but I don't have an easy answer for a solution.
I'd also note that at least golf is a meritocracy; in baseball, Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard earn king's ransoms no matter whether they blast heroic homers or, oh, just to throw out a hypothetical, make the final out for their teams in staggering playoff upsets. At least in golf, you earn what you make.
So, player of the year. What do you think Donald has to do to take it? Is Keegan Bradley still even in the mix? And you think any of these guys would use some of their winnings to buy us a beer?
Bacon: I do love that about golf, just because to earn a lot on the course you really have to play fantastically.
Now, about our constant Player of the Year roulette wheel. Who do we like this week? I really think Webb ends up winning it, especially with Bradley playing at the Grand Slam of Golf this week, but I think it'll be interesting to see who eventually gets picked, mostly because like 2009 Comeback Player of the Year award, I could see the PGA Tour just not giving this out. Is that possible? Would they just say there wasn't a true winner of the award?
Busbee: Or they might go the other way and say EVERYBODY wins the award! Well, except for Mr. Sunday-Red, of course. I dunno...if Simpson wins the money title, I guess you have to give it to him, though it's weird that he came up so small in some big spots. I think you're probably right, that nobody really deserves this award, but not to give it out would be much more of an insult to the field than not giving out a Comeback Player.
What about making one of the statistical awards more prevalent? You know, baseball has home run leaders, basketball has scoring leaders, etc. ... why not a birdie leader, something like that? You'd have to average it out, since it would favor the guys who play 30 tournaments a year, not 20...but seeing some guy at Disney blasting everything off the tee to win a driving average award, or going for birdie on every hole could be a lot of fun. Thoughts?
Bacon: Well, there is the Byron Nelson Award for lowest scoring average, which I guess is the golf equivalent to batting average and points in the NBA, but your idea seems like a lay-up for the PGA Tour in terms of awards and sponsors. Make Burger King sponsor the Long Drive award. Give the Burt's Bees Putting Average award out to whatever player.
I like it, and as we've seen with the PGA Tour, there is nothing they like more than coming up with different ideas to make the players richer.
All right, your turn. Thoughts on the Money List? Who's going to win it?