Finchem's address covers playoffs, pace, charity
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem gave his annual “State of the Tour” press conference on Tuesday at the Tour Championship, and touched on a wide range of topics. Here are snippets of some of the more relevant information and answers he shared:
On possible changes to the FedEx Cup Playoffs next season:
“One thing is the volatility that the significant increase in points creates. Is it a little bit – we like volatility, but is it too much volatility? ... The question is, if you have that much volatility in the first couple of weeks of the playoffs, does it throw it off a little bit? You want the season to mean a lot.
“If we’re going to do it for next year, we want to address it this fall and get it out there way before the playoffs.”
On pace of play:
“Am I happy about how long it takes to play? No. Am I in favor of playing opportunities for the players? Yes. Has pace changed much in the last 15 years? No, it really hasn’t…
“Part of our analysis that’s going on right now is taking another look at the penalties we’ve had in the past and asking ourselves should we have a stronger penalty structure? And that is squarely in front of us as we speak.”
On the role of television viewers calling in rules infractions:
Finchem said the Tour has twice considered prohibiting it, and the jury was still out. “We’ll probably be taking another harder look at it after we get done with the season,” he said.
This year the Tour will set a record for charitable contributions with more than $130 million raised. Finchem said the Tour should crack the $2 billion mark near the end of the 2013-14 season.
“We haven’t figured out which week we’ll go over it, but it will be an exciting moment,” Finchem said. “I would point out that it took 67 years to reach the first billion and 8 years to reach the second billion.”
Finchem noted that this will mark the first time in the FedEx Cup Playoffs era that all of the Tour’s season-long awards will be decided at the same time. In addition to the FedEx Cup and Tour Championship trophies being awarded on Sunday, the Arnold Palmer Award, given to the leading money winner, and the Byron Nelson Award, given to the player with the lowest adjusted scoring average, will be decided. Ballots for PGA Tour Player of the Year will be sent to Tour pros after the conclusion of play on Sunday.
“It allows fans to get their arms around what a real season means,” Finchem said.