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The FedEx Cup has not yet caught the public's attention. With Woods missing the first week, television ratings were down. Even the Little League World Series clobbered the Barclays. "I'm not displeased by the numbers," says Finchem, "but I'm looking for our ratings to go up in the next couple of weeks."
The Deutsche Bank ran into the start of the college football season and also had some bad luck. The marquee Tiger, Phil and Vijay Singh group got lots of airtime on Friday afternoon, but that was the day they didn't play well, shooting a combined four over par (with a worst-ball of 83). The next morning they were 23 shots better--19�under--but the telecast didn't begin until after they had finished.
Despite what Finchem says, it's hard to see the ratings getting significantly better. The NFL kicks off this week, and tennis's U.S. Open finishes on Saturday and Sunday. The FedEx Cup's window of opportunity may already have passed.
? The Points
Golf fans haven't caught on to the complicated system. For all the effort that went into creating and promoting the point standings, in the end the points list more or less mirrored the traditional money list. "I don't understand it, to be very honest," says Nicklaus. "Frankly, if I don't know and I'm involved in golf, how is Joe Public going to know? That's a problem."
Resetting the points before the playoffs was particularly confusing. In short, the field was bunched with the runaway leader, Woods, pulled back closer to his pursuers in the name of a more exciting finish.
"They gave 143 guys a break and screwed one-- Tiger," says Tour veteran Paul Goydos, who began the playoffs 51st in the standings. "If I would've won at Westchester, I would've passed Tiger on the points list. I don't know if that's a good thing."
? The Leftovers
What do you do with all your FedEx Cup points once you've been eliminated? No, you can't put them toward a flat-screen TV. Oberholser, who jumped from 67th to 29th in the standings, was asked if he'd prefer FedEx Cup points or Marriott points. "I'd rather have Marriott points," he said, "but neither one gives you enough for what you expend."
No playoff and not enough payoff. Somebody, anybody, gimme a P!