This assumes that his repackaging tactic works and the Tour gets anywhere near the kind of TV money he negotiated four years ago.
? The Golf Channel
The cable entity could land the leftover fall events, thereby boosting its credibility with one element it has always lacked: PGA Tour coverage.
?Lower-ranked Tour members
These grinders routinely complain about being shut out of the big-money events, but the FedEx Cup will have a real Jason Gore Factor, allowing a player 144th on the points list and in danger of losing his Tour card to end up financially secure for life if he gets hot and wins the FedEx Cup series.
?The Deutsche Bank, Barclays Classic and Western Open
These three Tour events get upgraded to first-class status because of the FedEx Cup.
Here's who's likely to take a hit:
He'll be the goat if TV doesn't bite, fees plummet, purses fall and marginalized autumn events begin to fall off the schedule.
?Fall Tour stops in places like Greensboro, N.C.; Jackson, Miss.; Las Vegas; and Orlando
They'll remain after the introduction of the FedEx Cup, but can they survive second-tier status? Some players think those events have been given a reprieve merely for show because Finchem doesn't want to cancel them at this time. "Those tournaments may be around for a year or two," says one Tour veteran, "but they're really being sent off to die." The Tour will slap a snappy label on them--Quest for a Card?--and try to create interest in the race for the last few spots on the 125 all-exempt list, but the harsh reality is that those fields will be filled with the Tag Ridingses, Tjaart van der Walts and Roger Tambellinis of the Tour and won't resonate with viewers. A saving grace for the fall tournaments: Their economics may work better by being on cable, which costs sponsors about $750,000 in rights fees, instead of on one of the networks, which affix a hefty $4 million--plus price tag.
? The Golf Channel
Other sports own their own TV networks. Finchem says the Tour, which already has a production division, might go that route too. The first bit of programming would be the fall tournaments.
?The Tour members who rank 145th and lower
On the outside looking in, they will face a four-week break until the Tour resumes after the FedEx Cup.
?The European tour
Already less attractive and lucrative than the PGA Tour, this circuit could be without its top players for seven weeks, starting with the World Golf Championship event at Firestone in early August. During Ryder Cup years Europeans trying to qualify for the team will face a dilemma, as will those Euro tournaments with conflicting dates--top events such as the International Open, the European Masters, the German Masters and the World Match Play.