Published August 16, 2012
| Sports Network
Philadelphia, PA – We are heading down the stretch of the sixth year of the FedExCup, and people still don't fully grasp the concept.
There have been tweaks to the point system, and there may be more to come.
Would it surprise you to learn that just two of the first five FedExCup winners won a PGA Tour event the year after winning the season-long race?
How about two of the previous five champs haven't won another PGA Tour event since their FedExCup win?
The FedExCup wasn't set up to be a grueling marathon where you have to play every week to contend, but it seems to have taken a lot out of its' winners, except for one.
Tiger Woods, the only two-time FedExCup champion and current points leader, is the only player to have an outstanding year the season after winning the race.
After Woods won the inaugural FedExCup in 2007, he won five of the seven events he played in 2008 and never finished worse than fifth. Of course, he only appeared in seven events because he played the U.S. Open on a broken leg and took the rest of the year off.
That was Woods' last major championship.
In 2008, two of Vijay Singh's three wins were during the playoffs and they propelled him to victory in the FedExCup. And he hasn't won since!
Singh followed the FedExCup with just three top-10 finishes the following season, along with six missed cuts. He wasn't a factor at the four majors and three World Golf Championship events.
Woods claimed his second FedExCup in 2009, but everything went downhill for him two months later when he had his Thanksgiving traffic accident.
He didn't play until the Masters in 2010 and tied for fourth at Augusta. Woods did the same at the U.S. Open, but he missed the cut at Quail Hollow after posting rounds of 74-79. His total of 153 was his worst as a professional.
Jim Furyk, like Singh, hasn't won a PGA Tour event since winning the 2010 FedExCup. He had more missed cuts (seven) than top 10s (four) in 2011. He's gotten back into he mix this year, but has coughed up the U.S. Open and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Reigning FedExCup champ Bill Haas carried the momentum into this season as he collected four top-20 finishes in his first five starts, including a win at the Northern Trust Open.
Since that quick start, Haas has just two more top-20 finishes and has missed four cuts.
Entering the final regular-season event, Haas ranks 25th on the FedExCup points list. He is in danger of becoming the fifth straight reigning FedExCup champ to fail to qualify for the following year's Tour Championship.
The $10 million prize for winning the FedExCup is a huge boost, but it also seems to carry a heavy burden that hurts the winner the next year.
IS WESTWOOD PANICKING?
After a poor performance at the PGA Championship, Lee Westwood has dropped both his swing coach and his temporary caddie.
Westwood's normal looper, Billy Foster, blew his knee out while warming up for a soccer match in early May.
The Englishman could be panicking, or just looking for a new voice both on the bag and with his swing. Since winning the Nordea Masters the week before the U.S. Open, Westwood's results have gotten progressively worse.
He shared 10th at the U.S. Open, tied for 40th at the Open de France, shared 45th at the British Open, took 70th in a 79-player event at the WGC- Bridgestone Invitational, then missed the cut at the PGA Championship.
The FedExCup playoffs are looming next week and the Ryder Cup is at the end of September, which makes the timing of these moves is a little curious.
Known as one of the best players without a major championship, Westwood should have waited until after the Ryder Cup to start with these changes. The last thing he needs to be doing at those matches is trying to groove a new swing.
To each his own, but I think he should waited.
* Many players have their own causes or charities that they back. It's good to see them give back in times of tragedy too. Arjun Atwal, a native of India & Sikh, made a donation to the fund that will help the victims of the Sikh shooting in Wisconsin.
* Among those on the outside looking in right now for the FedExCup playoffs are Retief Goosen, Chris DiMarco, Stewart Cink, John Daly, Stuart Appleby and Camilo Villegas -- all of whom are between 126th and 146th on the points list.