LOS ANGELES — The problem with a postseason bonus program in golf is making the system volatile enough to come down to the final tournament while rewarding the player with the best season. The PGA Tour Champions might have a solution for the Charles Schwab Cup.
The tour is considering a proposal that would eliminate the reset going into the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, according to two people with knowledge of the plan. They spoke on condition of anonymity because it is still in the process of being approved.
Bernhard Langer last year won seven times, including two majors and the first two playoff events. Kevin Sutherland won the final tournament, which enabled him to capture the Schwab Cup and the $1 million bonus. It was Sutherland’s first victory on the PGA Tour Champions.
Much like the FedEx Cup on the PGA Tour, points are reset going into the last event so that all 36 players in the field have a mathematical chance to win the Cup, and the top five only have to win the tournament to claim the big bonus.
But this wasn’t a response to Sutherland winning.
What made officials rethink the playoff points system was that two players, Paul Goydos and Lee Janzen, had a reasonable chance on the last day to win the Schwab Cup even though they were outside the top 20 in the standings. That would have looked even more awkward in light of Langer’s big season.
Tour officials pored through various models and proposed a system that would put greater emphasis on the playoffs and still keep the finale in doubt. The proposal is for points (each point is worth $1 in earnings) to be double for the first two playoff events, and points would be triple the value in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
Langer, who tied for 12th in the final event last year, would have won the cup under that proposal. Langer’s season was so stellar that he would have won in just about any model that was considered.
Under the proposal, it’s still possible that a player can wrap up the Schwab Cup before the final event. But looking over the last 10 years, it would be rare.
The plan still has to be discussed among the players and go before the Player Advisory Council. The hope is to have the full board vote on it as early as next month.