Initially players were sceptical about the FedExCup Playoffs, but now, a decade later, the feeling in the locker rooms is one of excitement. So, what does it take to make the final 30? The new season kicks off every October, just after the previous FedexCup Playoffs have finished.
Some players on the PGA Tour will carry on playing and earning FedExCup points, while others will take a break or, like me, play on the European Tour.
Usually, when I finish with the FedExCup, I move over to the European Tour and play their season-ending events. Those starting in October already have an advantage on me as they will have a number of points before I usually return to playing on the PGA Tour in February. This motivates me to try to catch up with them as only the top 125 make the first playoff event.
This year the format changed a little. We usually play the first three playoff events, have a week’s break and then it’s the final Tour Championship. At the end of this season, the playoffs will start with the top 125 players competing at the Northern Trust Championship ending on 27 August followed by the top 100 players qualifying for the Deutsche Bank Championship ending on 4 September.
Then we will have a week’s break, with the top 70 competing at the BMW Championship ending on 17 September and the top 30 then playing at the Tour Championship ending on 24 September. I think this will give the top 70 better momentum to try to get into the top 30 and make for an exciting end. Although we always give our best, the playoffs definitely add extra pressure to each event.
Those on the cusp know that each stroke counts and a birdie or dropped shot can get you in or out of the next week’s event. This year I played the last three holes of my third round at the BMW Championship badly, dropping four shots, which cost me a place among the final 30. Although I came back and had a good final round, and nearly made it, those shots made a huge difference to the end result.
As a player you are aware of where you are on the list and what you need to do to keep on climbing the ladder to make the next playoff event. The points get reset for the final Tour Championship so that more players have a chance at winning the overall FedexCup Playoffs. This creates excitement among the players and I am sure the spectators also get more involved. So, you’ll definitely see me giving my all again in 2017.
HIS TOP SA COURSES
In the latest of Oosthuizen’s travels around South Africa, he reveals his No 8 course in the country and why it makes his top 10.
It’s no secret that I love links golf – and it was fitting that I won my only Major on the Old Course at St Andrews, where the weather really sets in and makes you work every club in your bag.
Humewood is probably South Africa’s only true links course. It’s a real test of your skills and patience, and you need to make your golf ball ‘talk’ when playing in the wind in Port Elizabeth. They don’t call it the Windy City for nothing, believe me!
The course allows you to be creative and it keeps you thinking all the time.
Designed by Englishman colonel S V Hotchkin in 1929, the course is set among the Eastern Cape’s indigenous fynbos and home to an amazing selection of bird life. It has hosted five South African Opens. One of South Africa’s greatest golfers, Bobby Locke, was a four-time winner of The Open Championship, and he once remarked of Humewood: ‘This course is good enough to host the British Open if ever it was played outside Britain.’
The Oosthuizen top 10 so far:
1 Albertinia CC
2 Durban CC
3 Gary Player CC
4 Leopard Creek CC
5 East London GC
6 Fancourt (Montagu)
7 Country Club Johannesburg
8 Humewood GC
9 Next month …