By DARRELL MOODY
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO -The PGA Tour, in an attempt to generate more interest in the sport, introduced the FedExCup playoff system this year. Simply put, the 144 players with the most points will qualify for a four-week playoff.
The playoff events feature a progressive cut and will culminate with the top 30 making the Tour Championship. The winner will receive $10 million, the largest single bonus awarded in professional sports.
The sport of NASCAR introduced a similar system in 2004, and it creates quite a week-to-week frenzy among drivers and fans alike. The FedEx Cup has been much slower to catch on.
Two of the favorites at the ninth annual Reno-Tahoe Open, defending champ Will MacKenzie and Lucas Glover, said they don’t think much about it. Both have done well enough to at least be there for the opening playoff event at The Barclays Aug. 20-26.
From 144, the field will be cut to 120 for the Deutsche Bank Championship, to 70 for the BMW Championship and then to the Tour Championship where the top 30 will compete.
“I don’t think anybody talks about it,” MacKenzie said. “There won’t be much until it really starts to happen. Maybe the last couple of weeks we’ll hear more about it.”
“You’ll hear more about it the next three weeks,” Glover said. “The guys that aren’t playing here or Akron that are on the bubble will have to play (more). Lack of attention might be because it’s the first year. It’s still the same game. There are just additional stats you have to keep an eye on.”
Glover said that he gets a text message every week telling him how many points he has. Glover said up until two or three weeks ago he never looked at it.
DUFFY LOVES RTO
Duffy Waldorf is making his ninth straight appearance at the RTO, and he’s played some of his best golf at Montreux.
Waldorf has seven top-25 finishes in eight attempts at Montreux, including a tie for fifth in 2001 and a tie for seventh in 2000. This season has been a tough one for Waldorf, who has made the cut just seven of 15 times. Waldorf has three top-25 finishes, the highest being a tie for 12th at the St. Jude Classic.
COURSE LOOKS GOOD
Glover played his first two rounds at Montreux since tying for 40th back in 2004.
“It (the course) is a little softer than I remember,” Glover said. “It’s been pretty hot here, so they’re watering to keep it (the grass) from burning. The course is in great shape.
“For me, the hotter the better. Where I live (South Carolina) you have the heat and then the humidity. I like it (the heat). I’d rather sweat than be cold.”
Teen phenom Tadd Fujikawa has played five or six rounds at Montreux over the past year.
“I like the course, it sets up nice to the eye,” Fujikawa said. “I really like the fairways and the bent grass, my favorite grass ever. The rough is pretty thick, and if you don’t put it in the fairway, you’re not going to be able to score out here.”
Daily admission is $20 at the gate and $15 online (www.renotahoeopen.com), and there is parking available at Wedge Parkway and Mt. Rose Highway for $5. From there, fans get free transportation to the course.
The first departure is at 7 a.m., and the last shuttle leaves the course at 7 p.m.
Contact Darrell Moody at email@example.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281