We won’t be testing the algorithms and paroxysms and quadralytic equations supporting the new scoring system that will Sunday reward the winner of the FedEx Cup with a big fat check.
These are $15 million calculations, and it hurts my head to think about ’em.
To the fore comes Ryan Herrington, who on behalf of Golfworld magazine looked deeply into the question, “Can anyone really win the FedEx Cup?”
The new formula, which no one can explain, is intended to increase the number among the 30 FedEx finalists who could claim the FedEx Cup by winning the Tour Championship, right on down to No. 30. Herrington concludes that it does bump the number – maybe, probably, marginally – compared to the previous system, which no one could explain.
It means Justin Thomas, the FedEx points leader, started the opening round Thursday at 10 under par. The rest of the field filled in behind with incrementally smaller scores relative to par, down to the bottom guys at even par.
The only player who might even attempt to begin to explain the math behind the reasoning behind the new setup – Bryson DeChambeau – is the guy who shows up most prominently in two main “what if” scenarios scrutinized by Herrington.
Last year, DeChambeau was No. 1 in FedEx points heading to the Tour Championship, built mostly on back-to-back victories in two of the three 2,000-point FedEx events leading to the Tour Championship.
DeChambeau finished 19th in the Tour Championship and was not much in the conversation for his third-place FedEx finish. Justin Rose was a $10 million afterthought even though his T4 in the Tour Championship was enough to earn him the FedEx Cup. All we remember is that Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship (and could climb no higher than second in the FedEx).
Also lost in the noise last year was Billy Horschel, our favorite money player and the 2015 FedEx champion, who finished alone in second at the Tour Championship to jump all the way to fifth (from ninth) in the final Cup standings.
In this year’s scenario, DeChambeau is 30th on the points list after one regular-season win, and started Thursday all of those 10 shots behind. He could, theoretically, if a lot of weird shit happens, win the FedEx Cup.
He didn’t hurt himself Thursday with a 2-under round and stands eight strokes behind the leaders. He’s DeChambeau. Weird shit happens.