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Will PGA Tour change new MDF policy?

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The PGA Tour rolled out a new and quite controversial cut policy for the 2008 golf season. It is known by the acronym, MDF, which stands for made the cut, did not finish.

It seems that no one, with the exception of possibly the Tour higher echelon types and television executives, actually liked this policy. The new policy makes it possible for a player to make the cut but not be able to play on Saturday and Sunday. In fact at the Sony Open 87 players actually made the official cut, but 17 were not allowed to play the weekend. This is silly and when I first heard of it, I thought, the PGA Tour policy board is sure going to discuss this.

The 16 player Tour Advisory Board met this week and offered an alternative to the new, MDF policy. The board will reportedly seek that the players want to return to the traditional 36-hole cut of the top 70 and ties. This could possibly result in more than 78 players making the cut. In many instances, it will. In that case, a 54 hole cut would be placed into effect to further reduce the number to 70. At least the guy who goes low on Saturday, still has a fighting chance for Sunday.

One often wonders if the Tour works in unison with the players before rolling out these new rules. You would have to think that any player would be unhappy to get last place money for making the cut without an opportunity to move up higher for the weekend’s prize money. With the high quality field that exists week in and week out on the PGA Tour, one would also have to think that even a guy who struggled all week, grinded every round, could possibly shoot a career low that last day or two, thus allowing said player more Fed Ex Cup points and a bigger pay day. In fact, the great players on the PGA tour do this all too often. Every guy out there expects to go low.

So what was the impetus behind this new cut policy? Typically, the field at each PGA Tour event sets the cut at the top 70 scores including ties. This has been standard operating procedure since 1969 on tour. Wow. The previous policy was almost 40 years old. Part of the problem could be that there is much more parity in the field in this day and age, lots of great golf is being played, and therefore many more players are making the cut line than in the past. The cut policy was changed because of more than 70 players were making the cut, and at times upwards of 92 players were making the cut thus causing the final two rounds to be played in threesomes off both nines. This led to many rounds played lasting well past 5 hours. I am sure that increased slow play pains the tv execs and program scheduling as well.

Why not just make the cut to everyone within 10 shots of Tiger Woods after Friday’s round? Tiger doesn’t play every week, so that won’t work. What if Tiger or Phil gets MDF’ed?  Well, it could happen. According to ESPN, Golf World’s Senior Editor John Antonini makes a valid point, “Imagine the outcry if Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson make the cut on the number at the Buick Invitational but are among 18 players eliminated from playing the weekend. The ticket holders, television viewers, and most importantly, the tournament sponsors won’t be pleased.” Does the MDF policy cure slow play on tour? Did anyone watch how many practice swings JB Holmes took a few weeks ago? Ouch. I had time to leave the room and make popcorn and didn’t miss a shot. Most importantly, why not actually enforce slow play by adding penalty strokes or with monetary fines that hit the players in the pocketbook? Heck, subtract some Fed Ex points for slow play. Obviously, none of the players will like these options either, and who can blame them? Have a sudden death playoff on Friday afternoon to determine who gets in for a chance at the weekend prize. That would surely make for great television ratings. Really, the options are limitless here but everyone needs to be on board.

It will be interesting to see what comes of all this discussion. Stay tuned.
 

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  1. Andy Brown

    Feb 20, 2008 at 11:34 am

    One thing is for sure that the Tour officials cannot use the excuse of slow play to implement this absurd cut policy. You are in no way solving the problem( that is, if slow play is high up on your list of the problem areas in golf), you are just passing the buck and at the same time making leeway for the slow goers…that does remind me of one thing I noticed during an European Tour event, Niclas Fasth is actually one of the slower players on the tour(I know irrelevant, but I did have to make that point somewhere).

    The Made the Cut Did not Finish ruling is hard to digest simply because of the fact that what it essentially says is that a player makes the cut but does not make the cut. I would rather have a simpler ruling in place which just brings down the cut line. What else can you do if you do not want more than a certain number in the field to play. It is not as if someone from that point onwards has gone on to win the tournament. At least that is what the PGA Tour stats over the last decade or so seem to suggest

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Tour Mash: Rahm wins in Dubai, Cook sizzles to victory

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Two more points races reached their end this weekend. The LPGA season culminated in Florida with the Race to the CME Globe, while the European Tour concluded its Race to Dubai in, where else? Dubai! The PGA Tour played its final event until the new year, in Georgia, while the Ladies European Tour played its Sanya Open in China. Before American Thanksgiving revelry and remembrance set in, it’s time for one more tour mash.

LPGA Tour: A day of twos ends in a win for Ariya

Ariya Jutanugarn birdied her final two holes to win the CME Tour Championship. She was given the opportunity to win in regulation when Lexi Thompson pushed a 2-foot putt for par at the last. Although Thompson did not win the year’s final event, she captured 2 titles of her own: Vare Trophy for low scoring average and Race To CME Globe, the season’s points race.

How Ariya Jutanugarn tasted victory

The power game has arrived on the LPGA Tour, in case you missed it. Golfers such as Lexi, Ariya and Sung Hyun Park obliterate the orb, leaving little yardage to the green. When her game is firing, Ariya Jutanugarn is unstoppable. After bogey at the first hole on Sunday, the young golfer from Thailand etched six birdies into the final 17 holes, for a second-consecutive 67. Her birdie at the last came from 23 feet, an amazing putt to hole with victory on the line. Down it went, and up went the smile of a champion.

How the rest came up just shy of a win

With eerie similarity, Lexi Thompson’s card was the flip side of Ariya’s. Thompson made six birdies over her first 17 holes, but the hiccough at the last, her only bogey on the day, dropped her to 14-under par and opened the door for Jutanugarn. Thompson was on absolute fire on Sunday, hitting all 14 fairways and using the putter 28 times. Ariya, Kim Kaufman, Michelle Wie and Suzann Pettersen stood tied atop at 10-under, heading into round 4. Pettersen’s 72, Kaufman’s 71 and Wie’s 70 were simply not enough to keep pace with those coming from behind on Sunday. Ariya, however, was up to the challenge.

European Tour: Rahm wins in Dubai and Fleetwood breathes again

For a time, it seemed as though Justin Rose would win his third consecutive event in Europe and would squeeze past Fleetwood for the season points title. The former Englishman was in the midst of the greatest scoring run of his career, while the later Englishman seemed to have little petrol left in the tank. Then the back nine on Sunday happened, and everything changed.

How Jon Rahm won the DP World Tour

Shane Lowry made 10 birdies on Sunday, but he had one bogey. Rahm had half as many birdies and zero bogeys, and that last number made the difference. The young Basque played a stellar 132 over the closing 36 holes, eclipsed only by Lowry’s 131. Rahm fearlessly navigated his way around the Jumeirah Estates course, eeking out a one-shot win over Lowry and also hard-charging Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

How the others went home trophy-less

We all want to know about Rose. four birdies on the outward 9-holes staked him to a lead, and the greatest season comeback on a major tour was nearly written. With only three bogeys in his first 63 holes, Rose proceeded to bogey 12, 14 and 16, with only a birdie at the last to bring him to 17-under. He ended up two behind Rahm, and in second place in the Race to Dubai points race. It was a glorious campaign for Rose, and cements him as world player to watch in 2018. The Englishman tied for fourth with Sergio Garcia, Dean Burmeister and Dylan Fritelli, both of South Africa, on 17-under par.

PGA Tour: Cook collects First Tour win in Georgia

Fall is a time for young aspirants to make a mark on the PGA Tour. Austin Cook followed the script, birdieing 3-of-his-final-4 holes to stretch a single-shot lead into a four-stroke triumph. J.J. Spaun, a Web.Com tour graduate in 2017, was in the mix for the second consecutive week. He played well down the stretch, and earned a runner-up finish.

How Cook caught fire

Austin Cook played a veteran front-nine, with one bogey and one birdie. None of the chasers caught him, so the Arkansas alum continued to manage his game in the fairways-greens style. On the inward half, Cook took charge, with birdies at 15, 17 and 18, to move well in front of the runner-up. With the precision of a surgeon, Cook took apart the Sea Island course in impressive fashion. After his second-round 62, many expected him to have one weak round on the weekend, but 66-67 showed the his mettle.

How the others flamed out

Spaun really didn’t flame out, not like last week, when he caught the double-bogey train. A proven winner on other tours, Spaun should win in 2018. His game was solid, mixing in more birdies than bogeys, and his second-place finish was well-earned. Brian Gay might have been more comfortable than any other golfer this week, but he was just as erratic. Case in point: back nine. From holes 13 to 18, Gay made one birdie, two eagles, two pars and one double. Still, his numbers were low enough to secure solo third, one stroke behind Spaun and two in front of the fourth-place finishers.

Ladies European Tour: Boutier sizzles on back nine for win

Celine Boutier imagined a top-10 or top-5 when the third day dawned at Yalong Bay, in China. After bogeys on holes 4 and 5, she needed to gather herself in order to preserve her standing. From this day forward, “gather herself” in the dictionary will forever show a picture of Celine Boutier. Her six-birdie finish vaulted her past all challengers, to her first European Tour victory.

How Boutier bloomed

The recent Duke University graduate posted three rounds in the 60s, the only competitor to achieve that distinction at the Sanya Open. The Frenchwoman didn’t make a bogey until the 15th hole of her second round, but she was stuck in neutral from that hole through the 9th hole on Sunday, making only pars and bogeys. Something clicked at the turn, and Boutier regained the confidence that had produced 10 birdies during the tournament’s first half.

How the others gave chase

Solar Lee was in good standing on Sunday’s outward nine. She bounced back from an opening bogey with three birdies through the 9th, and held the top spot on the leader board at 7-under. Lee reached 9-under through 13, but made bogey at 14 to drop to 8-under. Then came the blossoming of Boutier, and Lee had to be satisfied with the runner-up spot. One spot behind Lee was Valdis Thora Jonsdottir, Iceland’s reigning professional golfer, at 7-under.

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Wednesday’s Photos from The 2017 RSM Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from The 2017 RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club — the Seaside course plays as a par 70 measuring 7,005 yards — in St. Simons Island, Georgia.

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Headlined by last week’s OHL Classic champion Patton Kizzire, and 2015 RSM Champion Kevin Kisner, this week’s field is filled with notable names including Ricky Barnes, Zac Blair, Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Harris English, Tommy Gainey, Bill Haas, Beau Hossler, Zach Johnson, Smylie Kaufman, Matt Kuchar, Davis Love III, Graeme McDowell, Ollie Schniederjans, Brandt Snedeker, Hudson Swafford, Bubba Watson and others.

In last year’s RSM Classic, Mackenzie Hughes won in a five-man playoff to secure his first PGA Tour victory. He’s back in the field this year to defend his title.

Check out out photos from Sea Island G.C. below!

Wednesday’s Galleries

 

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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Tuesday’s Photos from the 2017 RSM Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from The 2017 RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club — the Seaside course plays as a par 70 measuring 7,005 yards — in St. Simons Island, Georgia.

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Headlined by last week’s OHL Classic champion Patton Kizzire, and 2015 RSM Champion Kevin Kisner, this week’s field is filled with notable names including Ricky Barnes, Zac Blair, Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Harris English, Tommy Gainey, Bill Haas, Beau Hossler, Zach Johnson, Smylie Kaufman, Matt Kuchar, Davis Love III, Graeme McDowell, Ollie Schniederjans, Brandt Snedeker, Hudson Swafford, Bubba Watson and others.

In last year’s RSM Classic, Mackenzie Hughes won in a five-man playoff to secure his first PGA Tour victory. He’s back in the field this year to defend his title.

Check out out photos from Sea Island G.C. below!

Tuesday’s Galleries

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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