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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 News

Tiger Woods fires second-round 76, will miss Genesis Open cut

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Tiger Woods’ trip to Los Angeles is over sooner than he’d hoped. Woods fired a 5-over 76 during the second round of the Genesis Open to miss the presumed cut at Riviera by four strokes (the second round won’t be completed until Saturday morning due to darkness).

Hopes were high Woods would continue to build on a T-23 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, as the driving woes that plagued him at Torrey Pines followed him to the Riv, despite changing shafts in his TaylorMade M3.

RELATED: Tiger Woods WITB

Wayward off the tee, Woods made eight bogeys Friday, unable to grind out a decent score as he did with his opening-round 1-over 72. He was unable to rely on his putter the way did in this first round, three-putting back-to-back holes (No. 11 and 12). A stretch of three straight bogeys sunk Woods’ hopes of hanging around for the weekend.

(c/o PGATour.com)

We won’t have to wait long to see the Big Cat back in action, however, as Woods committed to next week’s Honda Classic at PGA National in Florida. Woods most recently put a peg in the ground at the course in 2014, where he ultimately withdrew due to back spasms.

The 79-time PGA Tour winner hasn’t teed it in back-to-back weeks since 2015, so while fans may not be encouraged by his play, at least he continues to be free from any issues with his surgically repaired back.

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Tiger Woods shoots an opening-round 72 (1-over) at the 2018 Genesis Open

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After hitting just 17 fairways all week at the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open, where he finished T23, Tiger Woods switched driver shafts and added 0.75 degrees of loft in his TaylorMade M3 driver ahead of the 2018 Genesis Open this week. He went from using a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70TX shaft, to a Matrix TP6HDe shaft — he used a TP7HDe shaft back in 2015.

So how did the switch work out for him at Riviera CC on Thursday?

Well, he hit driver 9 times during his round of 72 strokes; four went right — one of which got lost in a tree and he had to re-tee — one went left, and four found the fairway. He hit 8-of-14 fairways in total; no Fred Funk, but an improvement. Woods’ bigger issue on Thursday, actually, was that he hit only 7 greens in regulation, leaving himself a few tricky up-and-downs. Despite hitting only 38 percent of greens, Woods managed to make 5 birdies, and he continues displaying prowess on the greens (1.784 Strokes Gained Putting, and 82 feet worth of putts made).

He also showed some flashes of old Tiger with Arnie-esque follow through.

Of course, that means he missed the fairway way right, and he did go onto bogey the hole, but the shot made for some excitement on golf twitter, at least.

According to @RandallMellGC, Tiger described his round in a post-round interview: “I fought hard. I made a few simple, silly mistakes, bad shots here and there, missed on the wrong side, made a few birdies as well. 1-over’s not bad.”

Yea, that’s about right.

Tiger currently sits at T66, and six shots off the leader. Lots of golf to play, but he’ll likely be contending with the cutline come Friday afternoon. How do you think Tiger will finish this week at the 2018 Genesis Open?

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Custom Camerons, wedge stampings, a 6-hybrid, and Tiger wearing Tennis shoes?

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Yesterday, we brought you shots of Thomas Pieters’ iron stamping, Adam Scott’s new (shorter) wand, and more.

Today, we’ve got some more choice shots from the range at Riviera from Tuesday’s practice. Strap in for a sampling from a cornucopia of WITB shots and a helping of Tiger Woods (who we feature in two galleries). We also discussed his new driver shaft yesterday, so if you missed that piece, check it out.

On to the pictures.

First up, Wesley Bryan looks to be gaming an some Anthony Taranto artistry with his 54-degree Mack Daddy 4 wedge. Do work, indeed!

Ted Potter, Jr. won more than a million dollars at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week. But as the check hasn’t come yet, he hasn’t been able to buy Goo Gone to take the tape residue off the bottom of his putter.

A custom Cam for Rafa Cabrera Bello.

…and William McGirt.

#GrindGoals (Luke Donald’s 60-degree Mizuno T7)

Vijay Singh looks to have gotten his foot stuck in a bear trap, and yet he’s still practicing!

The most famous putter in golf, and Nike Vapor Advantage tennis shoes for Tiger?

Apparently, all the weight modification available on PXG 0311 irons was insufficient for Charl Schwartzel.

When your name scripting matches your sponsor’s script…

This is not the WITB of a 20-handicapper, rather Camilo Villegas may be the only Tour pro gaming a 6-hybrid.

So much is going on with Camilo Villegas’ irons…

You’ve seen custom stampings, but how about Bubba Watson’s custom shaft and custom shaft graphic?

When you’re the only PGA Tour professional to own a candy store, your wedge imagery reflects that fact.

The Big Cat browsing GolfWRX on mobile, no doubt…

If you’d like to dig deeper, we have two galleries of range photos from the Riv, plus 13 (!) WITB threads. Dig in!

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