Since the PGA Tour changed it's season to start in October 2013 and run through this September, this time period now culminates in the FedEx Cup Playoffs and the biennial Ryder Cup. The idea is for these events to take center stage and for everyone to compete singularly for a true post-season. But there's this little thing called "Football" around the same time, so yeah... good luck with that.
But for those who don't watch football on Sundays, there will be golf as a viewing option. And if you still want to root for Georgia, then you'll be in luck. Here's the current breakdown of professional Bulldogs who chase a little white ball outdoors:
Name, Turned Pro, Wins, Top 10's, FedEx Standing, Ryder Cup Standing
Chris Kirk: 2007, 1, 3, 6, 13
Brendon Todd: 2007, 1, 7, 7, 12
Bubba Watson: 2001, 2, 7, 2, 1
Harris English: 2011, 1, 7, 12, 17
Brian Harman: 2009, 1, 6, 19, 21
Russell Henley: 2011, 1, 2, 43, 33
Erik Compton: 2001, 0, 3, 55, 20
Now a few things about qualifying for these events. The FedEx Cup Playoffs are four tournaments with progressively smaller fields (thus eliminating all but the hottest golfers) and eventually awards $10 Million to the Playoff winner (not necessarily the winner of the 4th and final playoff event - Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta). You earn points during the season based on how you performed in the events you played. Thus you need to get entry into events. And major tournaments and World Golf Championship events (WGC) count 15-20% more. So playing often and playing well will pay off. The 1st playoff event (Barclays) takes only the top 125. Barring injury, we have 7 Bulldogs making the field. The 2nd event (Deutche Bank) takes the top 100. So it's more exclusive. Oh, and playoff events award FIVE TIMES the points, so just get into the playoffs and do well in said playoffs and you will gets paid. The 3rd event (BMW) takes only the top 70 and has no weekend cut. Then the top 30 play for it all. And the cumulative point winner wins the FedEx cup and the 10 large. I expect we will have at least 3 in the Tour Championship, but if some of the lower-ranked Dawgs do well in the upcoming PGA and the playoff events, we could easily have 5/6/7. Bubba is a lock to make the Championship as long as he makes a few cuts. Kirk and Todd are essentially in the same position. Henley and Compton will start the playoffs, but need to make the cut each week to progress (unless they finish top 5, which let's you pass Go and collect $200).
The Ryder Cup pits Europe against the US with fields of 12 players each. They've been doing this a long time and play a home and home every two years, and playing this year at Gleneagles in Scotland in mid-September. They play teams (best ball and alternate shot) the first two days and play singles the last day. By contrast, the President's Cup is the US versus the rest of the world outside Europe. We still own the Presidents Cup, but we've been lax the last dozen years in the Ryder Cup (Europe holds it now), adn they have home field this year. But since we are indeed 'Murica, we want to win, and we all know you win with Dawgs on your team, not cats. Ryder Cup points are calculated similarly, but with a few distinct differences. It includes the 2013 majors (playing well in majors equates to playing well with pressure, and this is the measuring stick). It also includes the 2014 tour results, but with 2014 majors counting double points (opposite field events only count half). So to make the Ryder Cup, you need to play well in majors, and make sure you qualify for said majors.The top 9 players in the point standings automatically qualify for the team, and Captain Tom Watson gets three at-large picks (not a committee with Condi Rice... just Tom Watson). So looking at the data above, UGA is not nearly as well represented. Only Bubba is a lock. But Kirk, Todd and English are all lurking. Since this includes 2013 results, it is hard to make up ground unless you do really well in a major. So the PGA Championship at Valhalla (outside Louisville) in 2 weeks is where Dawgs need to do work.
With only about 5 weeks until Georgia takes to the gridiron, I know one's fancy turns away from our country-club Classic City Canine competitors. So this will stand as a primer, and I'll just give a few comments here and there with updates as the golf season winds down and the playoffs start. I look forward to shouting our results from the virtual mountaintop of DawgSports. And as always, feel free to comment or ask questions.