The PGA Tour stays in Las Vegas this week for the CJ Cup, one of the tour’s “specialty” events that happen each fall. While these events are attractive for most casual golf fans, they are actually unfair.
Yes, the CJ Cup will boast a world-class field that includes a number of the world’s best players. In this week’s field, fans can see Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama and Rory McIlroy, among others. This event is a win for that purpose.
But, if you’re a fan of the “little guy”, events such as these offer an unfair competitive advantage. Here’s why.
The 78-player event this week does two things that directly benefit any player in the tournament. One, a player has to be invited in order to compete. This automatically excludes a large number of players who likely would have entered.
Secondly, there is no cut at this week’s event. That means 78 players start and, barring a WD, 78 players will finish. All will collect a paycheck and all will collect FedEx Cup points.
This is simply a case of the rich get richer.
Imagine being a player who ranks somewhere between 75 and 150 in the FedEx Cup standings. You take a look at this week’s event and see some guys with whom you are battling to keep your tour card. These players are playing but you were not invited. How would that make you feel?
Sure, it doesn’t matter for Koepka, Spieth, McIlroy or some of the better players. They know they will be in the playoffs and they know they will make plenty of money on tour this season.
But for some of the lower-tier players, they don’t even get a chance to tee it up this week. So when the end of the regular season comes and such players are trying to secure their cards for next season, they make look back at an event like the CJ Cup as one that cost them their card.
So enjoy the golf this weekend. But don’t forget about the little guy who is not invited to play this week in Vegas.