Billy Horschel won the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup.

Last Tuesday evening this question was discussed on the Back 9 Report with Carlos Torres and Fred Altvater taking slightly different sides of the argument.

Billy Horschel at 27 years old became the youngest winner in FedEx Cup history and won over $13 million in three weeks. Do you think he would trade it for a Green Jacket or Claret Jug right now?

The rhetoric sounds good, but the reality is that the $10 million FedEx Cup will keep his new baby in formula and diapers, plus cover his tuition at Harvard, Yale or Princeton in 18 years.

The amount of money available on the PGA Tour these days is absolutely phenomenal. A top-15 finish at Bay Hill or the Memorial will put over $100,000 in the bank account.

Hogan, Palmer, Nicklaus, and Woods did and do not worry about the money. Palmer and Nicklaus did not have huge endorsement deals when they started out. They had to win.

Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus needed to win major championships.

They, like Woods, wanted to be ranked among the Jones’, Hogans’ and Sneads’ of the golf world.

Woods entered the PGA Tour with a $40 million Nike contract, but that didn’t damper his desire to win 14 majors and 79 titles.

Nelson, Hogan and Snead had to win just to make a living in the early days on tour. Anything below a 10th place finish didn’t pay enough to make gas money to get to the next tournament.

Does too much money in the FedEx Cup ruin a promising career and prevent major wins?

Padraig Harrington said in an interview with David Feherty that one of the worst things for a golfer’s career it to win a major.

A sense of security can come over the player and he won’t have the same desire to win another, plus higher expectations can place too much pressure on the player, as he is expected to win more majors to validate the first.

Here is an interesting statistic. The FedEx Cup has been contested for the past eight years and only one FedEx Cup champion has won a major championship after winning the $10 million.

Tiger Woods won the 2008 U.S. Open after winning the 2007 FedEx Cup, and that was his last major win.

Vijay Singh won the 1998 and 2004 PGA Championships plus the 2000 Masters prior to winning the FedEx Cup. Jim Furyk, won his major, the 2003 U.S. Open, prior to winning the 2010 FedEx Cup.

Tiger Woods is the only FedEx Cup champion to win a major championship.

Neither Singh nor Furyk has won another PGA Tour title since winning the FedEx Cup. Furyk has had some great years and contended in majors, but has not won.

Other past winners of the FedEx Cup, Bill Haas (2011), Brandt Snedeker (2012), Henrik Stenson (2013), and Horschel this year have ZERO major titles among them.

Haas has won the 2012 Northern Trust at Riviera and 2013 AT&T National since his FedEx Cup bonanza.

Snedeker has struggled with injury, but did win the AT&T at Pebble and the RBC Canadian in 2013 after winning the FedEx Cup in 2012.

Horschel had one win at New Orleans 2012 entering this year’s FedEx playoffs and time will tell if the financial security that comes with winning the #10 million will prevent him from winning Majors.

Major championship wins are what gets you in the Hall of Fame. FedEx Cup wins are not on the criteria list for induction into the World Golf of Fame, YET!

Wins are why you should be teeing it up every week, but let’s be real, this is their job. Some guys like their job more than others who just put in their time and then go fishing or hang out with the family.

Gary Player said Arnold Palmer enjoyed golf much more than he or Jack Nicklaus. Arnold lived for the competition, to hit the perfect golf shot and show off for adoring golf fans.

For Player and Nicklaus it was their job.

The financial security and notoriety that goes along with winning the FedEx Cup puts it firmly in the category of winning a major championship in a player’s mind.

It becomes easier to take a day off of practice. Play less events and the need to win is not as great.

Been there done that mentality.

Some players will see the FedEx Cup as their one shining moment of glory, others look at it as just a step on the road to winning major championships.

The majors have history.

Jones, Hogan, Snead, Nelson, Palmer and Nicklaus didn’t win too many FedEx Cups.

Current players can’t be compared and put themselves in the elite company of the greats of the game unless they win majors and etch their names on the trophies that have been passed down through time.

The bottom line is that every professional golfer is trying to win the most amount of money to provide for his family’s financial security.

No, winning the FedEx Cup is not the same as winning a major championship, but for most players it will suffice.

 

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President Obama was refused golfing privileges in New York over the Labor Day weekend.

Mike Cullity reported in the Global Golf Post, that President Obama tried to play golf at some very exclusive private clubs around the New York area over Labor Day weekend, but was turned away.

Trump National, Winged Foot and Willow Ridge all said thanks but no thanks to the president’s advance team when they attempted to find a place for the President to play over the holiday weekend.

The clubs did not want to shut down their facilities to accommodate the president and deny their membership playing privileges so the leader of the free world could get in a few whacks.

We talked last week about Obama’s poor timing of going to play golf immediately after addressing the media about the cruel murder of James Foley by the ISIL.

In an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, Obama admitted he should have anticipated the optics of playing golf immediately after denouncing the beheading.

I am sure the golf industry appreciates President Obama’s efforts to support golf and help showcase the game as a great way to relax and ease the stresses of a high pressure job, but he might want to consider what the average America taxpayer thinks about his hobby.

Trump National is one of the private clubs that denied the President access and it was reported in the Washington Times Der Donald went on twitter to announce,

Donald Trump offered President Obama a lifetime membership if he resigns.

“If Obama resigns from office NOW, thereby doing a great service to the country—I will give him free lifetime golf at any one of my clubs.”

The tweet was well received in the twitter universe and received 13,500 retweets.

Being the President is a 24/7 high stress pressure situation, but he is the one that wanted the job, not once but twice.

He may want to consider what the public perception is of extracurricular activities.

Marie Antionette, never one to adhere to a strict Public Relations policy said, “Let them eat cake.” We all know what happened to her.

 

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Youth Continues to Dominate on the LPGA Tour

September 15, 2014

Women’s golf has identified yet another teenage superstar in South Korea’s Hyo Joo Kim. She turned professional in October, 2012, at the age of 17, after a very successful amateur career. She immediately signed a sponsorship agreement with Lotte larger than the previous record deal with Se Ri Pak, and didn’t take long to provide [...]

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Happy 85th Birthday to the “King” Arnold Palmer

September 10, 2014

Arnold Palmer will celebrate his 85th birthday today at his home in Latrobe, Pennsylvania very near to where he was born and raised. Palmer brought professional golf onto television sets across the world and drew working class America to the game of golf. A cigarette dangling from his lips, a tug at the waist of [...]

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Keegan Bradley’s Withdrawal at BMW Championship Proves Costly

September 8, 2014

Keegan Bradley has been making headlines recently on the PGA Tour. His withdrawal from the BMW Championship on Friday left him out of the Tour Championship, which will cost him a ton of money. He also garnered headlines when he failed to earn an automatic spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup Team and Tom Watson [...]

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Rory McIlroy Takes Torch From Tiger Woods

August 15, 2014

Twenty-five-year-old Rory McIlroy didn’t just accept the torch from Tiger Woods, he yanked it out of his fist. His win at the PGA Championship last week was McIlory’s second major championship win of 2014 and the fourth of his short career. He has won four of the last 11 majors contested and the last two [...]

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LPGA Tour Rookie Mirim Lee Wins Inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic in Michigan

August 11, 2014

Inbee Park took a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Meijer LPGA Classic on Sunday, but her one-under-par 69 was not enough to hold off LPGA Tour rookie Mirim Lee. Lee from South Korea said in her post-round interview, “Inbee Park is like hero in Korea, so I just long to (be) her, [...]

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LPGA Tour Rookie Giulia Molinaro Has Traveled the World to Play Golf

August 10, 2014

On Friday LPGA Tour rookie Giulia Molinaro started her second round with four birdies over her first five holes. She missed some birdie opportunities in her final 13 holes at the Blythefield Country Club, but posted a four-under par 67. She finds herself in a tie for 10th with Shanshan Feng, Gerina Pillar and Azahara [...]

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Rickie Fowler Satisfied With Results Thus Far in 2014

July 31, 2014

Rickie Fowler said on Wednesday that he is pleased with his progress this season and his three top-five finishes in the major championships. Fowler sought the help of famed swing guru Butch Harmon late last year and has adopted swing changes that make him more consistent under pressure. He played twice in the new fall [...]

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Reasons To Watch the Ricoh Women’s British Open This Week

July 9, 2014

The best women golfers from around the world will descend on Royal Birkdale this week for the Ricoh Women’s British Open. The first Women’s British Open was held in 1976 at Fulford Golf Club, but in the early years of the tournament the women found it difficult to get access to the best courses in [...]

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