FedEx Cup needs perking up This three-step plan should boost the season-ending dash to the title.

Posted: September 23, 2007

Now that the FedEx Cup is safely in Tiger Woods' hands, why not take a few minutes to contemplate how to make it better.

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Tweak the schedule. If PGA Tour officials don't want the marquee players like Woods and Phil Mickelson to skip one of the four playoff tournaments, they've got to find a way to spread out the schedule of those final tournaments.

Four weeks in a row is a slog, but what makes it tougher are the must-play events leading up to and after the playoffs. This year, in the 11-week stretch that begins with the British Open in July and ends after the Presidents Cup next week, the big names were expected to play eight weeks.

Woods is on record as saying if they don't do something, he might skip more than one playoff tournament next year.

2. Points volatility. By the time they reached the Tour Championship, only five guys in the field of 30 had a chance to win the FedEx Cup. That's not enough.

Find a way to reconfigure the points so that half the guys in the field can snatch the Cup out from under the nose of the favorite. And find a way so that guys can make bigger leaps in the standings with strong finishes.

3. Cold cash. Ten million bucks is a good round number, not to mention serious coin, but this whole retirement annuity thing is b-o-r-i-n-g.

What kind of pencil-neck actuary came up with that idea? I think Mickelson is on to something with his idea about rolling the money onto the 18th green in a wheelbarrow. Or maybe throw open the doors of a FedEx Cup truck full of money.

O'Hair's new caddie

It's over for Sean O'Hair and his caddie/father-in-law. But not in a bad way.

"I'm retired, effective immediately," Steve Lucas, 50, said last week. "I'm too old for this."

Lucas, who essentially put his insurance business, SDL Associates in Media, on hold to caddie for his son-in-law for most of the last three years, laid down the bag for the final time at the BMW Championship two weeks ago. Last week, Lucas was back in his office, looking to sneak out to play a round of his own at Concord Country Club.

The last time O'Hair and Lucas split, it was because things weren't clicking on the golf course. That separation only lasted a few months.

This time, the split had no awkward silences, no uneasy feelings. Now in his third season on the PGA Tour, O'Hair, 25, and Lucas both agree it's simply time.

"I said to him, 'You need to get somebody permanent, and I need to get back to my life,' " said Lucas. " 'But if you ever need me, you know where to find me.' "

O'Hair's new caddie, who joined him for this week's Turning Stone Resort Championship in Upstate New York, is Paul Tesori, a veteran looper (for Vijay Singh and Chris Couch) who played the PGA Tour for a year himself.

Lucas will caddie for O'Hair one final time, at the World Cup in China in November. In two weeks, Lucas will be O'Hair's pro-am partner at the Dunhill Links Championship, the European Tour's version of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Tap-ins

The 2009 U.S. Amateur has been moved from Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., to Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla. The reason is so Congressional can redo its greens and have sufficient grow-in before the club hosts the 2011 U.S. Open. . . . The Masters has agreed to offer invitations to the top 30 from the FedEx Cup points list, along with the top 30 from the PGA Tour money list. . . . Michelle Wie is now comfortably ensconced in a dorm at Stanford University, where she has begun her freshman year. Unfortunately, she is apparently not out from under the thumb of her overbearing parents, who have rented a house nearby.

Contact staff writer Joe Logan at 215-854-5604 or jlogan@phillynews.com.

Read his recent work at http://go.philly.com/joelogan.

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