"Match play a terrible idea!" PGA Tour winner comes down HARD on format change!

Does the Tour Championship staggered format need serious adjustment after PGA Tour star Viktor Hovland ran away with the FedEx Cup? 

PGA Tour winner Michael Kim has defended the Tour Championship's staggered scoring format as he believes it "makes it simple to understand".

Kim, who won the 2018 John Deere Classic by a record eight strokes, was sat on the couch watching the Tour Championship play out to determine this year's FedEx Cup champion. 

Viktor Hovland went on to see out a commanding five-stroke victory over Xander Schauffele on 27-under par.

The 25-year-old from Norway started the week at 8-under par and two strokes behind Scottie Scheffler in the staggered format. 

World No.1 Scheffler ended up finishing 16 strokes off the pace on 11-under par in T6. 

But if truth be told, the PGA Tour could have played any format out there at East Lake and chances are strong Hovland would have still walked away with the FedEx Cup. 

Hovland was 46-under par during the three-event FedEx Cup Playoffs this month. 

That was nine strokes better than next-best Schauffele, and 11 strokes clear of Rory McIlroy

Wyndham Clark ended up finishing in solo third place at the Tour Championship on 16-under par, with McIlroy a further two shots adrift on 14-under par. 

Hovland won $18m for his efforts. 

A large number of fans ranted on Twitter last night that the Tour Championship staggered scoring format needs to be seriously adjusted, as to avoid runaway victories like we saw with Hovland on Sunday night. 

However, since the staggered format has been in operation since 2019, two of the five Tour Championships have been decided by just one stroke.

The others have been decided by three, four and now five strokes. 


  • 2019 - Rory McIlroy 4 strokes
  • 2020 - Dustin Johnson 3 strokes
  • 2021 - Patrick Cantlay 1 stroke
  • 2022 - Rory McIlroy 1 stroke
  • 2023 - Viktor Hovland 5 strokes 

So does the PGA Tour really need to change the staggered format given two of the last three years saw very close finishes play out? 

As we say, Hovland was in a league of his own on the PGA Tour this month, and thoroughly deserved to be the victor (no pun intended). 

However, when you see someone like Jon Rahm end up finishing T18 at the Tour Championship - especially after the four-win season he has enjoyed on the PGA Tour in 2023 - do some things not quite add up when it comes to the Tour Championship? 

Rahm was one of a number of PGA Tour players earlier this week who admitted the Tour Championship format needs adjustment

Schauffele also agreed that "people are confused" and that "it's not a finished product".

A lot of golf fans on Sunday night have been calling for the next FedEx Cup champion to be decided via a match play contest, especially given the WGC Match Play has been given the boot (at least for now). 

But when it comes to the PGA Tour, they and their leading sponsors such as FedEx want all their leading stars around until the final day, so you would have to assume match play will never enter the fray at East Lake. 

Related: PGA Tour pro BLASTS famous PGA Tour venue - "Greens have more sand than grass on!"

PGA Tour player Kim leapt to the defence of the Tour Championship on Twitter last night. 

Kim narrowly missed out on the FedEx Cup Playoffs after finishing 79th in the standings. 

The American said he is hearing a lot of complaints from golf fans but very little solutions as to how to make the FedEx Cup race any better. 

Kim tweeted: 

"Lots of people complaining about the Tour Championship format but not seeing many solutions. Match play is a terrible idea. This staggered format at least makes it simple to understand. What format should the tour try?? If I hear a good one, I will personally call the Tour."

On receiving a flurry of match play suggestions from golf fans, Kim replied: 

"Lots of match play suggestions… if match play was so great, then the regular season Match Play tournament would never have gone away. It’s a bad on site viewing experience. Everyone following one group, can’t see anything, all the hospitality to see one or two groups go by, lots of downtime on TV, potential to have two lower ranked guys, if one guy gets to a big early lead, it’s boring, the match can end in 2.5 hrs. Match ends in hole 14, what’s the people who paid for hospitality on 17 gonna be doing?"

Earlier in the week Kim could not understand why McIlroy did not WD from the Tour Championship.

Does the Tour Championship need adjusting or is it perfectly fine with its staggered format?

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