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Many of us are not just golf fans, but sports fans. That means in addition to treasuring the finer points of the royal and ancient game—playing by the rules, obey- ing etiquette, showing integrity on the golf course—we also treasure the finer points of other sports, as well.


ake college football; we adhere to codes in that sport, too. Like maniacally tailgating for hours before kickoff, painting our face in our alma mater’s colors and weeping in the stands when we took the under with our local bookmaker and our

defense surrenders six first-half touchdowns. Ah, fall Saturdays. Most of us know the much-maligned Bowl Championship

Series—or BCS—that runs college football’s championship bowls since 1998 is coming to an end after this season. For some, who think the sometimes-faulty system doesn’t need a “C” between the “B” and the “S”, this is joyous news. I’ve got even a better idea: Why not take the oft-criticized

PGA Tour FedExCup playoffs, and replace it with the BCS? After all, controversy is what sells tickets and puts eyeballs in

front of the TV. At least that’s what I was just saying to my good friend, WWE chairman Vince McMahon. Besides, the FedExCup playoffs make your eyeballs bleed.

Without The Golf Channel’s Steve Sands working the grease board at the Tour Championship like the late, great Tim Russert on election night, readjusting scores and projections of FedEx- Cup winners, we’d have no idea what we were watching. But the BCS provides clarity. It may be faulty, sketchy clarity,

but it’s clarity. For example, never mind that in 2004 an unbeaten Auburn

team never had a chance to play for the national championship; or in 2007 an unbeaten Boise State team never had a chance to play for the national championship; or that in 2011 LSU beat Alabama in the regular season, but then had to play them again in the national championship game for some reason, and lost. We can bring that kind of confusion and anger to golf. Yes,

we can. Let’s take the 2013 golf season, for example. Instead of a baf-

fling FedExCup points system where Tiger Woods and Henrik Stenson, neither of whom won a major, vied for the top spot in the playoffs, we can have computer analysis whittle down our top two for our BCS Golf Match Play Championship.


We input the following data for the top six candidates for the

big match based on their 2013 regular seasons: ADAM SCOTT: Won the Masters and the Barclays; top-5 finishes at British Open and PGA Championship. BCS Com- puter Positives: Bonus computer points for being a lady-killing charmer. BCS Computer Negatives: Caddie Steve Williams is on a short list of the most disliked figures in golf, almost causing the computer to short-circuit. JUSTIN ROSE: Won the U.S. Open; 2nd at Bay Hill and the

Barclays. BCS Computer Positives: The computer likes that he’s one of the nicest guys in golf. BCS Computer Negatives: Rose has ties to Sir Nick Faldo, giving the computer great pause. PHIL MICKELSON: Won the British Open with stirring

final-round 66; won at Phoenix, 2nd at Merion’s U.S. Open. BCS Computer Positives: Lefty is beloved by fans, which even gives computer the warm fuzzies when he hugs his kids and lovely wife. BCS Computer Negatives: If he earns the top BCS spot, may skip event to attend NFL game in luxury suite. JASON DUFNER: Won the PGA Championship; tied-4th at

U.S. Open. BCS Computer Positives: His now-famous rump- slap of his beautiful bride, Amanda, after winning at Oak Hill scores with the computer. After all, who doesn’t like a frisky couple? BCS Computer Negatives: The computer worries that the notoriously dry Dufner may have the same personality as a computer.

HENRIK STENSON: Won the Deutsche Bank; 2nd at

Muirfield’s Open; 3rd at PGA Championship. BCS Computer Positives: The computer likes Stenson’s metronomic ball striking, almost computer-like in its efficiency. BCS Computer Negatives: The computer still has trouble shaking the image of Stenson in his boxer briefs at Doral in 2009, playing a water ball nearly naked.

TIGER WOODS: Won five times on Tour this year, more

than anybody. BCS Computer Positives: He’s Tiger. Even the computer wears red on Sundays. BCS Computer Negatives: The computer worries that at major championships now, a shaken Tiger has the nerve of Greg Norman at the 1996 Masters. OK, let’s input all that data to find our first-ever BCS

Computer-Processed Golf Championship Match. (Cue computer noise, lots of ticking and data-processing

sounds.) And our first BCS Computer-Processed Golf Championship

Match is . . .

HENRIK STENSON V. ADAM SCOTT. Oh, can you hear the disappointment from the crowd? The

boos? The rage? The angry calls into sports-talk radio shows? Everybody wanted Tiger vs. Scott; or Tiger vs. Phil; or Scott vs. Phil or . . . Calm down, everyone. It’s the BCS running golf. Nobody said it would work.

BRIAN MURPHY hosts the KNBR morning show “Murph and Mac” and was the San Francisco Chronicle’s golf writer from 2001-2004.

= Adam Scott Justin Rose 72 / NCGA.ORG / FALL 2013 Phil Mickelson Jason Dufner Henrik Stenson Tiger Woods



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