It takes nine hours to fly from London to Chicago but if you time it right, you arrive here in Windy City in time to see the last couple of hours of the Fedex thing.
And as you watch, you continue to think that for all the tweaks, the hype, the carefully controlled PR, the Fedex Cup remains what it always was…an essentially incomprehensible, obscenely inflated competition that pulls in viewers the same way motorway crashes slow traffic to a crawl while we all crane to see who is dead on the other side of the central barrier.
The winner this year was Brandt Snedeker. Despite a name that seems an anagram, Snedeker comes across as a nice enough young bloke but is he worthy of an 11million dollar payday? Morally, no. No-one is. Not really.
I squirmed as US Tour hot-dog commissioner Tim Finchem tried to justify it all by saying, er, that, ahem, the Fedex had once again, mutter amongst yourselves, proved the best way to identify the year’s sort-of top player. Ahem, again.
Well, while Fedex continue to be enthusiastic to pump ridiculous amounts of money the way of golfers who already have truckloads of the stuff, Finchem has to maintain the illusion that his competition is more than just another silly TV game show. I was going to write reality show here but what’s real about this daft thing.
But what really amazed me was not that Snedeker got to throw 11 really big ones into his bag but that he already has won nearly $15 million on the US circuit anyway. No wonder these chaps usually lose any lingering sense of what life’s really about three years into their careers.
Seventeen of the players set to perform in the Ryder Cup this week played in the Fedex. As they begin to drift into Chicago the question is how much has this burst of golf cost them in terms of fatigue? The answer, probably, is quite a lot.
The hope, however, is that the Ryder Cup, with no big money at stake, will refresh and revive them. And also refresh and revive those of us who feel the Fedex is a really bad spot on the already acned face of the professional game. We’ll see.
PS: Like everybody apart from the players I can’t get into the locker-room here at Medinah but I know a man who has and what he has told me is interesting. Jose-Maria Olazabal has always said that Seve Ballesteros would be part of his Ryder Cup campaign and now I can tell you how. There are twelve golf bags waiting for the European team and on each one there is a six inch high silhouette of Seve doing his famous dance of joy on the 18th at St Andrews when he won The Open in 1984. Wherever a European player goes this week Seve will go with him. Brilliant!