The only other ruling head champion in this week's field, the world's number 1, Brooks Koepka, offered a different perspective. "You look at the Patriots," he said, referring to the N.F.L. team. "They can go unbeaten and lose the first week of playoffs and they are gone."
The analogy seemed a piece. If the majors are the golf version of the Super Bowl – that is, the legacy-creating, career-making events – wouldn't that make the play-offs of the tour look like the Pro Bowl?
"You could argue that," Koepka said. But during the tour he went further, the spotlight reaching beyond the majors to events such as the Players Championship and the World Golf Championships. "The playoffs, they must be different," said Koepka. "I think they should have more weight, put more emphasis on it."
The value of the playoffs as they are currently being built, Koepka said, is that someone who previously struggled at the end of the season, go on to the Tour Championship and let his life go from one day to the others change.
Someone, for example, Ancer, 28, who entered this season with less than $ 2 million in career earnings and changed his second place in the first playoff event to a berth at East Lake.
Ancer who would collect the $ 15 million windfall would be a good story. But what if the winner is Thomas, whose career earnings are above $ 30 million? Or McIlroy, whose career income is approaching $ 50 million?
By creating an end-of-year grip to keep players interested, the Tour helps solve problems for the game's financial stakeholders – players and sponsors – but it may create less emotional investment for its fans.