With the regular season finale for the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs looming, some big names have work to do if they want into the top-30 and a spot in the playoffs.
The FedEx Cup is a series of professional golf tournaments held since 2007. The top 30 players on the PGA Tour’s regular-season leaderboard will qualify for the playoffs, which include four events and a $10 million prize purse.
This week in Greensboro, North Carolina, the most odd of golf seasons will come to a conclusion. The regular season, at least, will. Golf is a year-round sport, but the PGA Tour’s version will wrap up at the Wyndham Championship, with three playoff events to decide the season’s winner.
This week is crucial because it will decide the top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings. Only those players will be able to proceed to the playoffs and the Northern Trust event next week. Those who do not qualify will lose their PGA Tour card and will have to compete in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals or find alternative ways to compete in events in the 2021-22 season unless they qualify via another methods.
Only nine players have qualified for the FedEx Cup playoffs since its inception in 2007: Charley Hoffman, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Brandt Snedeker, Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Charles Howell III, Justin Rose, and Ryan Moore.
Hoffman, Mickelson, Watson, and Snedeker are all in the clear. The others have a lot of work ahead of them. Because Howell isn’t entered in the Wyndham, he won’t be able to compete for the first time.
This week, there are other factors at play. Outside of the top 70, those with a chance to qualify for the BMW Championship in two weeks may improve their prospects. Others will be aiming for top 30 qualifying and the Tour Championship at the conclusion of the season.
There are, of course, Ryder Cup points to be won. The Wyndham Championship, along with the Northern Trust and BMW Championship, are the last qualifying tournaments for the United States Ryder Cup squad.
So, after a “season” that included six major tournaments, including two US Opens and two Masters, and ran from early August to early September, here are a few of the players vying for a spot:
Adam Scott is ranked 121st in the FedEx Cup standings.
The 2013 Masters winner has had a difficult time. He is not a US citizen and has had to deal with quarantine problems every time he has visited his family. Just before the closure, Scott won the Genesis Invitational. Since then, nothing has been the same. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 last autumn and has battled to recover his form, falling from sixth in the world early last year to 43rd currently. Last week at the FedEx St. Jude Invitational, he tied for 36th, his 11th consecutive finish outside of the top ten. Scott can progress even if he doesn’t have a good finish this week, but he’ll put his destiny in the hands of others. Scott doesn’t have to worry about losing his Tour card no matter what happens. He is completely exempt.
Matt Kuchar has had a difficult year, particularly in major tournaments. Getty Images/Harry How
Matt Kuchar is currently ranked 124th in the FedEx Cup rankings.
Kuchar, who has been one of the game’s most consistent players for more than a decade, has hit a rough patch, missing four straight cuts, including last week’s Barracuda Championship. He failed to reach the weekend in any of the majors this year, as well as the Tour Championship. Kuchar, in fact, failed to make the cut in all three majors last year. (Due to COVID-19, the Open will not be held in 2020.) His chances are still alive, thanks to a third-place performance at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in March. His Tour status, like Scott’s, is assured.
Rickie Fowler is currently ranked 130th in the FedEx Cup standings.
Fowler has showed indications of bursting out after battling a slump for the last 18 months. He just hasn’t been able to push himself hard enough to get the huge achievement that would turn his year around. He lost five places in the FedEx Cup rankings after declining to participate in last week’s opposite-field Barracuda Championship. This week, there’s no reason for him to play it safe; he has to make the cut and make a move. In his pro career, which began in 2010, he has never missed the playoffs. He, too, has exempt Tour status, even if he doesn’t reach the playoffs.
Tommy Fleetwood is currently ranked 136th in the FedEx Cup rankings.
The Englishman, who was a key member of the European Ryder Cup squad in 2018, has had a quiet year. He has only played 15 PGA Tour tournaments, despite being rated 35th in the world, since he also plays in Europe. And he’s only had two top-10 finishes. To keep his PGA Tour season going, he’ll need at least that, if not more.
Justin Rose just won the FedEx Cup. He’s now in danger of missing the playoffs entirely. Charlie Riedel/AP Photo
Justin Rose is currently ranked 138th in the FedEx Cup rankings.
Three years ago, the Englishman won the FedEx Cup on the same day Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship, and he was ranked No. 1 in the world early in 2019. He has fallen to 48th in the world and has been struggling with his game for the last two years. Rose did manage to make the cut in the Masters, finishing eighth. He also came back to tie for eighth place in the PGA Championship. Since then, I’ve only finished in a tie for 20th place in five events. To keep his postseason run going, Rose needs a strong week. If he doesn’t, he’ll still be able to compete on Tour next season since he’s completely exempt.
Ryan Moore is currently ranked 142nd in the FedEx Cup rankings.
Moore, like Rose, will need a strong finish to keep his postseason run alive. This year, he missed seven cuts, didn’t participate in any majors (he was an alternate for The Open but declined when his name was called), and tied for 35th at the Players Championship.
This week, Will Zalatoris doesn’t have a choice: he has to win. Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Harry How
Will Zalatoris is currently ranked 26th in the FedEx Cup rankings.
Zalatoris is just a special temporary member of the PGA Tour, as shown by the asterisk. He is not qualified for the FedEx Cup playoffs since he is not a full member, despite the fact that his points would place him 26th in the standings. Last autumn, Zalatoris began to earn his way by entering a few events, doing well, and gaining unique temporary status, which allows him to take limitless sponsor exemptions. Due to the amount of points he has achieved, he will be a completely exempt member of the tour next season. Win this week and he’ll be in the playoffs, with a chance to win all of the money up for grabs in two big-money events plus the FedEx bonus money. A win immediately qualifies him for the PGA Tour.
- pga tour standings
- pgatour schedule
- who won pga last week