Bubble talk: Top 125 the key focus on busy week
August 13, 2014
- Jonathan Bird is just outside the top 125 and shared third-place in his last TOUR start. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
The PGA TOUR Season reaches its conclusion this week at the Wyndham Championship but there is still much to play for.
For some, it's a better spot in the FedExCup Playoffs and a chance, over the course of the next month, to compete for golf's richest prize.
For others, it's a battle to get into the top 125 to gain, not just a spot in the Playoffs, but TOUR status for the 2014-15 campaign.
Others still are battling to earn, or keep spots between 200th and 126th in the FedExCup standings, which would net them positions in the Web.com Tour Finals.
The first group contains players like Patrick Reed (No. 9 in the FedExCup), Webb Simpson (No. 18), Bill Haas (No. 35) and Brandt Snedeker (No. 69) -- early-season favorites and past champions who are looking to find winning form ahead of the Playoffs.
While those four will be among the competitors most likely to grab early headlines, the weekend will revolve around those other groups.
Projections suggest that there are just three spots in the 125-man Playoffs that could be gained this week. Nicholas Thompson, Jhonattan Vegas and Paul Casey are currently ranked 123, 124 and 125 respectively and all three are playing this week.
Behind them, 44 of the next 50 in the FedExCup ranks are also teeing it up at Sedgefield. It's a group that features major champions, TOUR winners and up-and-coming players.
Among the notables just outside the 125-man cut line are No. 127 Charlie Beljan, whose status from his 2012 victory is up after this season and No. 132 Jonathan Byrd, a five-time PGA TOUR winner. Past major champs Ben Curtis (No. 131), Mike Weir (No. 134) and Trevor Immelman (No. 141) are each just a top-10 finish away from a potential tee time at The Barclays.
In the last seven years, just 18 competitors have climbed from outside the cut line into the Playoffs at the Wyndham Championship. Only one player -- Heath Slocum in 2012 -- has made the move in either of the last two seasons.
Down the line are a number of competitors looking for spots inside the top 200 to earn berths in the Web.com Tour Finals. That group contains, among others, No. 205 Cameron Beckman, No. 210 Matt Bettencourt and No. 244 Arjun Atwal, who won the 2010 event here as a Monday Qualifier to regain his TOUR card.
There is no shortage of storylines with all of the movement that could occur this week. You'll be able to track all the movement up and down the ranks with our Projected FedExCup Standings once the Wyndham Championship gets under way.
Inside the PGA TOUR
The FedExCup Bubble