FedExCup history: Bubble busters
The FedExCup Playoffs features a progressive cut, with the field size reduced as the Playoffs moves through its four events. A total of 125 players make the Playoffs following the conclusion of the Wyndham Championship, the final event of the PGA TOUR season, but just 30 advance to the final Playoffs event, the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, with the FedExCup champion crowned at the conclusion of that event.
One of the interesting elements of the FedExCup Playoffs is the opportunity for players to "bust the bubble" and play their way into the next event after starting outside the cut line.
In the six-year history of the FedExCup, no player has made the TOUR Championship after starting the Wyndham Championship outside the Playoffs cut line. The furthest any player has gone since 2009 (new point structure) is Ernie Els in 2011. Els entered the Wyndham ranked 126th in points and went on to finish 67th.
Entering the 2009 Barclays, Heath Slocum ranked 124th in points. His victory at Liberty National vaulted him 121 spots to third and secured a spot at the TOUR Championship. That bubble-busting move is the largest in the six-year history of the Playoffs. Slocum and Justin Rose remain the only bubble busters who also won the tournaments they played (Rose at the 2011 BMW Championship).
Here's a historical look at those players who have busted the bubble at the Wyndham and the first three Playoffs events. Included is the player's FedExCup rank entering the event, his tournament finish, his rank after the event and his final FedExCup position that year.
Below is the list of players who entered the Wyndham Championship outside the cut line to make the Playoffs but managed to play their way into the playoffs with a high finish at Wyndham. Note: Cut line to make the Playoffs since 2009 has been the top 125 in points; cut line to make the Playoffs in 2007-2008 was top 144 in points.
Year Entering Wyndham Player Tourney finish After Wyndham Final FEC rank 2013 No players advanced 2012 128th Heath Slocum T-31 124th 124th 2011 130th Padraig Harrington T-47 124th 89th 127th William McGirt T-52 125th 83rd 126th Ernie Els T-30 118th 67th 2010 140th Scott Piercy T-8 125th 125th 2009 136th Jeff Maggert T-13 123rd 125th 133rd Kevin Stadler T-2 76th 95th 129th Chris Riley T-13 119th 103rd 128th Todd Hamilton T-24 121st 123rd 126th David Mathis T-17 118th 122nd 2008 177th J.J. Henry T-4 135th 92nd 166th Rich Beem 3 114th 111th 164th Martin Laird T-4 128th 67th 154th Lee Janzen T-15 144th 119th 153rd Justin Bolli T-15 141st 101st 2007 165th Jeff Overton T-2 109th 111th 162nd Shigeki Maruyama T-7 140th 140th 151st Anders Hansen T-11 137th 137th
Below is the list of players who entered The Barclays outside the cut line but managed to play their way into the next event, the Deutsche Bank Championship, with a high finish. Note: Cut line to make the Deutsche Bank Championship since 2009 has been the top 100 in points; cut line to make the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2007-2008 was top 120 in points.
Year Entering Barclays Player Tourney finish After Barclays Final FEC rank 2013 103rd Martin Kaymer T-50 90th 84th 110th Camilo Villegas T-54 100th 82nd 117th Erik Compton T-43 94th 99th 122nd Greg Chalmers T-37 93rd 97th 123rd Stuart Appleby T-41 96th 95th 2012 113th Jason Day T-24 88th 87th 108th David Hearn T-10 67th 68th 103rd Bob Estes T-10 62nd 58th 102nd Tommy Gainey T-38 91st 94th 101st Jonas Blixt T-46 97th 71st 106th Graham DeLaet T-5 44th 53rd 2011 125th William McGirt T-24 96th 83rd 124th Padraig Harrington T-13 80th 89th 118th Ernie Els T-32 99th 67th 114th Ian Poulter T-18 78th 87th 109th Camilo Villegas T-6 51st 33rd 106th Chris Stroud T-18 75th 61st 104th John Merrick T-43 98th 100th 103rd Bill Lunde T-32 85th 85th 2010 115th Andres Romero T-52 100th 69th 114th Troy Matteson T-36 88th 91st 112th Tiger Woods T-12 65th 42nd 108th J.P. Hayes T-27 76th 83rd 107th Ryuji Imada T-27 73rd 78th 102nd Kevin Streelman T-3 18th 25th 2009 125th Troy Matteson T-20 83rd 78th 124th Heath Slocum Winner 3rd 8th 108th Richard S. Johnson T-31 85th 91st 107th Fredrik Jacobson T-6 48th 57th 2008 144th Lee Janzen T-48 119th 119th 143rd Glen Day T-24 111th 116th 142nd Jeff Overton T-38 115th 99th 141st Justin Bolli T-48 116th 101st 139th Jesper Parnevik T-24 105th 89th 136th Frank Lickliter II 64 112th 97th 135th J.J. Henry T-55 110th 92nd 134th Michael Allen T-65 108th 90th 133rd Tim Herron T-24 99th 53rd 132nd Ryan Palmer T-62 106th 94th 131st Angel Cabrera T-19 93rd 65th 128th Martin Laird T-7 67th 67th 127th Jason Day T-31 96th 83rd 126th Tim Petrovic T-38 97th 82nd 122nd Richard S. Johnson T-68 95th 77th 2007 134th Rich Beem T-7 113th 110th 121st Doug LaBelle II T-41 120th 120th
Below is the list of players who entered the Deutsche Bank Championship outside the cut line but managed to play their way into the next event, the BMW Championship, with a high finish. Note: Cut line to make the BMW Championship since 2007 has been the top 70 in points.
Year Entering D-Bank Player Tourney finish After D-Bank Final FEC rank 2013 73rd Nicholas Thompson T-22 59th 60th 75th Kevin Stadler T-4 32nd 33rd 76th Marc Leishman T-16 58th 59th 77th Ian Poulter T-9 52nd 53rd 80th Brian Davis 8th 49th 47th 89th Brendan Steele T-20 69th 70th 91st Ernie Els T-20 70th 68th 2012 83rd Jeff Overton T-7 40th 44th 93rd Bryce Molder 9 45th 65th 72nd D.A. Points T-20 54th 63rd 78th Troy Matteson T-20 59th 45th 75th Matt Every T-35 63rd 67th 81st Chris Kirk T-35 66th 49th 71st Charl Schwartzel T-47 68th 61st 86th Charley Hoffman T-26 69th 69th 96th Dicky Pride T-20 70th 70th 2011 72nd Andres Romero T-31 59th 66th 73rd Chad Campbell T-21 58th 59th 75th Chris Stroud T-42 70th 61st 81st Blake Adams T-10 57th 64th 87th Chez Reavie 2 9th 10th 88th Johnson Wagner T-25 67th 70th 91st Geoff Ogilvy T-25 69th 24th 99th Ernie Els T-16 68th 67th 2010 100th Andres Romero T-11 68th 69th 92nd Tom Gillis T-5 48th 43rd 86th Vijay Singh T-11 63rd 57th 81st Jason Dufner T-18 65th 65th 2009 93rd Marc Leishman T-15 67th 20th 87th Stephen Ames T-23 63rd 55th 82nd Jeff Overton T-23 61st 67th 81st Jason Bohn T-32 69th 68th 75th Woody Austin T-36 68th 65th 74th Bryce Molder T-36 66th 64th 72nd Bubba Watson T-32 59th 53rd 71st Sergio Garcia 26 55th 39th 2008 99th Tim Herron T-5 48th 53rd 93rd Angel Cabrera T-15 70th 65th 92nd Ben Crane T-10 57th 59th 79th Heath Slocum T-15 56th 61st 78th Johnson Wagner T-15 55th 60th 77th Charley Hoffman T-33 66th 68th 75th Tommy Armour II T-82 69th 62nd 74th Fredrik Jacobson T-67 65th 44th 73rd Aaron Baddeley T-73 64th 43rd 72nd Eric Axley T-82 63rd 63rd 2007 No player advanced
Below is the list of players who entered the BMW Championship outside the cut line but managed to play their way into the final Playoffs event, the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, with a high finish. Note: Cut line to make the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in since 2007 has been the top 30 in points.
Year Entering BMW Player Tourney finish After BMW Final FEC rank 2013 34th Nick Watney 2nd 12th 15th
54th Luke Donald T4 29th 28th
2012 31st Robert Garrigus T-4 20th 23rd 35th Ryan Moore T-10 28th 11th 2011 69th Geoff Ogilvy 3 24th 24th 55th John Senden 2 9th 13th 34th Justin Rose Winner 3rd 5th 2010 58th Ryan Moore T-3 26th 21st 52nd K.J. Choi T-3 23rd 15th 41st Kevin Na T-3 20th 26th 33rd Camilo Villegas T-11 25th 20th 2009 67th Marc Leishman T-2 16th 20th 32nd Luke Donald T-10 28th 30th 2008 67th Dudley Hart 2 14th 12th 35th D.J. Trahan T-5 25th 24th 2007 32nd Stewart Cink T-7 24th 22nd 33rd Tim Clark T-5 27th 21st 34th Camilo Villegas T-7 28th 24th