Bubble: Five to watch at The Greenbrier ClassicJuly 03, 2012
Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM
With the FedExCup Playoffs just around the corner, PGATOUR.COM will take a look each week at a group of players who are on the bubble (outside the top 100) for the 125 available spots at the Playoff-opening Barclays from Aug. 23-26. Click here for complete and up-to-date FedExCup standings.
With just seven weeks (nine events) remaining before the FedExCup Playoffs get under way, that trio will be competing for some of the top positions in the four-event sprint to golf's richest prize.
Down the rankings, the battle for spots in the 125-man Playoff field heats up. This week's field includes 40 of the 50 players in the hottest spots on the FedExCup bubble (those ranked between Nos. 101 and 150).
More than half of this week's field (85 of 156 competitors) are currently ranked outside the top 100 in the FedExCup standings. Six others are eligible for the Playoffs but have yet to record a FedExCup point in the 2012 season.
Trevor Immelman Current FedExCup rank: 113th
Projected change with a win: +84 | Top 10: +19 | Top 25: +13
Immelman opened with a 64 to take the first-round lead a year ago as he looked to end a top-10 drought dating back to the start of the '09 season. A third-round 73 cost him that chance, but Immelman still managed a tie for 14th. He ended his drought last year with two fall series top 10s but is still searching for one in the Regular Season. Immelman's best 2012 finish is a tie for 11th on another tough track at Bay Hill.
Gary Woodland Current FedExCup rank: 126th
Projected change with a win: +93 | Top 10: +18 | Top 25: +8
Woodland has struggled in the encore to his 2011 breakout campaign that featured his maiden victory and six top 10s en route to a 17th-place final FedExCup standings. In 2012, he has just two top 25s and no top 10s in 15 starts. The bomber returns to The Old White TPC, where if not for Sunday putting woes (he made just one putt outside eight feet in the final round), he'd be defending a title.
Chris Couch Current FedExCup rank: 155th
Projected change with a win: +113 | Top 10: +19 | Top 25: +11
It's tough to get a good gauge of a player's ability on a course after just two years but Chris Couch has been as solid as anyone at The Old White TPC. In eight rounds, Couch has seven in the 60s and one at even-par 70. Couch has qualified for the Playoffs and made it to the Deutsche Bank Championship the last two years but finds himself well outside the Playoff picture with just seven weeks left in the Regular Season.
Scott Stallings Current FedExCup rank: 158th
Projected change with a win: +115 | Top 10: +21 | Top 25: +12
Both previous champions are in tough spots (2010 champ Stuart Appleby is 156th in the FedExCup standings). Stallings dipped as low as 162nd in the FedExCup before a T25 in neighboring Ohio at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. He'll look to regain some of last year's magic to move back into the Playoffs picture.
John Daly Current FedExCup rank: 176th
Projected change with a win: +126 | Top 10: +29 | Top 25: +21
When we last saw this two-time major champ, he was shooting a 64 to slide into the top 20 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Daly has never qualified for the Playoffs and has only played in five events this season, but he's made it to the weekend in four of those starts to keep himself alive in his bid to make the Playoffs. Daly competed in the inaugural Greenbrier Classic posting three rounds in the 60s before a closing 76 dropped him to 77th.
Below are five players who could shake up the bubble and make significant changes to their Playoffs plans this week at The Greenbrier. Beside each player's image is his FedExCup rank and how many spots he projects to climb with a victory, top-10 or top-25 finish.