By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
A year ago, Justin Rose chipped in for birdie on the penultimate hole of the BMW Championship and held off John Senden by two shots to win the BMW Championship. The victory moved Rose from 34th to third in the FedExCup standings and punched his ticket to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
Those outside the top 30 in the standings entering this week are hoping for a similar fate. Six players moved outside the bubble to inside it in the first week of the FedExCup Playoffs, and nine turned the trick last week.
Who, if anyone, will move from outside the top 30 and advance to East Lake in two weeks? Here’s a closer look at five players who I think could bust this week’s bubble. Fill out the form below and let us know which players from outside the top 30 you think will advance.
Bud Cauley (No. 33): For the second straight year, Cauley is playing his best golf when the pressure has been on. Last season, Cauley finished third at the Frys.com Open and 15th at the McGladrey Classic to lock up a card and avoid q-school. This year, Cauley has three finishes in the top 4 in his last six starts. One of those was a tie for 10th at The Barclays. Only four rookies have reached the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola since the inception of the FedExCup in 2007, but if Cauley can putt the way he did at Bethpage, I think he’ll advance. Click here for FedExCup Tracker
Seung-Yul Noh (No. 38): In Noh’s last 10 events, he’s finished outside the top 30 just twice (and one of those was a 31st-place finish). He tied for 13th last week in Boston, 21st at the PGA Championship and a season-best fourth at the AT&T National in July. Noh is also long off the tee, averaging just over 300 yards, and ranks in the top 25 in greens in regulation. He’s also pretty good with the flat stick (60th in strokes gained-putting). I think Noh not only advances, I think he flirts with the top of the leaderboard at Crooked Stick.
William McGirt (No. 39): By his own admission, McGirt has been watching the FedExCup standings since the week after the U.S. Open. He responded, too, finishing 13th at the Travelers Championship before adding a fifth-place finish in Mississippi and a runner-up in Canada. In his first two Playoffs events, McGirt finished 10th and 26th, respectively. The latter moved him up seven spots, so he’ll probably need something slightly better to make it to East Lake. But if McGirt can roll it the way he has each of the last two weeks, he’ll have a good chance.
Jeff Overton (No. 40): The Indiana native could either collapse under the pressure of trying to perform in front of a hometown audience, or thrive in it. I’m going with the latter, especially with Crooked Stick being a big ballpark and Overton being a big hitter. He seemed to have found something last week in Boston, where he tied for seventh.
Vijay Singh (No. 49): Given his position, Singh is going to need a very good week to climb into the top 30. But the 49-year-old has also done a nice job of managing his schedule with a couple of weeks off in what’s been a very busy stretch of golf. Singh contended at the PGA Championship before fading on the weekend, and he’s done the same for the most part in each of his last two starts -- which is certainly a concern. But the big Fijian played his way to East Lake last year with a tie for third at The Barclays after failing to reach the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola each of the previous two years, and I could see him doing it again this week at Crooked Stick.
Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012
4:30 p.m. ET: Hunter Mahan
5 p.m. ET: Rickie Fowler
5:15 p.m. ET: Dicky Pride
Wednesday, Sept 5
Following a.m. Pro-Am: Rory McIlroy
Following a.m. Pro-Am: Tiger Woods
Following a.m. Pro-Am: Bo Van Pelt
TBD: Justin Rose
Got a question for Jeff Overton? Send us your questions for Direct Connect — PGATOUR.COM’s video franchise that gets you closer to a PGA TOUR pro each week — and host John Swantek might use it when he chats with Overton, who sits 40th in the FedExCup standings.
Overton, an Indiana native, finished tied for seventh in the Deutsche Bank Championship to earn a spot in this week's BMW Championship at Crooked Stick. Overton, an Indiana native, had this event marked on his calendar all season and had badly wanted to qualify for Week 3 of the FedExCup Playoffs.
If you want to ask Overton a question, now is your opportunity. Just fill out the form below.
Also, we are now taking video submissions of questions. If you would like to send a video of you asking your question, please email the video to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep video to 20 seconds or less, shoot landscape style, and include your name and where you’re from in the text of your email.
Direct Connect video is posted each Wednesday afternoon on PGATOUR.COM, so please check back then for the Overton interview.
Jeff Overton's early 64 matched Tiger Woods for the best morning round at TPC Boston.
NORTON, Mass. -- To say Jeff Overton was frustrated might have been an understatement. In fact, he had seen three different putting gurus in the last five weeks.
Thursday's late afternoon session with James Sieckmann paid off handsomely, though, as Overton reeled off five straight birdies on the way to a 64 that left him tied for the lead at the Deutsche Bank Championship with none other than Tiger Woods.
Overton, who used just 26 putts in the first round, said he and Sieckmann concentrated on his alignment.
"I think it's key if you can get lined up and find your mark, and I opened my stance up a little bit," he said. "Who knows, hopefully it's fixed and I can come back out tomorrow and do the same. It was finally good to see a few go in and just make the putts inside 10 feet really."
Overton two-putted the second hole from 15 feet for his first birdie, added a 2-footer at No. 9 and then compensated for his lone bogey at No. 10 by draining putts of 5, 6, 19, 7 and 23 feet to get to 6 under. The final birdie at the 18th hole was a tap-in from 6 inches, courtesy of "one of the best chips I ever hit in my life," he said.
Sieckmann also helped Overton to an attitude adjustment of sorts when he told him to remember how good he is every time he picked a ball out of the cup. To build on that advice, Overton spent Thursday night concentrating on the round he wanted to have on Friday.
A week ago, he missed the cut at The Barclays, which was played on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park, the site of two U.S. Opens. Overton felt he played well overall but got caught up mentally in the difficulty of the course and it became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts.
"And you're like, a couple over ... is probably going to be all right, but hopefully you don't shoot that,” Overton explained. “So I felt like I almost programmed my mind to shoot that.
"So … I was like, let's just get ourselves where we feel comfortable where we know we can shoot something under par (at TPC Boston). I went down the line of holes and played them out in my brain, which is something that you should always do and maybe something that I haven't done as much recently as I need to."
Overton has a lot at stake this week. He came to TPC Boston ranked 83rd in the FedExCup but only the top 70 will advance to the BMW Championship, which is being played this year at Crooked Stick in Overton's home state of Indiana.
The last time a PGA TOUR event was held in Indiana was in 1991 when John Daly won the PGA on the same course -- and Overton was 8.
"It's a big motivation," the Indiana grad said. "... I've played Crooked Stick a bunch, and in college we played it, and every year I seem like I always pop up there a few times a year because it's an awesome place, spent a little time there the last couple months, and I'm constantly getting a lot of great text messages and people say, hey, we're really excited to see you at Crooked Stick, just the whole Hoosier nation.
"It's just going to be fun if I can get into the event. ... It would just mean a whole lot if I could get into that tournament."
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Jeff Overton aced the par-3 12th hole on Saturday on the way to a 67.
"First hole in one in a tourney ever! What a sweet shot. Too bad i didnt win a car."
Actually, too bad the ace didn’t come three holes later where Wyndham is giving away “vacations for life” for a hole-in-one at No. 16. Derek Lamely received that bonus a year ago for his ace in the second round.
Overton is 5 under for the tournament and currently projected 57th in the FedExCup.
The pairings have been unveiled for this week’s PGA TOUR Matchups Game on Facebook. You can check out the Matchups for the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard below, or on the PGA TOUR’s Facebook page.
Participants have until 6 a.m. ET Thursday to make their picks. Log on to the PGA TOUR Facebook page and click the Matchups link to make your picks for this week, or to sign up.
|Phil Mickelson vs. Sergio Garcia||Mickelson won THE PLAYERS in 2007; Garcia won it the next year|
|Bill Haas vs. Jim Furyk||Furyk won the FedExCup in 2010; Haas won it the next year|
|J.B. Holmes vs. Jeff Overton||It's the Kentucky Wildcats (Holmes) vs. Indiana Hoosiers|
|Justin Rose vs. Hunter Mahan||The two most recent winners of a World Golf Championship|
|Bubba Watson vs. Graeme McDowell||Tavistock participants will do battle twice this week in Orlando|
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
After making the turn at Trump International in 1 over, Jeff Overton was just trying hang on -- and hang in.
Turns out, he did both on a windy Thursday morning in Puerto Rico. Overton played the front nine, his second of the day, in 5 under, on the way to a 68 that left him one stroke behind the early leader, Ben Curtis.
Overton showed a flair for the dramatic on his final hole, the par-4 ninth, where he holed a 7-iron from 146 yards for eagle.
"(The) wind was howling off the right, and I started 25 yards right of the hole, and I hit a draw and I thinned it just a little bit which kept the ball down, otherwise I think the ball would have over-hooked and went in the bunker," Overton reported. "I really was just hoping it was going to be somewhat close, and the thing came down and just one‑hopper in the hole.
"I didn't know it went in, because you couldn't see it. Once I find out it was in, it was pretty exciting."
Overton, who was born and still lives in Indiana, wasn't as excited by Wednesday's official parting of the ways between Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.
"I understand both sides," Overton said. "It's one of those things, it's like Tiger Woods with the game of golf. I mean, people are like, holy cow, how does he make $100,000,000 a few years ago? Well, if you seen him every time you come out to the golf course, look at the crowds when he's not there, and look at the crowds when he's there, and last week, I don't think I've seen that many people out on a course like that.
"You can't put a price tag on greatness, and when you have perhaps the greatest quarterback of all time, and this injury could keep him from going down as that. It's hard to justify not paying him the money that you know he probably deserves, but at the same time, you know, you're trying to rebuild a program and you have no idea if the guy is going to be able to produce like he did.
"... We wish him the best and I just hope that the injury doesn't affect the rest of his career, because he's an awesome player and it ... would be great to see him go off and do well somewhere else."
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Jeff Overton has withdrawn from the Waste Management Phoenix Open with a lingering injury to his left wrist.
Overton had opened with a solid 67 on Thursday. But things headed south early during his second round when he made five bogeys on the front nine to turn in 40.
Overton made another bogey on the 11th hole and his only birdie at No. 17. He hooked his tee shot in the water on the 18th hole and did not finish the round. He walking in with his group and told tournament officials he was withdrawing.
“Tweaked my wrist yesterday on the firm turf,” Overton said in a text to his publicist. “It bothered me the last eight holes yesterday and I hoped it would be better today. Tried to tough it out as long as I could but kept getting sharp shooting pains as I’d start my downswing.”