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March 1 2011

9:24 PM

FedExCup Update: The Honda Classic

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Chris Stroud finished fourth last week in Mexico, allowing him to surge up the FedExCup standings.
MORE FEDEXCUP: Complete standings | Weekly Leaders As the wild west fades into the TOUR’s rear view mirror for now, the players shift time zones to Florida where they will be wandering into the “Bear Trap.” PGA National, the TOUR’s toughest non-major track in 2010, greets the field at The Honda Classic. This tough challenge comes two months into the season where players are jockeying for position in the season-long race for the FedExCup. BEST NEW ARRIVAL: Last week’s winners, Luke Donald and Johnson Wagner, debuted in this week’s FedExCup standings at Nos. 9 and 31 respectively. Donald won the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship after missing the cut in his first start of the year. Wagner, after a pair of missed cuts, won the Mayakoba Golf Classic in his third 2011 start. BIGGEST MOVERS: A solo fourth place finish at the Mayakoba Golf Classic moved Chris Stroud up 74 spots from 188th to 114th in the FedExCup standings. 2010 Nationwide Tour graduate Bobby Gates and David Toms each made 40-plus-spot jumps after strong showings in Mexico. Gates moved up 48 spots from 186th to 138th while David Toms went from 149th to 106th after last week’s action. Robert Karlsson, however, was the second-biggest mover, moving up 52 spots from 184th to 132nd in the FedExCup standings. NOTABLE DROPS: Last year’s Nationwide Tour Player of the Year, Jamie Lovemark, dropped out of the top 200 in the FedExCup standings after last week’s events. Lovemark, who has missed three cuts and withdrawn once in his five starts, has 11 FedExCup points courtesy a T58 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. Jeff Maggert (133rd to 154th), Jason Gore (135th to 156th) and Trevor Immelman (138th to 160th) were among the golfers falling further away from the coveted 125th position in the standings. Speaking of that bubble, here’s an all too early look. Sean O’Hair jumped up to 124th after his T33 at the Accenture, while Tag Ridings to 125th. Each of the aforementioned players will be in the field this week at The Honda Classic. MORE ON LAST WEEK’S WINNERS: Donald debuted in ninth place in the FedExCup standings with his vicory at the Accenture Match Play Championship. A victory this week could vault him to No. 2 in the standings – a big boost compared to where he was last year. Donald entered the 2010 PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup at No. 22 in the standings, but climbed to No. 3 by the end of the run on the strength of two second-place finishes. Johnson Wagner, who won in Mexico, hasn’t made the Playoffs since 2008, when he finished 60th. While his victory (and 250 FedExCup Points) don’t guarantee him a spot in the Playoffs, only one winner who made more than 15 TOUR starts has ever failed to make the top 125.
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