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April 13 2011

8:48 PM

FedExCup Update: Valero Texas Open

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Martin Laird has an opportunity to overtake FedExCup leader Mark Wilson this week.

FEDEXCUP: Complete Standings | Weekly Leaders | More FedExCup notes

By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM Editorial Coordinator There aren’t many, if any, players on TOUR playing better than Martin Laird. In his nine 2011 starts, he’s made eight cuts and has one other finish outside the top 25 – and that wasn’t even a stroke play event. His four starts since the calendar turned to March have resulted in finishes of T10, T5, 1st and a T20 at Augusta. He’s moved from 32nd to fourth in the FedExCup standings in the process. With a top-3 finish this week in Texas, Laird would overtake FedExCup leader Mark Wilson, who has held the top position for the last 10 weeks. Bob Hope Classic champion Jhonattan Vegas is currently 12th in the standings and is the only other player in the Valero Texas Open field with a chance of overtaking Wilson. MASTERFUL MOVERS: Masters winner Charl Schwartzel was the week’s biggest mover, jumping 67 spots from 77th to No. 10. The top 10 saw a couple other changes with Luke Donald moving from 13th to 7th and Laird moving up a spot to No. 4, pushing Nick Watney to 5th. Adam Scott and Jason Day, who both tied for second at Augusta National, each moved up more than 40 spots and into the top 30 – Scott to No. 29 and Day to No. 24. Scott won the Valero Texas Open last year and, based on his strong Sunday at Augusta, looks like he will continue to climb the standings this week. NOTABLE DROPS: With two new faces moving into the top 10, D.A. Points and Jhonattan Vegas have bowed out. Points went from 10th to 13th and Vegas from 9th to 12th after both missed the cut last week at Augusta. Just two players dropped outside the coveted top 125 positions last week. Arjun Atwal (124th to 126th) and Michael Connell (125th to 127th) as Robert Karlsson and Angel Cabrera each moved inside the 125-man cut line. MORE ON LAST WEEK’S WINNER: TOUR rookie Charl Schwartzel notched his first-career PGA TOUR victory when he won the Masters, but the 26-year-old South African is no stranger to winning golf tournaments. He’d won seven European Tour and Sunshine Tour events since 2004, including the last two Joburg Opens in his native South Africa. In addition to moving to No. 10 in the FedExCup standings, Schwartzel jumped to No. 11 in the Official World Golf Ranking and regained the top spot in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai.
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