By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. -- Brian Davis has missed the cut in his last three events in the FedExCup Playoffs.
The Englishman appears ready to reverse that trend after firing a bogey-free 63 on Friday that left him tied for the lead at the Deutsche Bank Championship. It was his best score in 27 rounds at TPC Boston.
The round of 8 under that left Davis tied with Phil Mickelson also had significant FedExCup implications. He started the week at No. 80 in the standings 10 spots away from the number (70) that qualifies for the BMW Championship in two weeks.
But he's now projected to move to fourth in the standings, with the calculations assuming he wins for the first time in his career. At the very least, Davis has given himself a shot to advance to Chicago for the first time in two years -- and possibly make his TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola debut.
"The FedEx(Cup) is great drama," Davis said. "For us guys a lot of volatility. You know you have to play well. I missed a couple of shots last week, you can make some big jumps, and get points in the Playoffs. Coming today, I played great.
"I know what I've got to do not only to advance to next week, but obviously if you can have high finishes you're going to make huge gains. I'm glad I played well and put myself in a good position."
BUBBLE BOY: Tim Clark came in ranked No. 70 but the South African projects to drop to No. 83 after his first-round 73. The player now projected 70th is also on a downward trend -- Sang-Moon Bae projects to fall 13 spots after opening with a 74.
MOVING IN: Nine players, led by Davis, are currently projected to crack the top 70 who would move on to the BMW Championship in two weeks. ... Ernie Els has only missed the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola once in the FedExCup era. He took a tumble when he missed the cut last week but is now projected to move from 91st to 66th in the standings. ... Kevin Stadler led after the first round last week but followed that 64 with three rounds in the 70s and ended up tying for 43rd. He came to TPC Boston ranked 75th as a result but another opening 64 has him one shot off the lead and projected to move 58 spots to No. 17. ... Nicholas Thompson, who is playing in the Deutsche Bank Championship for just the second time in his career and in just his fifth Playoffs event overall, has moved 20 spots to 73rd in the projections. ... Ian Poulter, who has never made it to the TOUR Championship, fired a 66 and has moved from 77th to 56th in the projections. ... Stewart Cink, who is bidding to make the BMW Championship for the first time in three years, is projected to move 25 spots after opening with a 66. ... K.J. Choi's first-round 67 has propelled him from 74th in the projected standings to 61st. ... Bob Estes rode his 66 in the first round up 24 spots in the projections as he attempts to make the BMW Championship for the first time in his career. ... Jerry Kelly, who missed the cut at The Barclays, is on a more positive roll this week after shooting 66 in the first round that moved him from 87th to 65th in the projections.
MOVING OUT: In addition to Clark, who came in on the bubble, eight other players are now on the outside looking in. ... One is a major champion in Angel Cabera, who is tied for 80th at TPC Boston after opening with a 72 and projected to drop 13 spots to 72nd. ... Also dropping 13 spots are Michael Thompson, who shot even par and is now projected 71st, and Ryan Palmer, who shot 2 over and now clocks in at 73rd in the projections. ... Martin Laird's 74 has him projected 12 spots lower at No. 76 while David Lingmerth, who shot 75, remains one spot behind Laird in the projections. ... Kyle Stanley and Bryce Molder dropped 12 spots to Nos. 78 and 80 with rounds of even par while Cameron Tringale fell from 69th to 81st in the projections when he shot 73.