Race to FedExCup Playoffs takes center stage at 3M Open
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Written by Kevin Prise @PGATOURKevin
Greyson Sigg sticks tee shot and birdies at 3M Open
BLAINE, Minn. – Greyson Sigg expects to compete in the FedExCup Playoffs. It goes back to the level of self-belief that led him to a sparkling 2020-21 season on the Korn Ferry Tour, recording two wins among 19 top-25 finishes en route to Rookie of the Year honors.
He also knows that Playoffs spots are not given, but earned, and that his attitude had perhaps limited his potential across his rookie PGA TOUR season. He arrived at this week’s 3M Open at No. 126 on the FedExCup standings, one of the proverbial bubble boys into the final three events of the regular season.
Sigg’s play this week displays a desire to play his way off the bubble. He carded a third-round, 7-under 64 at TPC Twin Cities – across a mid-round weather delay of 6 hours, 38 minutes – to move into a tie for sixth into Sunday in Minnesota. That finish would project him to No. 105 in the FedExCup standings, essentially securing a Playoffs berth.
“Just trying to not get down on yourself,” said Sigg of the challenges of his rookie TOUR season, which included a string of five consecutive missed cuts in May and June. “It’s a frustrating game. It’s a hard game … working on my attitude a little bit, and I feel like that has improved a lot this week as well.”
The 3M Open marks the third-to-last event of the PGA TOUR regular season, with the top-125 players on the FedExCup upon the conclusion of the Wyndham Championship to earn Playoffs berths and fully exempt status on TOUR in 2022-23.
Several players in the mix into Sunday at TPC Twin Cities are aiming to play their way into the Playoffs, including 54-hole leader Scott Piercy. The four-time TOUR winner entered the week at No. 138 in the FedExCup standings, having recorded five top-25s to this point in the season but still searching for his first top-10.
Things look to be coming together at the right time for Piercy, who entered Saturday with a three-shot lead and carded 5-under 66 to extend that margin to four.
“It means a lot,” said Piercy of being in this position. “I’ve had my struggles, and to prove and show that I can still do it is a big confidence boost.”
Some chasers are looking to make the Playoffs for the first time, like England’s Callum Tarren. After earning his first TOUR card through the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Finals, less than a month after the birth of his first child, Tarren didn’t make his first cut until The Honda Classic in February.
The 31-year-old has built his confidence through results. He has made 10 cuts in his last 15 starts, including a pair of top-six finishes, and played in Saturday’s final threesome at TPC Twin Cities. He stands T13 into the final round, having entered the week at No. 144 on the FedExCup and projected to move to No. 134.
“It would be incredible,” said Tarren of the prospect of making the Playoffs. “That was one of my goals from the start of the season, and after eight events, missing eight cuts in a row didn’t look very promising. I always knew my game’s good enough.
“I don’t look at (the numbers) on the golf course, because in one hole you can go from being inside the number to being outside the number. I think a good, solid week this week will take care of things.”
Others like Doug Ghim are striving for a repeat Playoffs appearance. The University of Texas alum earned his first TOUR card in dramatic fashion via the 2019 Korn Ferry Tour Finals, draining a crucial 8-foot par on the 72nd hole followed by a Tiger-esque fist pump.
Ghim, 26, missed the Playoffs in his rookie TOUR season at No. 184 on the FedExCup, but eligibility was extended for another season due to COVID-19. He took advantage with a No. 83 finish on last year’s FedExCup, and he began this week at No. 117 on the standings.
Ghim carded a third-round 65 at TPC Twin Cities to move into a tie for third, which projects him to No. 84 on the FedExCup.
“It's been a frustrating one a lot, because I feel like a lot of the improvements I made as a player haven't really been reflected obviously in the FedExCup and statistically and whatnot,” said Ghim of his season so far. “But I know where my game is trending and I've been knocking on the door and just maybe one bad round or a couple of bad holes away and just been trying to be really patient.
“It's a pretty good time of year to start finding the groove and starting to put my name in the hat coming down the stretch. I know that this is what I was capable of all year, but it's fun to finally be in stride at this time of year.”
Every shot counts in the race to the FedExCup. This time of year, the scarcity of opportunity just magnifies that knowledge.
“It would mean a lot,” said Sigg of making the Playoffs. “I don’t really expect anything else. I expect a lot of myself, and I look forward to doing that in the next couple of weeks.”
Kevin Prise is an associate editor for PGATOUR.COM. He is on a lifelong quest to break 80 on a course that exceeds 6,000 yards and to see the Buffalo Bills win a Super Bowl. Follow Kevin Prise on Twitter.