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FedExCup update: Adam Scott bursts FedExCup, Presidents Cup bubbles

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FedExCup update: Adam Scott bursts FedExCup, Presidents Cup bubbles

    Written by Sean Martin @PGATOURSMartin

    Adam Scott spins approach to set up birdie at FedEx St. Jude Champ

    GERMANTOWN, Tenn. – Adam Scott has been at it for more than two decades. He admits that visiting the same venues and tournaments annually can sometimes lead to complacency. But having an objective gave him inspiration this week at the FedExCup St. Jude Championship.

    RELATED: Leaderboard | FedExCup standings

    Scott entered the first week of the FedExCup Playoffs at 77th in the standings, needing a solid finish just to advance to the next event.

    He got it, shooting four rounds of par or better to finish T5 at 11 under par. He jumped 32 spots in the FedExCup to No. 45, ensuring his first BMW start in two years.

    “It was really about putting my mind to (doing) something and getting it done,” Scott said. “I think that’s sometimes the hardest thing at this point in my career, … switching your mind on all the time. Floating around on autopilot sometimes … doesn’t get you very far, so I had to focus a little bit more.”

    This was Scott’s fourth top-10 in 18 starts this season, but first in a stroke-play event since The Genesis Invitational in February. It’s been a solid season – he’s missed just two cuts and posted top-15s at the year’s last two majors – but lacked the high finishes that rack up points.

    This was a well-timed performance, also. Scott was playing not only for his FedExCup fate this week. He also wanted to secure his status on the International Presidents Cup Team. The top eight in the team’s standings after next week’s BMW Championship will earn automatic spots on Trevor Immelman’s International Team that will face the U.S. at Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Club on Sept. 22-25.

    Scott arrived at TPC Southwind ranked eighth on the Internationals’ points list. While a Captain’s Pick would be a certainty should he not earn an automatic spot on the roster, Scott’s performance at TPC Southwind frees up another pick for Captain Trevor Immelman.

    “That is huge for us,” Immelman said about Scott earning his spot. “There’s no doubt about it. When I got this job, he was one of the guys that I had sort of earmarked that would be very important to be (at Quail Hollow).”

    The added flexibility is appreciated. Immelman has lots of options.

    Presidents Cup veterans like Marc Leishman, Jason Day, Adam Hadwin, Si Woo Kim, Anirban Lahiri, Jhonattan Vegas and Emiliano Grillo are outside the top eight, as are up-and-comers like Min Woo Lee, Ryan Fox, Taylor Pendrith and Christiaan Bezuidenhout and PGA TOUR winners such as Sebastian Munoz, Mackenzie Hughes, Lucas Herbert and Cam Davis.

    Scott led the field in Strokes Gained: Putting this week, gaining nearly 4 strokes in the final round alone. He salvaged an even-par round Saturday despite not playing well, then shot 66 on Sunday. He could’ve moved even farther up the FedExCup if not for a drive into the water on the 72nd hole, though he was able to salvage bogey.

    Immelman thinks his team’s veteran presence is trending in the right direction and close to earning his first PGA TOUR win since the 2020 Genesis Invitational, which fell right before the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “His swing seems to be in a good spot. The sound is right,” Immelman said. “I really think he has become a good putter over the last three years. When you match that together, I think he’s right there.”

    Immelman, who also is an announcer for CBS, enjoys spending time on the range at PGA TOUR events, scouting out the players whose shots he’ll call and potential team members. Scott has noticed.

    “He's been watching me grind away every week, the old dog out here, grinding me into the ground trying to make his team,” Scott says. He and Immelman have been friends since their amateur days, and Scott is a de facto Captain’s Assistant, qualified to give input on a variety of matters.

    It was a five-minute speech that Scott gave to his teammates as they drove to Royal Melbourne for their first practice rounds three years ago that helped the International Team take the lead going into Sunday.

    “It was so amazing, so heartfelt,” Immelman said. “It really meant a lot, particularly when you factor in that we had seven rookies on that team.”

    Scott did what he needed to do Sunday to help Immelman, and to advance in the FedExCup Playoffs.

    Friends since their junior golf days in Dallas. The past two PGA TOUR Rookies of the Year. Now Will Zalatoris and Scottie Scheffler are the top two players in the FedExCup standings.

    Scheffler has been leading since March but with points quadrupled in the Playoffs, Zalatoris was able to supplant Scheffler, who missed the cut in Memphis, atop the FedExCup.

    Zalatoris now holds a 125-point lead over Scheffler. Cameron Smith dropped a spot to third in the standings after his T13 at TPC Southwind and will round out the headlining group at the BMW Championship.

    Zalatoris’ win in FedEx St. Jude Championship came in his first career Playoffs start.

    NOTES: Sepp Straka, who lost a playoff to Zalatoris, moved to No. 8 in the FedExCup, ensuring his TOUR Championship debut. The Georgia alum won The Honda Classic earlier this season. … Wyndham Clark finished the week 70th in the FedExCup standings, earning the final spot in the second FedExCup Playoffs event, the BMW Championship. Clark played his final five holes in 4 over but finished three points ahead of No. 71 Anirban Lahiri, who missed the cut. Clark, who was 79th in the standings, moved up nine spots with his T28 finish. This will be his first BMW appearance since 2019. … Trey Mullinax, winner of this year’s Barbasol Championship, began the week at No. 70 in the standings but finished T5 to jump 30 spots in the standings.


    Here are the players who moved into the top 70 in the FedExCup standings to advance to the second FedExCup Playoffs event, the BMW Championship at Wilmington (Del.) Country Club:


    Lucas Glover (No. 121 to No. 34): Rocketed up the standings with a T3 finish, just his second top-3 on TOUR in the last five years (he also won last year’s John Deere Classic). “It's nice,” Glover said. “Kind of similar situation a couple years ago and had one-and-a-half good weeks and ended up in Atlanta. That was kind of in the back of my head.”

    Adam Scott (No. 77 to No. 45): Picked a good time to collect his best finish at TPC Southwind, topping his seventh-place finish here 15 years ago.

    Andrew Putnam (No. 87 to 47): T5 finish at TPC Southwind was his second top-10 of the season. Finished a career-best 33rd in the 2018 FedExCup and 34th a year later, but was outside the top 80 in the previous two seasons.

    Wyndham Clark (No. 79 to No. 70): Nabbed the final spot in the BMW field despite playing his final five holes in 4 over, ensuring his best FedExCup finish in at least three years.


    Anirban Lahiri (No. 63 to 71): PLAYERS runner-up gets bounced from the Playoffs after missing the cut in Memphis.

    John Huh (No. 67 to 73): Runner-up a week earlier at Wyndham withdrew from St. Jude after playing his first 27 holes in 7 over.

    Brendon Todd (No. 68 to 74): Fell 38 points short of advancing after a Sunday 75. He played his final seven holes in 6 over.

    Lanto Griffin (No. 69 to 77): He was not in the FedEx field after having back surgery earlier this year.

    Sean Martin manages PGATOUR.COM’s staff of writers as the Lead, Editorial. He covered all levels of competitive golf at Golfweek Magazine for seven years, including tournaments on four continents, before coming to the PGA TOUR in 2013. Follow Sean Martin on Twitter.

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