LAST CALL: It's 125-or-die time at the Wyndham Championship
August 14, 2017
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
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The top 125 players in the FedExCup Standings will advance to the FedExCup Playoffs. For everyone else, their 2016-17 PGA TOUR season will end.
No surprise that players hovering around that 125 cutline make up the bulk of this week’s field at Sedgefield. Every player ranked between 112 to 125 is playing. Meanwhile, 40 of the 42 players immediately outside the bubble also are in the field. The only exceptions are Michael Thompson (144) and Jim Furyk (156).
While it’s likely that some players will move inside the 125 this week, there’s no guarantee. In 2013, no players were able to bust the bubble, and in 2014, only one did so. But five players burst the 125 bubble in 2015, with three of those (Camilo Villegas, Wyndham winner Davis Love III and Jason Gore) advancing to the second FedExCup Playoffs event.
A year ago, Kyle Stanley and Shawn Stefani moved inside the Top 125 at Wyndham.
How close has the points separation been between the 125th and 126th players after Wyndham? Certainly close enough some years to reinforce the every-shot-matters mantra.
Take 2015. Jeff Overton finished Wyndham at No. 125 points. The player immediately behind him was Will MacKenzie. Overton had 458 points; MacKenzie had 457.563. Thus, MacKenzie missed the FedExCup Playoffs by less than a half-point.
The year before, in 2014, Robert Allenby was No. 125 after Wyndham with 438 points. Nicholas Thompson missed the Playoffs by less than a point.
In 2012, Jason Bohn beat Jhonattan Vegas by two points to make the Playoffs.
WILL KISNER CATCH FOWLER?
The top four spots entering the Playoffs are set going into this week’s regular season finale. But the No. 5 spot remains undecided.
Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas (fresh off his PGA Championship win), Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson will be Nos. 1 through 4, respectively, when the Playoffs begin Aug. 24 at THE NORTHERN TRUST.
The current No. 5 is Rickie Fowler, who moved up one spot ahead of Jon Rahm after the year’s final major at Quail Hollow. Fowler has 1,832 points.
The highest-ranked FedExCup player in the Wyndham field is Kevin Kisner, the 54-hole leader at the PGA who eventually finished T7. Kisner has 1,600 FedExCup points this season. If he wins (500 points) or finishes solo second (300 points), he would climb past Fowler and into fifth.
Players inside the top five in points entering the TOUR Championship control their own FedExCup fate. Although a top-five spot starting the Playoffs does not offer the same guarantee, it can prove beneficial to maintaining a spot.
Last year, Jason Day was No. 1 entering the Playoffs. He played well in the first two Playoffs events and WD in the third due to injury, but was still No. 4 in points entering East Lake (where he was forced to WD again to injury).
TOPS IN THE FIELD
The five highest-ranked FedExCup players in the Wyndham field this week: Kevin Kisner (9), Kyle Stanley (17), Charles Howell III (20), Jason Dufner (22) and Billy Horschel (23).
Two weeks ago, Chris Stroud was outside the FedExCup Playoffs bubble at 144. But after his first career win (Barracuda) and his first top-10 finish in a major (T-9 at the PGA), he’s now 69th in points. Stroud is playing Wyndham this week for the 11th time in his career. …
Henrik Stenson, who is making his Wyndham debut, is ranked 75th in points. If he doesn’t move up this week, that would be his highest position entering the Playoffs since 2012. Stenson won the FedExCup in 2013. …
Adam Scott is ranked 62nd in points after the PGA. That’s likely not enough breathing room to keep him inside the top 70 as he sits out the first two Playoffs events to be with his wife for the birth of their second child. …
In the 10-year history of the FedExCup, no player has made the TOUR Championship starting the Wyndham Championship outside the Playoffs cut line. …
A reminder: All is not lost if players fail to get inside the Top 125 after this week. Players ranked Nos. 126-200 on the points list will be eligible for the Web.com Tour Finals.