FedExCup: Watson, Lingmerth, Varner moving on
August 27, 2017
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Bubble update after THE NORTHERN TRUST
OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. – Bubba Watson, David Lingmerth and Harold Varner III have extended their FedExCup hopes at THE NORTHERN TRUST after playing their way into the second event of the FedExCup Playoffs, the Dell Technologies Championship.
Watson began the week ranked 113th in the standings but catapulted himself all the way to 72nd thanks to a tie for 10th at Glen Oaks Club. Watson's first top-10 since June earned him a tee time for Friday's first round at TPC Boston.
The two-time Masters champion will take the rest of 2017 off once his run in the FedExCup Playoffs comes to an end and his focus will turn to coaching the tee-ball team of his 5-year-old son, Caleb. It could be a couple weeks before Watson can don his coaching hat, though. He's now withing striking distance of the top 70 in the FedExCup standings and a spot in the third event of the FedExCup Playoffs, the BMW Championship.
Varner III was a bubble buster a week ago, jumping inside the top 125 at the Wyndham Championship. A solid T20 at Glen Oaks surged him from 123rd to 91st in the standings. He becomes just the fifth player in FedExCup history to qualify for the Dell Technologies Championship after being outside the mark at both the Wyndham and THE NORTHERN TRUST.
Only one of the previous four, Ernie Els, continued the streak all the way to the BMW Championship.
“I don't want it to end. So I just need to keep doing the things I'm doing right now and just focus,” Varner said. “(I) played solid today, did what I had to do. It's hard to really fire at (the flag) when you're not sure you're going to play next week, but we're going to figure it out. We're just going to keep playing golf and keep playing well.”
Lingmerth should have cruised in after opening the tournament with rounds of 71-68-68, but things started to tighten up after he dropped five shots in a four-hole stretch on Sunday's front nine. He rebounded with two birdies on the back side to move from 103rd to 87th with his T29 result.
When three players moving inside the top 100, three players had to fall out.
Those who were replaced were Byeong Hun An (96 to 102), Robert Garrigus (99 to 109) and Seung-Yul Noh (100 to 110), who all missed the cut.
Michael Kim was the last man in the top 100, finishing a single point ahead of Scott Stallings, who made a crucial bogey on the 17th hole Sunday to essentially end his season.
Here are the 25 players who have been eliminated from the FedExCup Playoffs: Stallings, An, Martin Flores, D.A. Points, Luke Donald, Richy Werenski, Ryan Blaum, Geoff Ogilvy, Robert Garrigus, Noh, Jimmy Walker, Brian Gay, Brandon Hagy, Vaughn Taylor, Steve Stricker, Derek Fathauer, Tyrone Van Aswegen, Harris English, Dominic Bozelli, Nick Watney, John Huh, Blayne Barber, Ben Martin, Rory Sabbatini and J.J. Henry.
QUOTE OF THE DAYI don't know what it would take. But we'll see. Maybe if I win the FedExCup or something, I'll go nuts, because I've got 10 million cash in my pocket.
TOP 5 WATCH
The top 5 players entering the TOUR Championship will control their own destiny at East Lake. Here’s a look at the top 5 in the FedExCup standings after THE NORTHERN TRUST.
1. Dustin Johnson (WIN): Takes over top spot after his victory at Glen Oaks, his fourth of the season and first since winning three in a row in February and March. After starting the FedExCup Playoffs at No. 4 in the standings, he is virtually assured of being in the top 5 heading into the TOUR Championship.
2. Jordan Spieth (2nd): Jumped from the 3rd seed to the 2nd seed with his playoff loss to Johnson. The 2015 FedExCup champion is likely to once again control his destiny in Atlanta.
3. Justin Thomas (T6): Thomas sits in the three seed after another nice result this week, but his place in the top five for Atlanta is not yet secured. He’ll be looking to continue his form at TPC Boston.
4. Hideki Matsuyama (CUT): Was leading the standings to start the FedExCup Playoffs, but missing the weekend proved costly for the Japanese star, who dropped three spots. He told Japanese media this week that he is suffering from a sore hip.
5. Jon Rahm (T3): The Spanish star has lifted himself into the top 5 with an impressive opening result in his first foray into the FedExCup Playoffs. Each venue is new for him, but he remains undaunted.
The new bubble boys are Sergio Garcia (30th), Grayson Murray (70th) and Michael Kim (100th).
Adam Scott will return to play at the Dell Technologies Championship after initially suggesting he’d miss the event for paternity leave. He fell to 73rd in the FedExCup standings after being absent this week. Scott won at TPC Boston before it was a FedExCup Playoffs event.
Johnson now shares the FedExCup Playoffs records for most wins (4, with Rory McIlroy), most top-5s (9, with Jason Day and Tiger Woods) and most top-10s (16, with Jim Furyk).
Two rookies advanced to the TOUR Championship last season, the first time in FedExCup history more than one rookie made it to East Lake. Nine rookies remain headed to the Dell Technologies Championship, headed by Wesley Bryan in 32nd place.
Harold Varner interview after Round 4 of THE NORTHERN TRUST