FedExCup update: Thompson climbs standings on Moving Day
August 18, 2018
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
- A 7-under 63 on Saturday moved Michael Thompson to No. 136 in the standings when play was suspended. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Michael Thompson was realistic.
He entered the Wyndham Championship ranked 158th in the FedExCup. So Thompson knew he needed a third-place finish or better to crack the top 125 and lock up his PGA TOUR card for next year.
Certainly not an easy task for a man who hasn’t had a top-10 all year. But after shooting a bogey-free 63 Saturday, the Alabama grad has at least given himself a chance, moving to No. 136 in the projections when play was suspended.
“Ultimately top 125 is where I'd love to be, a win would be unbelievable,” Thompson said. “But for me, really the most attainable goal right now is inside the top 150. If I get in there then I have status for next year at least for a few events.”
If he doesn’t finish in the all-exempt top 125, Thompson plans to head to Web.com Tour finals that begin next week with the Nationwide Children’s Championship in Columbus, Ohio. The top-25 money winners in the four-event series get their TOUR cards.
Either way, Thompson feels that he can use the way he played at Sedgefield Saturday as momentum. In making six birdies and an eagle to get to 11 under, the 33-year-old hit every green in regulation and all but one fairway.
“I found a feel on the range yesterday with my irons that allows me to freely release the club through the ball,” Thompson said. “I just went out and trusted it and knew that I had to hit it close and I had to give myself as many chances for birdie as, as possible.
“And thankfully today the putter was a little bit more fine-tuned than it has been.”
Interestingly, Thompson came to Greensboro on the heels of a tie for 15th at the Barracuda Championship, which uses a Stableford points system. He thinks the format helped prepare him to go for broke in this pressure-packed week.
“For me actually playing Reno was a great kind of set up to this in the position that I am because Reno, you have to be aggressive, you have to make birdies, and you have points, right?” Thompson said. “So bogeys don't really hurt you.”
Thompson said having his wife and 2-year-old son – “who doesn’t care how I play,” he says – has been a welcome distraction. On Sunday, his plan is simple.
“Just go shoot at pins and go have some fun,” he said.
Johnson Wagner continues to chip away at his FedExCup deficit. He came into the week ranked No. 136 and needed an eagle on his final hole on Friday to make the cut. He shot 67 in the third round to finish at 7 under and had moved to No. 133 in the FedExCup when play was halted for the day.
Sergio Garcia and Bill Haas have qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs each year of its existence but both came to Greensboro ranked outside the top 125. Garcia continues to give himself a shot – he was 11 under for the tournament when play was suspended and projected to move 10 spots to No. 121 in the FedExCup. Haas, on the other hand, was headed in the wrong direction. He shot his second straight 68 Saturday to finish three rounds at 5 under and had dropped three spots to No. 153.
Brandt Snedeker holds the clubhouse lead at Wyndham