FedExCup Update: DeChambeau takes top spot
August 26, 2018
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Bryson DeChambeau wins by four shots at THE NORTHERN TRUSTIn the final round of THE NORTHERN TRUST 2018, Bryson DeChambeau kept his lead and carded an 18-under 266 to earn his second win of the season by four shots.
PARAMUS, N.J. — Bryson DeChambeau has all but guaranteed control of his own destiny in the FedExCup with his win at THE NORTHERN TRUST, moving him to top spot in the Playoff standings.
The top five players heading to the TOUR Championship in Atlanta know a win at East Lake assures the FedExCup crown and DeChambeau is already a virtual lock before the Dell Technologies Championship and BMW Championship are played.
“That's great. I'm super stoked to be No. 1 right now and see what next week and the weeks after hold,” DeChambeau said. “That's the goal of everybody that's playing out here right now is we all want to be in the top 5, so if you win, you're locked. "
DeChambeau said he won’t be taking his foot off the gas pedal despite his lofty perch.
And he won’t be stopping the countless hours of practice he’s renown for.
“Pedal to the metal for me. I don't try and back off when I win,” he said.
“Everybody is unique in their own way and some people work harder for longer hours than others. You can say what I do is crazy, but at the end of the day, I'm the one with the trophy this week.”
Bryson DeChambeau's Round 4 highlights from THE NORTHERN TRUST
BUBBLE BOY BLITZ FROM PALMER
Ryan Palmer started THE NORTHERN TRUST precariously as the bubble boy in the FedExCup Playoffs opener.
He ended it by securing at least two more starts.
The equation was simple for Palmer: Go hard or go home.
He started the tournament at 100th in the FedExCup knowing only 100 players survive to next week’s Dell Technologies Championship.
The Texan opened with solid rounds of 68-67 before backing things up with a 72 on Saturday.
While he was projected into next week through 54 holes, another poor round could have ended his season all together.
But it was far from poor — instead it was a 6-under 65 from the three-time TOUR winner to rocket all the way up into a tie for fifth.
Forget the bubble, Palmer now sits 50th in the FedExCup and has locked up next week and the BMW Championship (top 70).
“It was a huge day, for sure,” Palmer said. “Coming into the week, you're 100 and knowing if I miss the cut, I'm going home, and if I make the cut and play decent, I'd at least be in Boston. But lock up BMW is even more special and one step closer to East Lake.”
Now in his ninth run at the Playoffs Palmer has made it to the TOUR Championship just twice — in 2010 and 2014.
He’s hopeful of locking up another berth by moving into the top 30 with a good performance at TPC Boston next week.
“I'm excited for next week,” he said. “I love that golf course and knowing I can play this type of round on a Sunday, where I was at and locking up BMW and closer to East Lake, who knows, go to Boston, win next week.
“The way I'm feeling, my mind, my body, I'm just happy where my game is at and excited for what's ahead.”
FATIGUED VEGAS FIGHTS ON
Jhonattan Vegas didn’t have much more to give but the three-time PGA TOUR winner dug deep on Sunday at Ridgewood Country Club to keep his season alive.
The Venezuelan star has been hanging on to a FedExCup Playoffs berth by the skin of his teeth ever since missing the cut at The Open Championship.
Vegas endured a travel nightmare thanks to an expired visa and played at Carnoustie off next to no sleep and with borrowed clubs.
Since then he’s played each week on TOUR, traveling from Scotland to Canada, to Ohio, to St. Louis and to North Carolina before coming to New Jersey.
A nervous wait after missing the cut at the Wyndham Championship ended when he secured 123rd spot in the FedExCup.
It meant he needed to perform this week to move on. And perform he did.
“I knew that I had to go low today. I knew it was going to be super hard for me because obviously I'm worn out right now,” Vegas admitted.
“I've never been this tired in my life.”
A clutch bogey putt from eight-feet on the last hole Sunday was enough to finish T15 and move him to 87th in the FedExCup and on to the second week.
A double bogey would have seen him hovering on the bubble and with a nervous wait. Vegas knew as much lining up the putt.
“It's not that we're machines and we don't think. We think,” he said. “Obviously you've got to try to keep those thoughts away and only focus on that 8-footer down the hill, right-to-left.”
He appreciates the Friday start of the upcoming Dell Technologies Championship more than most.
FedExCup Player Advantage: THE NORTHERN TRUST
MOVING IN/MOVING OUT
After the final round at THE NORTHERN TRUST the following players played their way from outside the top 100 into the survival zone for next week’s Dell Technologies Championship.
Nick Watney (T11): From 102nd to 67th
Bronson Burgoon (T11): From 111th to 73rd
Jhonattan Vegas (T15): From 123rd to 87th
Scott Stallings (T28): From 107th to 94th
Danny Lee (T34): From 103rd to 98th
Brian Stuard (T25): From 118th to 99th
Those who fell out and as such are done for the year are:
Trey Mullinax (T56): From 95th to 102nd
Brandon Harkins (T60): From 94th to 103rd
Patrick Rodgers (DNP): From 93rd to 104th
Charl Schwartzel (CUT): From 96th to 105th
Rory Sabbatini (CUT): From 97th to 109th
Alex Cejka (T56): From 99th to 108th
The 25 players officially eliminated after week one are: Sam Ryder, Trey Mullinax, Brandon Harkins, Patrick Rodgers, Charl Schwartzel, Sean O’Hair, Harold Varner III, Alex Cejka, Rory Sabbatini, Richy Werenski, Sung Kang, John Huh, Tyler Duncan, Seamus Power, Martin Laird, William McGirt, J.T. Poston, Vaughn Taylor, Grayson Murray, Sam Saunders, Ryan Blaum, Scott Brown, Nick Taylor, Bud Cauley and Harris English.
Up 50 spots: Ryan Palmer after his 6-under 65 moved him to T5. Projects from 100 to 50.
Up 38 spots: Bronson Burgoon after 5-under 66 moved him to T11. Projects from 111 to 73.
Up 37 spots: Cameron Smith after a 2-under 69 moved him to T3. Projects from 53 to 16.
Up 36 spots: Jhonattan Vegas after a 3-under 68 moved him to T15. Projects from 123 to 87.
As we head to the second week of the Playoffs the new man on the bubble is Kevin Streelman. With his tie for 40th in New Jersey Streelman now sits in 70th place on the points list. The top 70 after next week’s Dell Technologies Championship make it to the BMW Championship at Aronimink in Philadelphia. At 71 is Englishman Tyrell Hatton.
The last guy in the field is Jason Dufner who survived a nervous weekend after missing the cut at Ridgewood Country Club. He bested Sam Ryder by just six FedExCup points to move on. Ryder was heading for another week with seven holes to play on Sunday before dropping four shots in five holes.
Currently 30th place on the points list belongs to Andrew Landry.
TOP 5 WATCH
The top five players in FedExCup points after the BMW Championship will control their own destiny entering the TOUR Championship. A win at East Lake would guarantee any of the top five the FedExCup title. Here is the new top five after THE NORTHERN TRUST.
1. Bryson DeChambeau – The winner of the opening Playoff event surges to a 648-point buffer out in front thanks to the quadruple points.
2. Dustin Johnson – Ground out a T11 finish in New Jersey to drop just one place and also hold on to his world No. 1 status by fractions.
3. Justin Thomas – Finished in a tie for eighth without ever really threatening the top of the leaderboard all week. Sits just 15 points behind Johnson.
4. Tony Finau – Runner up at THE NORTHERN TRUST and now all the way to fourth despite not tasting victory this season. Consistency is key.
5. Brooks Koepka – A tie for eighth this week was enough to just hang on to a top five spot. Is creeping closer to world No. 1 status also.