FedExCup update: Uihlein, Mitchell crack the top 70 bubble with late birdies
September 03, 2018
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
Peter Uihlein sinks birdie putt from 26 feet at Dell Technologies
NORTON, Mass. – Playing partners Peter Uihlein and Keith Mitchell entered Monday’s final round of the Dell Technologies Championship facing the same do-or-die situation.
Bust the Top 70 bubble or go home.
Thanks to some late-round fireworks, both PGA TOUR rookies remain alive for one more week in the FedExCup Playoffs.
Uihlein birdied his last three holes to shoot a closing 3-under 68 and move from 83 to 64 in the standings. Mitchell birdied his last two to shoot 69 and move from 78 to 66. Depending on how the tee times shake out, those two may find themselves again as playing partners for the first two rounds later this week at the BMW Championships.
Four others also played their way into the top 70 who’ll advance to Aronimink after entering TPC Boston outside the bubble: C.T. Pan (72 to 33), Tyrrell Hatton (71 to 54), Abraham Ancer (92 to 56) and Brice Garnett (81 to 63).
Although they spent 18 holes together, neither Uihlein nor Mitchell felt the need to talk about their Playoffs chances Monday.
“I think we both knew where we were at,” Uihlein said. “I think when he bogeyed 14, I bogeyed 14 as well. I think we both kind of had an idea that we needed to make some birdies coming down the stretch.”
Added Mitchell: “Peter is great. He’s loose, walking up 18 knowing he had to make birdie as well. When he made that putt on 16, I could see it in his eyes. And we birdied the last two holes.
“It’s great when you’re feeding off somebody. It definitely helps.”
Mitchell had entered the Playoffs ranked 68th in points, and the missed the cut at last week’s THE NORTHERN TRUST to fall outside the top 70. In Friday’s first round at TPC Boston, he shot a 73 and was tied for 70th on the leaderboard. That left him with no option but to play aggressively over the final three rounds – which he did, shooting 66-67-69.
“Pretty much had to do everything we could to play our best to finish in the top 20,” Mitchell said. “… And I think we did that, so it was awesome.”
Uihlein, meanwhile, acknowledged he didn’t do himself any favors with a TOUR playing schedule that included just three starts – all majors – during a two-month stretch of the summer. That dropped him from 53 to 76 in the standings, and then he missed the cut at the Wyndham Championship, falling to 81 entering the Playoffs.
“It was one of those things if I didn’t get into next week, it wouldn’t have been because of lack of effort this week or today’s round,” Uihlein said. “It would have been playing more of a schedule. I don’t think I played enough when I needed to.
“After Memphis, I didn’t play again until Wyndham, other than the majors. I think that may have been a bit more of a mistake on my part. I feel like I got it done this week.”
DISAPPOINTED BUT MOVING ON: Abraham Ancer, seeking his first TOUR win Monday, was in the mix until a tough back nine that included four bogeys. The last one came at 18 when his second shot was lost in the native area guarding the green, forcing him to take a drop.
Had Ancer birdied the hole, he would’ve moved to 29th in the standings. An eagle would’ve secured a spot in the TOUR Championship. But despite the bogey, he played well enough to climb inside the top 70.
“Coming into this week, knowing I'd move forward, obviously I'd be excited,” Ancer said. “But obviously a little bitter, especially finishing like this. Shouldn't have ever happened. But it's part of it. You've got to learn from it.”
A STEP FORWARD: A year ago, C.T. Pan finished 88th in the FedExCup standings, missing out on a trip to the BMW. He was determined not to let it happen again.
A tie for second at last month’s Wyndham Championship moved him to 63rd in the standings and then after falling outside the top 70 last week, he came up with a clutch performance this week, including a final-round 66 that left him tied for fourth.
“Honestly, for the whole summer, I’ve felt good about my game,” Pan said. “I just need to click, need to put everything together to put up good scores for four rounds – which I did this week. I feel great.”
With only 70 players making it to the BMW Championship the season is now over for 30 more players: Ryan Moore, Whee Kim, Stewart Cink, Nick Watney, Jimmy Walker, Matt Kuchar, Kevin Streelman, Bronson Burgoon, Charley Hoffman, Joel Dahmen, Michael Kim, J.B. Holmes, Kevin Chappell, James Hahn, Jamie Lovemark, Brian Stuard, Kevin Tway, Branden Grace, Russell Knox, Kelly Kraft, Troy Merritt, Tom Hoge, Scott Stallings, Satoshi Kodaira, Jhonattan Vegas, Russell Henley, Danny Lee, Ollie Schniederjans, Anirban Lahiri and Jason Dufner.
Here are the players who busted the bubble and moved inside the top 70.
C.T. Pan (T4): From 72 to 33
Tyrrell Hatton (T12): From 71 to 54
Abraham Ancer (T7): From 92 to 56
Brice Garnett (T12): From 81 to 63
Peter Uihlein (T12): From 83 to 64
Keith Mitchell (20): From 78 to 66
Here are the players who fell out of the top 70 and saw their seasons end:
Ryan Moore (T71): From 60 to 71
Whee Kim (75): From 61 to 72
Stewart Cink (T62): From 65 to 73
Nick Watney (T62): From 67 to 74
Jimmy Walker (T71): From 68 to 75
Kevin Streelman (MC): From 70 to 77
Biggest moves made after the Dell Technologies Championship
Up 39 spots – C.T. Pan (72 to 33)
Up 36 spots – Abraham Ancer (92 to 56)
Up 30 spots – Hideki Matsuyama (58 to 28)
Kevin Streelman, who started the week ranked 70th, was officially eliminated after missing the cut. The new bubble boy for next week is Gary Woodland, who moved from 37th to 30th in the standings. Only the top 30 after the BMW Championship will advance to the TOUR Championship.
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’s how the current Top Five fared at the Dell Technologies Championship.
1.Bryson DeChambeau (still 1st) – Won for the second straight week after shooting a 4-under 67.
2. Dustin Johnson (still 2nd) – Shot a 7-under 64 to finish tied for 7th.
3. Justin Thomas (now 5th) – Shot a 6-under 65 to finish tied for 24th.
4. Tony Finau (still 4th) – Shot a 3-under 68 to finish tied for 4th.
5. Brooks Koepka (now 6th) – Shot a 3-under 68 to finish tied for 12th.
NOTE: Justin Rose moves from 6th to 3rd after finishing solo second.