Bubble watch: Who could crack the top 125?
August 16, 2014
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
- Brad Fritsch shot 65 on Saturday at the Wyndham Championship. (Darren Carroll/Getty Images)
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The FedExCup standings weren't the first thing on Brad Fritsch's mind as he was in contention Saturday at the Wyndham Championship. No, he was thinking about the club championship at Carleton Golf and Yacht Club in Canada. Fritsch's father, Brian, took the lead into Saturday's final round as he sought his first victory in the tournament (he ended up not winning).
Brian's son will be seeking his first PGA TOUR title Sunday -- he'll start the Wyndham's final round one shot behind Nick Watney -- and will be trying to keep his TOUR card, as well. Fritsch arrived in Greensboro at No. 163 in the FedExCup. He's projected to move to 99th in the standings if he can maintain his position in solo second.
The Wyndham Championship is the final tournament before the FedExCup Playoffs. The top 125 at week's end qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs, while the top 125 in either the FedExCup or the money list retain their playing privileges for the 2014-15 season. Fritsch likely needs to finish in a two-way tie for second or better to crack the FedExCup's top 125. A two-way tie for third could be enough for Fritsch to retain his playing privileges via the money list.
"I can't focus on that," Fritsch said. "I'll try my best every shot and whatever happens will happen tomorrow. You can't control what other guys are going to do tomorrow."
Fritsch, who has two top-10s in 17 starts this season, is at 13-under 197 after shooting 69-63-65. He holed out from 76 yards for eagle on the par-4 eighth hole and holed a 57-foot birdie putt on No. 14.
Fritsch is from Canada, but went to college at Campbell University in North Carolina and lives in Holly Springs, about 75 miles from Greensboro. He is normally announced on the first tee as a Canadian, but had the starter announce his North Carolina residence on Saturday. He also wore Campbell's orange and brown in an attempt to garner some home-state support.
Fritsch said he attended Campbell because it was the only school that would let him walk on to the golf team without trying out. Fritsch hadn't broken par before starting college. He's now in his second season on the PGA TOUR. He'll need another low round to qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs for the first time. Thirteen players are at 10 under or lower.
HOW FEDEXCUP'S BUBBLE BOYS FARED FedExCup position Wyndham position Score Projected FedExCup Money list 122. Robert Allenby MC 66-74 (E) 128 141 123. Nicholas Thompson T74 70-68-73 (+1) 129 121 124. Jhonattan Vegas T14 67-65-69 (-9) 117 134 125. PAUL CASEY T18 65-69-68 (-8) 120 114 126. Sang-Moon Bae* T26 69-68-66 (-7) 124 127 127. Charlie Beljan MC 72-70 (+2) 131 118 128. Greg Chalmers MC 72-69 (+1) 132 135 129. David Lingmerth T67 67-70-73 (E) 134 123 130. J.J. Henry T36 66-70-68 (-6) 130 139 131. Ben Curtis T59 68-67-73 (-2) 133 131 132. Jonathan Byrd MC 72-67 (-1) 137 129 133. Richard H. Lee MC 71-68 (-1) 139 128 134. Mike Weir MC 66-74 (E) 140 98 135. Brian Gay* MC 74-68 (+2) 141 132 * -- exempt for 2014-15 by virtue of victory in 2013.
Roberto Castro qualified for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola last year. Now he needs a Sunday charge just to avoid the Web.com Tour Finals. Castro arrived at the Wyndham Championship ranked 144th in the FedExCup, likely needing a top-five finish to crack the top 125.
He is in 18th place after three rounds at the Wyndham Championship, three shots outside of a three-way tie for fifth. He opened the week with a 1-over 71, but shot 66-65 in the next two rounds. He'll need another low round Sunday.
"It's simple for me. I need to make a ton of birdies. It's real easy," he said.
Qualifying for last year's TOUR Championship put him in all four majors and the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. That meant he was playing during weeks he used to have off, and playing against world-class fields where high finishes were hard to come by.
"I wasn't playing well, I needed to make some cash and I'm in the British Open, which is great, but it's not the best place to try to find momentum," he said.
He missed the cut in all four majors and finished T58 in the 68-man Cadillac Championship this season. He'd played just two majors and no WGCs before this season.
The top 125 may be out of reach for PGA TOUR rookie Kevin Foley, but he's still trying to cross another important threshold this week. Foley, a Penn State product, is trying to crack the top 200 in the FedExCup to qualify for the Web.com Tour Finals. That four-event series will provide him the opportunity to regain his PGA TOUR card for the 2014-15 season.
Foley is T36 through three rounds at the Wyndham Championship after shooting 69-68-67. He made a hole-in-one Saturday, holing a 5-iron on the 195-yard, par-3 12th hole. Foley signed his hole-in-one ball and gave it to a young girl by the green.
"It was tracking and at one point I think I said, 'Go in.' Sure enough, we saw it disappear. We went pretty crazy" Foley said. He started the week at No. 208 in the FedExCup, but is 194th on the projected FedExCup standings. This is Foley's fifth made cut in 15 starts this season; his best finish is a T35 at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
David Toms also made a hole-in-one Saturday.
Jason Allred can’t qualify for the FedExCup because he isn’t a PGA TOUR member, but he could become a member for next season with a strong Sunday at the Wyndham Championship. Allred, 34, started the season without status, but has earned $612,477 this season in just eight starts. He Monday qualified for the Northern Trust Open and finished third, and also posted a T6 at the Barracuda Championship.
Allred is T18 through three rounds at the Wyndham Championship after shooting 69-66-67. He can earn status for next season by earning the equivalent of No. 125 on the money list. Camilo Villegas is currently 125th on the projected money list with $710,374 in projected earnings. A solo 14th-place finish at the Wyndham is worth $100,700.
ON THE LINE FedExCup position Wyndham position Score Projected FEC Change ENTERED TOP 125 163. Brad Fritsch 2nd 69-63-65 (-13) 99 +64 126. Sang-Moon Bae T26 69-68-66 (-7) 124 +2 EXITED TOP 125 122. Robert Allenby MC 66-74 (E) 128 -6 123. Nicholas Thompson T74 70-68-73 (+1) 129 -6 ENTERED TOP 200 208. Kevin Foley T36 69-68-67 (-6) 194 +14 215. Doug LaBelle II T26 72-65-66 (-7) 197 +18 EXITED TOP 200 199. Bernhard Langer* DNP DNP 201 -2 200. David Duval MC 70-69 (-1) 202 -2 Note: Nos. 126-200 in FedExCup are eligible for Web.com Tour Finals; * -- Champions Tour player