FedExCup update: Top 30 heading to TOUR Championship
August 29, 2021
By Ben Everill , PGATOUR.COM
- Bryson DeChambeau will enter the 2021 TOUR Championship No. 3 in the FedExCup standings. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Patrick Cantlay’s stunning playoff win over Bryson DeChambeau at the BMW Championship has ensured he will start the TOUR Championship as the top seed in the race for the FedExCup.
Cantlay outlasted DeChambeau to claim victory on the sixth playoff hole after earlier making a huge 21-foot birdie on the final hole of regulation to force extra holes. It came just a hole after he found the water off the tee on the 17th hole to seemingly kill off his hopes.
But DeChambeau’s putter let him down in the closing stretch and throughout the playoff as he missed multiple putts that could’ve closed the tournament. When Cantlay connected on the 18th green again from 17 feet on the sixth hole of sudden death, DeChambeau missed from 8 feet, 9 inches and it was over.
Cantlay will now head to East Lake knowing he will start the four-day chase for the PGA TOUR’s ultimate prize at 10-under, two shots clear of THE NORTHERN TRUST champion Tony Finau who starts second at 8 under.
“The most important thing for next week is treating it like a regular tournament and trying to shoot just the lowest score you can shoot every day,” Cantlay said.
“I think not getting caught up in the two strokes ahead or whatever it is is the best way to handle that situation.”
DeChambeau will settle for third place at 7 under, Jon Rahm slots in fourth at 6 under and Cameron Smith rounds out the top five at 5 under.
Following on the final 25 players who qualified start in groups of five a shot further back for each pod.
At 4 under will be Justin Thomas, Harris English, Abraham Ancer, Jordan Spieth and Sam Burns.
At 3 under are Collin Morikawa, Sungjae Im, Viktor Hovland, Louis Oosthuizen and defending FedExCup champion Dustin Johnson.
The 2-under starters include two-time winner Rory McIlroy, Olympic gold medalist Xander Schauffele, Jason Kokrak, Kevin Na and Brooks Koepka.
At 1 under are Corey Conners, Hideki Matsuyama, Stewart Cink, Joaquin Niemann and Scottie Scheffler.
And finally at even par will be Daniel Berger, Erik Van Rooyen, Sergio Garcia, Billy Horschel and Patrick Reed.
Garcia, van Rooyen make leap to East Lake
Veteran Sergio Garcia has no doubt grabbed the attention of European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington after battling his was into the TOUR Championship.
Garcia was one of just two players to force their way in from outside the top 30, joining South African Erik van Rooyen who not long ago wasn’t even inside the top 125 to make the Playoffs at all.
Garcia, the all-time Ryder Cup points earner, closed with a 3-under 69 on Sunday at Caves Valley to move to T6 for the tournament, good enough to move him from 44th in the FedExCup to 28th.
“It's very exciting. Obviously after last week I put myself in a difficult spot but showed a lot of guts this week. Played some great golf,” Garcia said.
Considering the Spanish star made a disastrous double bogey on the drivable par-4 fifth hole when it took three shots to extricate himself from a greenside bunker the surge home was certainly a clutch effort.
“To come back after what happened on 5 and not give up and keep at it and play as hard as I did those last three holes, the two up-and-downs I made on 16 and 18, they were very nice,” Garcia added.
“Obviously I didn't have the greatest of lies (in the bunker). It was kind of like tiny bit downhill. I wanted to give myself another birdie and kind of keep at it, and it came out just a little bit too soft. Just hit the lip and came back.
“Then the next one I hit it and there was a pebble, and the ball just didn't come out. It happens. The good thing is that after that I started hitting some good shots, some nice putts…, and we're in East Lake, so it's great.”
Van Rooyen sat outside the top 125 in the FedExCup when he came through to win his first TOUR event at the Barracuda Championship in early August, moving him to 78th. He entered THE NORTHERN TRUST in 76th needing to jump inside the top 70 to survive and did just that with a seventh-place finish.
Then once again on the outside looking in at 45th entering the BMW Championship, van Rooyen was clutch on his way to finishing fifth with a 7-under 65 to close.
“It's a fantastic place to be. Obviously it's my first full year on the PGA TOUR, and it was a goal of mine to get there,” Van Rooyen said of his trip to East Lake.
“Six weeks ago or so I wasn't even sniffing it. Just really proud of myself. It's probably the best of the best that make it to Atlanta, and really happy to be part of the group.”
McIlroy’s tilt at record third FedExCup still alive
Rory McIlroy started the BMW Championship in 28th spot on the FedExCup list, not guaranteed a place at the TOUR Championship by any stretch.
But the 2016 and 2019 FedExCup champion will have a chance at a record third title after he finished fourth at the BMW Championship to move up to 16th in the points list.
In 2019 he won the Cup despite starting five shots behind. This time he will be eight back.
“All I wanted to do was get to East Lake next week, and it's nice that I've moved up a few spots, as well, and probably start a couple of shots closer to the leader,” McIlroy said.
Two in means two out
While Sergio Garcia and Erik Van Rooyen were cheering their efforts to get to East Lake it wasn’t a great week for the players they replaced in Charley Hoffman and Max Homa.
Hoffman dropped from 29th to 32nd in the points list after finishing T38 at Caves Valley while Homa dropped from 30th to 35th with his T63.
Im makes big jump
The biggest move inside the top 30 from the BMW Championship was former Rookie of the Year Sungjae Im.
Im’s third place finish at Caves Valley shot him from 25th to 12th, up 13 places heading to East Lake.
Reed hangs on as Lee falls a shot short
Patrick Reed was unable to play the BMW Championship due to pneumonia which put his place at the TOUR Championship under threat.
In the end, Reed survived as the last man to East Lake when K.H. Lee fell just a shot short of the mark he needed to force his way in.
Lee finished in a tie for 12th at Caves Valley, killed off by a bogey on the 18th hole that came after a wild approach from the fairway that ended up in the native area right of the green and forced a penalty drop.
End of the road
The following players were officially eliminated from the season and finished in order from 31st to 70th in the FedExCup for season 2020-21.
K.H. Lee, Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren, Si Woo Kim, Max Homa, Hudson Swafford, Cam Davis, Kevin Kisner, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Brian Harman, Marc Leishman, Cameron Tringale, Harold Varner III, Shane Lowry, Lucas Glover, Matt Jones, Carlos Ortiz, Aaron Wise, Lee Westwood, Charl Schwartzel, Paul Casey, Sebastian Munoz, Tom Hoge, Branden Grace, Russell Henley, Cameron Champ, Maverick McNealy, Emiliano Grillo, Robert Streb, Jhonattan Vegas, Chris Kirk, Patton Kizzire, Kevin Streelman, Keith Mitchell, Harry Higgs, MacKenzie Hughes, Talor Gooch, Ryan Palmer, Phil Mickelson.