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Outlasts UGA’s Sepp Straka on third playoff hole at FedExCup Playoffs opener
ATLANTA – Making his FedExCup Playoffs debut, Will Zalatoris notched his first career PGA TOUR victory in a playoff over Sepp Straka at the FedEx St. Jude Championship – the first of three FedExCup Playoffs events – to claim the No. 1 spot in the FedExCup standings. Zalatoris, who entered the Playoffs at No. 12 following a regular season marked by three runner-up results, secured his position at the TOUR Championship and will make his debut at East Lake Golf Club in two weeks.
From 125 players, the top 70 advanced to this week’s BMW Championship at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware, with only 30 moving on to the Playoffs finale at the TOUR Championship, August 24-28.
Compared to the 500 points awarded to the winner of tournaments during the PGA TOUR Regular Season, the first two Playoffs events award 2,000 points to the champion. At the TOUR Championship, players are given FedExCup Starting Strokes based on their position in the FedExCup standings, with the No. 1 seed beginning the tournament at 10-under par. The next four players will start at 8-under through 5-under, respectively. The next five will begin at 4-under, regressing by one stroke per five players until those ranked Nos. 26-30 start at even par.
Zalatoris, the reigning PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year, became the second player to make a FedExCup Playoffs event his maiden TOUR title, joining Camilo Villegas, who won the 2008 BMW Championship.
After earning his first PGA TOUR victory earlier this season at The Honda Classic, University of Georgia product Sepp Straka nearly added a second title in Memphis on Sunday. Having entered the Playoffs at No. 35 in the standings, the runner-up result lifted the native Austrian to No. 8, ensuring the Georgia Bulldogs will be represented in the field at East Lake. In what was his fourth career FedExCup Playoffs appearance, Straka had never advanced as far as the BMW Championship. Now, the 29-year-old has given himself a chance to hoist the FedExCup at the TOUR Championship.
Four players who entered Playoffs outside of the top 70 moved inside the top 70 to qualify for this week’s BMW Championship: Lucas Glover (T3), Adam Scott (T5), Andrew Putnam (T5) and Wyndham Clark (T28); Of the players who made the cut, Brendon Todd finished 67th to move outside the top 70.
Scottie Scheffler, who entered the opening FedExCup Playoffs event as the standings leader, missed the cut at the FedEx St. Jude Championship and dropped to No. 2. Other notables who missed the cut in Memphis include Rory McIlroy (No. 9) and Jordan Spieth (No. 17).
Those players on the bubble for one of the final 30 spots heading into this week’s BMW Championship include Kevin Kisner, who finished T20 to move up eight spots from No. 36 to No. 28. Kisner is in search of his sixth career TOUR Championship appearance and first since 2020.
The full FedExCup Playoffs eligibility standings is available here.
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