Inside the FedExCup
DOWN THE STRETCH. With three weeks left in the PGA TOUR Season, plenty of FedExCup points are available thanks to the increased allotment for the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational (550 points to the winner) and next week’s PGA Championship (600 points to the winner). This week’s additional field event, the Barracuda Championship, offers 300 points for a win, while the last-chance season finale, the Wyndham Championship, offers 500 points. BRIDGESTONE: The Firestone field consists mostly of players who have already secured their spots in the FedExCup Playoffs – 50 of the top 90 players in the FedExCup standings will be playing in Akron, Ohio. Since there is no cut, all FedExCup-eligible players in the 76-man field are guaranteed to pick up some points. This could be a big week for players who are currently outside the top 125, such as Harold Varner III (133rd in points), Andres Romero (193rd) and Danny Willett (222nd). In addition, Bubba Watson (117th) has a chance to secure his spot in the Playoffs. Watson is one of 16 players who has never missed the Playoffs (see list below). The Bridgestone winner, meanwhile, is all but guaranteed a spot in the top 30 at East Lake. Just once in the FedExCup's 10 years has the winner failed to advance to the TOUR Championship (Shane Lowry in 2015). BARRACUDA: The highest-ranked player in Reno is Luke List (42nd). He’s the only player who could win this week's Modified Stableford event and move inside the coveted top 30 in points. The key storyline will be the players seeking to solidify their spots versus the ones scrambling to get inside the top 125. Consider this: 22 players at the Barracuda rank between 90 and 125 in FedExCup points. Meanwhile, 85 players rank between 126-250 in points. One of those players is defending Barracuda champ Greg Chalmers, currently 175th in points. THE HOFF. Charley Hoffman has advanced to the TOUR Championship just twice in the first 10 years of the Playoffs, including in 2010 when he won at TPC Boston in the second Playoff event, eventually finishing fourth in the final standings. Although Hoffman lost to Jhonattan Vegas in the RBC Canadian Open playoff Sunday, he took a huge step toward securing a spot at East Lake. The 300-point payoff moved him from 24th to 12th in the standings. Since the current playoff format was adjusted in 2009, every player starting the Playoffs ranked 12th or better in points has advanced to the TOUR Championship. A year ago, Henrik Stenson was 14th entering the Playoffs but was struggling with an injury to his right knee. He eventually withdrew from the BMW Championship and dropped to 36th and out of the Playoffs. STREAKING 16. Sixteen players have made the FedExCup Playoffs in each of the first 10 years. Here are their current rankings with three weeks left. 12. Charley Hoffman 17. Matt Kuchar 19. Charles Howell III 20. Sergio Garcia 26. Justin Rose 32. Bill Haas 45. Phil Mickelson 51. Brandt Snedeker 70. Adam Scott 72. Ryan Moore 82. Zach Johnson 102. Luke Donald 117. Bubba Watson 149. Jim Furyk 206. John Senden 217. Jerry Kelly As for the three players outside the top 125 in danger of seeing their streaks snapped – Furyk, the 2010 FedExCup champ, has made his last four cuts after a string of six consecutive missed cuts but does not have a top-20 finish this calendar year; Senden took an indefinite leave of absence in April after his son Jacob was diagnosed with a brain tumor; and Kelly, who turned 50 last November, has been concentrating on a PGA TOUR Champions schedule after his last TOUR start at THE PLAYERS Championship in May. 125 WATCH. The players who moved inside the top 125 after the RBC Canadian Open – Brandon Hagy (129 to 108), Robert Garrigus (131 to 109), Tyrone Van Aswegen (127 to 113). The players who were pushed out of the top 125 – Trey Mullinax (121 to 127), Aaron Baddeley (122 to 129), J. J. Henry (123 to 130). Irish Olympian Seamus Power has finished T18 and T10 in his last two starts. He’s now on the verge of breaking into the top 125. He moved from 140th to 126th after the RBC Canadian Open and is in the Barracuda field this week. Blayne Barber gave himself a bit of breathing room with his T30 finish at Glen Abbey, moving from 124th to 118th. Barber is trying to make the Playoffs for the second consecutive year. He’s also playing Barracuda this week. LATEST PROJECTION: The projected total needed to make the top 125 is 363 points. Entering this week, there are 13 players inside the top 125 who are not yet at that number. PRODUTIVE ROSE. Justin Rose is making the most out of each start this season without benefit of a victory. Rose is averaging 82.5 FedExCup points in his 12 TOUR starts – that’s the best average of any non-winner in 2016-17. Rose, who won the gold medal at the Rio Olympics, has two seconds and two fourths this season and currently sits 26th in the standings. Charley Hoffman, incidentally, is the highest-ranked player without a win at 12th in the standings. He's made 25 starts this season -- more than twice as many as Rose -- and is averaging 51.5 points per start. Dustin Johnson, a three-time winner this season, has the highest points-per-event average at 168.5, with FedExCup leader Jordan Spieth, also a three-time winner, second at 151.7.
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