Any PGA Tour player not among the top 125 on the FedEx Cup points list has one final opportunity to get inside the number and qualify for this season’s first playoff tournament.
This week’s Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., will, among other things, set the 125-player field for next week’s Barclays. From there, the top 100 will advance to the second playoff event, the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston; 70 will move on to the third event, the BMW Championship; and finally, the remaining 30 will qualify for the Tour Championship.
There are some famous faces who need a good Wyndham performance in order to crack the top 125 and participate in the playoffs. Camilo Villegas (No. 146) has made just 10 cuts in 20 tournaments, and is headed for the worst season in his seven-year tour career.
Gary Woodland (No. 130) has only missed four cuts, but with no finish better than 24th, he’s on the outside. Others needing a big week or risk facing a seven-week break, since the next tour event for those who don’t qualify for the playoffs is the Las Vegas stop Oct. 4-7: Y.E. Yang (No. 129), Erik Compton (No. 134), John Daly (No. 137), and Justin Leonard (No. 157).
Two former major champions outside the number aren’t playing in Greensboro this week, and thus won’t be making the playoff field. Retief Goosen (No. 127) and Stewart Cink (No. 135) opted against the 11th-hour attempt. Two others — Kris Blanks (No. 138) and Hunter Haas (No. 149) — have cut their seasons short because of injury. Blanks has a shoulder injury, and Haas announced this week that he’s undergoing hip surgery.
The comparisons between Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy — two majors won by age 23, winning multiple majors by at least eight shots, using a major win to reach No. 1 in the world — will add a new chapter when the two meet for the first time in an 18-hole exhibition match. Woods and McIlroy are scheduled to face each other Oct. 29 at Lake Jinsha International Golf Club in China. It’s one day after Woods is playing in a tournament in Malaysia, while McIlroy will be competing at the Volvo Masters in Shanghai. They also could draw each other at the Ryder Cup, but Sunday’s singles pairings are determined blindly. Woods will also participate in the Notah Begay Foundation Challenge, set for Aug. 29 at the Turning Stone resort in Verona, N.Y. Others scheduled to compete are Rickie Fowler, Woodland, K.J. Choi, Yang, Charlie Wi, Danny Lee, Cristie Kerr, Na Yeon Choi, and Yani Tseng.
Bobby Leopold of Cranton, R.I., who plays out of Ledgemont Country Club in Seekonk, moved into the second round of match play at the 112th US Amateur, beating Michael Kim of Del Mar, Calif., Wednesday at Cherry Hills Country Club near Denver. The match went 20 holes. Leopold advanced to the Round of 16 at last year’s US Amateur, and will face Devin Miertschin of El Paso Thursday morning. Peter Williamson of Hanover, N.H., lost his first-round match, 3 and 2, to Chris Williams of Moscow, Idaho. Brad Valois of Warwick, R.I., also failed to advance, falling to Justin Shin of Canada, 1 up . . . Keegan Bradley may have taken the week off, but not his caddie. Steve “Pepsi” Hale flew from Charleston, S.C., on Monday morning, through Chicago, and into Denver, in time to caddie that afternoon for Dylan Crowley, who plays at St. John’s, Bradley’s alma mater. Hale lives in Colorado, and had always wanted to caddie in a competitive tournament at Cherry Hills. Crowley shot 84-75 and missed match play.
State of the game
Connecticut (1,068) rolled to an easy victory over Massachusetts (1,097) and the other four New England states to win the New England Junior Invitational, held this week at Taconic Golf Club in Williamstown. Playing for Massachusetts: James Park (76-70-70), Charlie May (73-72-74), Patrick Frodigh (73-78-69), Steven Dilisio (75-71-77), Jake Shuman (78-74-74), John Beadle (75-74-81), and Patrick Oleksak (78-75-82). Park tied for third, one shot behind Brian Carlson and Eddie Hill, both of Connecticut. Carlson won a playoff for the individual title. Vermont finished third, followed by Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island . . . Megan Khang, Camden Morrison, Isabelle Premkumar, and Allison Paik earned victories at the Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts Junior Championship, held at Braintree Municipal. Khang, from Rockland, shot 70-70 to win the championship division. Morrison (Millis) had 75-79 to take the silver division, while Premkumar, of Dunstable, shot an 80 to win the 18-hole junior-junior division. Paik, from Sharon, had a 76 to capture the mites division . . . Tara Joy Connolly (Cohasset) closed with a 78 to win the WGAM’s Grace Keyes Cup at Marshfield by four shots over Pam Kuong (76-77). Hillary McNeill (Charles River) shot 87-84 to win the tournament flight by one shot over Marianne Doane (Beverly) . . . The team of Tina Bailey and Jessica Doyle (both from Charles River), Barbara Quinn (Wollaston), and Claire Sheldon (The Country Club) captured the fifth annual River Cup with a total of 6-under-par 142. The River Cup, held at Charles River, honors Pippy O’Connor, a longtime Charles River member who dedicated much of her life to teaching women and girls golf. Kuong (Charles River), Deb Neipris and Sheri Siegel (both from Blue Hill), and Karen Pitts (Wollaston) finished second, two strokes back.
Spots are still available for the Deutsche Bank Championship’s “Executive Women’s Day,” scheduled for Aug. 28 at TPC Boston. The event, which will benefit The Women’s Lunch Place, is from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and includes breakfast, a tour of the tournament grounds — the Deutsche Bank Championship runs from Aug. 31-Sept. 3 — lunch, and a networking wine reception. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Helen Fisher. To reserve a spot, e-mail email@example.com . . . In addition to the Deutsche Bank Championship, Patriot Golf Day weekend is also scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 3, at hundreds of courses across the country. Participating courses will request a $1 donation with each greens fee, which will go to the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides educational scholarships to families of those who have become disabled or killed in the line of duty. To find a list of participating courses, visit www.playgolfamerica.com.